A popular Chevy Silverado for sale, a white 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country, is shown driving.

How and Why the Chevy Silverado Continues to Dominate in the Used Market

What is it about the Chevy Silverado that keeps it in the limelight both as an excellent new and used truck option? Why are so many people enthused year in and year out searching for a used Chevy Silverado for sale compared to other vehicles available on the used market? Well, there is a lot that goes into achieving and maintaining popularity as a nameplate in the car market, and part of that comes back to legacy. Chevy has been an iconic vehicle manufacturer for over a century, and part of that prestige comes from providing drivers with reliable vehicles that stand the test of time with their ruggedness and the Silverado is a great example of that dedication to reliability, whether it’s a model from the current lineup or a pre-owned model on the used market. For drivers shopping on a budget and looking for an affordable option that will be sure to tackle the challenges at home and on the job site, you can’t go wrong with a pre-owned Silverado. Let’s take a closer look at why this is.

A Name Brand You Can Trust…

Part of a truck shopper’s – or rather, a car shopper’s – biggest concern when it comes to shopping is name recognition. Nearly half the battle of getting the attention of a shopper is in name recognition. Not only that but positive name recognition. Many shoppers decide what to buy – especially used – based on how reliable they believe the brand is and how much they trust that brand with quality vehicles. So, what does this have to do with used Chevy Silverado sales? Well, everything.

The reason the Silverado is one of the top-selling used vehicles is because Chevy itself does a large part of the marketing for the truck. As a brand name, many shoppers trust that Chevy makes reliable vehicles, particularly good trucks. For years the Silverado has topped charts in not just the truck segment, but the overall automobile market. If you look as far back as 2012, Consumer Reports indicated that in their study, the overall brand perception for Chevy put the GM subsidiary in the top four of the best brands to buy from.

The report indicated that features such as safety, quality, value, and performance were some of the top factors in what the average consumer was looking for, and out of those topics, Chevy managed to make it into the top slots. This included making the top five for vehicle value, quality of the design, and being environmentally friendly. Chevy also managed to make the top three when it came to performance, which tracks well with the actual specs of a vehicle like the Silverado throughout the years since it’s one of the best-performing light-duty trucks on the market.

The Silverado’s Used Market Dominance

While the F-150 is the most popular vehicle across the majority of states in America, it’s followed closely by the Silverado 1500 and its heavy-duty variants. In fact, when it comes to sales, the Chevy Silverado 1500, in particular, dominates the used vehicle market by an impressive margin just behind the Ford F-150. Just how much does it dominate? During 2022, the Silverado 1500 occupied 2.8% of the total used car sales throughout the United States, which is extremely impressive, especially given that the Ford F-150 led the Silverado 1500 by a margin of just 0.5%.

The majority of these sales are happening at dealerships as well – in fact, 57% of consumers use dealerships to shop for vehicles like the Silverado, according to a study done by Porch Group Media, which ties back into consumer trust in a brand name, since most dealerships are licensed to brands. There’s also a strong correlation between buying from trusted dealers and buying a used vehicle, with 74% of most used shoppers being satisfied with their experience, which means they’re more likely to buy a similar vehicle within that brand from that dealership the next time they buy a vehicle. So this tracks with the Silverado variants being popular among dealers regardless of the model year or generation; brand availability and dealer trust help to keep Silverado models as hot commodities in the eyes of consumers.

A black 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country is shown towing a trailer.

Features That Keep Trucks Moving Off Lots

Moving units off the lot, however, isn’t just done on brand recognition and available inventory alone. Vehicles have to live up to the promise of the brand’s worth, and the Silverado has been consistently doing this over the years since its 1999 model year debut by consistently improving and adding a lot of value to its offerings. Chevy has managed to do this by vastly increasing the performance, technology, safety, and comfort features with each successive generation.

For instance, the latest fourth-generation Silverado run has seen several improvements and introductions to new features that have proven to be popular among general and enthusiast truck shoppers, such as the ZR2 off-road trim that comes with many great features. From the large mud-terrain tires and Multimatic DSSV dampers to the specially tuned lifted-suspension and skid plates for protection, the Silverado ZR2 quickly became the talk of the town among off-road truckers, bringing it into steep competition against the Ford F-150 Raptor and the Ram 1500 TRX.

However, more traditional features such as the very reliable Duramax turbo-diesel for towing and trailering and the utilitarian Multi-Flex Tailgate have proven to be mainstay features for many work-related truck drivers. Features like the Chevy Safety Assist with driver alerts and automated assists – along with the very popular Teen Driver Mode – have ensured that the Silverado makes for a good daily driver and family vehicle, too.

Then, you have groundbreaking features for a full-size pickup like the Super Cruise, which is a semi-autonomous, hands-free driving feature that appeals to tech-savvy drivers. So there’s a little bit of everything offered by the Silverado to keep new models rolling off the assembly line and onto dealers’ lots and enough features and updates to keep used trucks rolling off the lot due to being hot ticket items.

Trim Levels That Resonate With Shoppers

Part of the Silverado’s success as a popular vehicle in the used vehicle space is availability and versatility. Not every used truck shopper is looking for the exact same kind of truck. In the same way that off-road enthusiasts are looking for a rugged pickup that can handle tough terrain, practical drivers and family-focused drivers may be looking for something more grounded, comfortable, and economical. There’s also the factor of people who just need a reliable work truck.

This is why some of the most common trims available for the Silverado on the used market are spread across entry-level trims, upscale trims, and performance trims. For instance, the WT (Work Truck) is popular because it’s the cheapest available version of the truck and is great for those who just need something basic to get things done. It’s also not uncommon to find a lot of Custom trims floating around, too, since they offer slightly more convenience features than the WT for a slightly higher price.

The LT is the most customizable of trims, so it’s more popular for those buying new, along with RST, according to those shopping for a Silverado. MotorBiscuit surmised that this is because the RST is a sports package that offers more functionality, comfort, tech, and safety than the base trims but isn’t quite as expensive as enthusiast trims like the LTZ, ZR2, or the High Country. This makes sense, as a feature-rich trim that is less expensive than the topmost trim would likely appeal to those searching for something just within budget but isn’t too extravagant.

A black 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 is shown towing a trailer.

Overall History, Recognition, and Features Appeal To Shoppers

For most shoppers out there, however, the Silverado manages to dominate in the used space thanks to multiple factors. Its longstanding history attached to a historical automobile brand like Chevy automatically gives it an advantage for those who want a trustworthy brand to purchase from. The Silverado has also built up recognition as a true competitor and alternative to the Ford F-Series and the Ram line of full-size trucks.

There is also the consistent addition of new features, so shoppers are compelled to buy a used Silverado for sale and then maybe trade it in toward a newer model year to gain access to additional features and upgrades without having to spend too much more to do so. The versatility of trims, the consistent updates, and the general reliability and performance have helped keep the Silverado in the crosshairs of used car shoppers across the nation, and it doesn’t appear as if it will be slowing down anytime soon.