Do you remember telling yourself at some point in your life: “I wonder where I will be ten years from now?” It is an interesting question because some of us might become millionaires, while most of us may find ourselves sitting in the same room we are in right now reading this article. No matter how the next ten years in your life pan out, one thing will remain a constant: the Chevy Silverado for sale that you buy this year will hold up surprisingly well in that amount of time.
It is a discussion that will take us to a few places, but the essence remains the same: Chevy’s mainstream pickup truck is a dream for truck owners who want to set it and forget it, so to speak. It is the type of experience where you buy a truck without worrying about it becoming obsolete before the one-year ownership mark. To better understand how a model like the 2023 Silverado will hold up by the 2033 model year, we should look closer at what truck approached its 10th birthday: the 2013 Silverado. Let’s begin.
Some Comparisons Are Better Than Others
Comparing two trucks against each other that are a decade apart is as possible as it is impossible. What do I mean by that? Some aspects of a vehicle compare nicely to their newer counterparts, but then some areas are left untouched. For example, it is possible to compare engine technology – horsepower, torque, towing capacity, etc. What is not advisable to compare are starting prices, and that is because the automotive industry has seen a few shifts in pricing since then, primarily due to inflation, and various vehicles becoming pricier because of newer parts and features, among others. I will give you a brief look into what I mean.
The 2013 Silverado 1500 had a starting price of $25,500. The 2023 Silverado 1500 has an MSRP of $36,300, which is a 42% increase. The rate of inflation between the years 2012 and 2022 – the years the 2013 and 2023 Silverado 1500 launched – is 27.5%, so if the 2013 Silverado 1500 were to come out today, it would start at around $32,500. There is undoubtedly a price disparity between the two, showing that trucks like the Silverado 1500 have gotten pricier over the years. Whether that trend continues over the next ten years, it does not matter – what matters is that the current Silverado is priced according to current market trends, and it manages to do so by not being the priciest pickup truck of its class – even costing less than the GMC Sierra 1500, for example.
What A Decade Can Achieve in Performance
What I believe to be the most prominent difference is how the base variant of the 2013 Silverado 1500 compares against the truck you would get if you were to buy the latest base-level Silverado 1500 trim – the Work Truck. Within the last ten years, we have seen a significant shift in both engineering and consumer interest toward turbocharged engines. Ten years ago, they were not commonplace, let alone on something like a pickup truck. Nowadays, turbocharged engines are a great alternative, especially if you want to reduce the engine’s size while achieving similar or better power, which also means the trucks can be more efficient. This is what we see with the 2013 and 2023 Silverado 1500s.
The 2013 Silverado 1500 comes standard with a 4.3L V6 engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission. With the newer 2023 Silverado 1500, the standard engine is a turbocharged 2.7L I-4 engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is double the number of gears, which is even more impressive considering the optional transmission for the 2013 Silverado 1500 is a 6-speed automatic transmission, so the base 2023 model is better than both options. By comparison, the 2023 Silverado 1500 can include a 10-speed automatic transmission in its best configuration, a significant jump over the optional 6-speed automatic transmission in the 2013 model.
Let’s look again at the engine performance. The V6 engine that comes standard with the 2013 model outputs 195 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, but the turbocharged 2.7L I-4 engine in the 2023 model outputs 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque – 59% more horsepower and 34% more torque. With this leap in horsepower and torque, you likely think that the Silverado 1500’s towing capacity also got upgraded – you would be correct. The 2013 Silverado equipped with the 4.3L V6 engine can tow a maximum of 7,600 lbs, while the base 2023 model with its turbocharged engine can tow up to 9,500 lbs if operating with 4WD and the 6’6”-long bed – a 25% greater towing capacity.
There are more than a few additional powertrains I would have to discuss to get to the higher-end models, so for the sake of your time, let’s see what the 2013 and 2023 Silverado 1500 have to offer in their best possible conditions. If towing is what you are after, you have some decent options on the 2023 model, but if you want to exceed what was possible on the 2013 model, you need to opt for either the 6.2L V8 engine or the turbo-diesel 3.0L I-6 engine. Before we talk about that, what is the maximum towing capacity of the 2013 model? The best towing performance for the 2013 Silverado is courtesy of the 6.2L V8 engine, which, when paired with the Max Trailering Package, could achieve a towing capacity of 12,500 lbs. As for the 2023 model, the 6.2L V8 engine can reach a maximum towing capacity of 13,200 lbs, while the turbo-diesel 3.0L I-6 engine can tow 13,300 lbs.
Has Progress Stagnated?
In the world of computers, the phrase Moore’s Law – named after Intel founder Gordon Moore – was essentially alluding to the fact that its company’s processors would double in its implementations of specific semiconductors, but that is a philosophy many would believe is all but out of commission thanks to stagnation. This heavily reminds me of the automotive industry because there has not been what I would call “stagnation,” there is no denying we are hitting a wall with some engine tech. The 2013 Silverado 1500 gives the impression that it is generations behind the 2023 model, largely thanks to its reliance on a large and unwieldy V6 engine in its base form and no turbo-diesel option.
The 2023 model will age more gracefully because of the turbocharged engine; there is no doubt about that. However, we are getting to a point where there is little wiggle room for a manufacturer trying to give people the most for what they are charging. Remember, the Silverado 1500 is not supposed to be as powerful as a Silverado 2500 or 3500, but what is important is that it has gotten significantly better over the years. You won’t see the Silverado 1500 get much better without its Heavy Duty siblings getting an identical treatment to help create the performance spread that gives each one reasoning for existing. The logical next step that manufacturers are taking is electric powertrains, and the upcoming Silverado EV is a prime example of why this looks like what manufacturers such as Chevy will be pouring heavy efforts into in the coming years. That is not to say that gasoline-powered Silverados are going anywhere, but there is bound to be an eventual disparity between its electric-powered sibling.
Is the 2023 Silverado a Sound Investment?
Now that we have reached the end of our journey, you may wonder if the 2023 Silverado will be a sound investment. I believe it is a good investment for a few reasons. The reason why the Silverado 1500 does not tow more than it does is that most drivers looking for a pickup truck like this – and especially in its price range – do not need more than the allotted amount given to them by the likes of the 6.2L V8 engine or the turbo-diesel powertrain.
It is important to note that some drivers are understandably not ready to purchase an electric vehicle, let alone an electric pickup truck – those will be a harder sell to a dedicated pickup truck owner who has been relying on gasoline or diesel for years. That brings up one last point: if you want a diesel engine, you will not find one on the 2023 F-150, as those have been replaced with a hybrid powertrain. While efficiency is better, it does not beat the towing prowess of a hearty diesel engine under the hood. Do not be concerned if you are worried that your 2023 Silverado will not age well within ten years. If your truck is doing everything you need, and you do not see that changing anytime soon, do not sweat about it.