Chevrolet has been the king of American-made, good-value vehicles. Sometimes, though, a price cut is in order. That’s where a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle dealer comes in. Like-new, fastidiously maintained, and yet far cheaper than a brand-new model, CPO Chevys are a wise investment. Which are the top CPO Chevy models, though—cars that are best when purchased in that sweet spot between used and brand-new?
Warranty programs and service packages aside, some vehicles deliver the most value after a little gentle use, refurbishing, and discounting. Here are the top 3 Chevy vehicles that are worth a CPO program’s significant savings—and are unlikely to lose quality after one owner.
2020 Silverado 2500 HD
Strength and capability combine for one of Chevy’s most competitive trucks yet. Amongst a crowded field of tough trucks, including the Ram Heavy Duty and Ford Super Duty entries, the 2020 Silverado still shines. The 2500 HD model is a step up from the standard, passenger-oriented 1500 pickup, which certainly holds its own. However, the 2500 HD (Heavy Duty) model has some major bragging rights, including best-in-class towing. It achieves up to a gargantuan 18,510 pounds of towing power, a rating against which many 2022 trucks fall short.
But this edition of the Silverado 2500 HD isn’t just about power—though the basic Work Truck trim exists for those who shun all luxuries. A redesigned, aggressive front end and aerodynamic body lines make this a head-turner, to be certain. Plus, the 2018 model is souped up with impressive upgrades. Here are some standouts.
The optional Turbo-Diesel V-8 is particularly hardy, what with its monumental 910 lb-ft of torque and 10-speed Allison transmission. Plus, payload ratings approaching 4,000 mean even the extended bed can carry a full load of home improvement supplies, furniture, electronics, and even a few four-wheelers. However, models with the gas engine V8’s 6-speed automatic transmission offer a smoother ride.
Trailering tech abounds, including a “transparent trailer” system that streams unobstructed views behind your truck and trailer directly onto the infotainment screen. The power tailgate is a predecessor to the Multi-Flex available in very recent models, but it’s nonetheless a huge help to hardworking folks.
Why It’s a Good CPO Model
If you want the most power at the best price, a CPO Silverado 2500 HD is it. Balancing a lower price with towing and payload ratings competitive by today’s standards, it’s the definition of an excellent value. Used cars must meet certain criteria before earning Chevrolet’s “Certified Pre-Owned” label: under 75,000 mileage, within five years of the latest model year, no significant/expensive damage, no major engine repairs or accidents in its history, an absence of massive stains on the passenger seat, etc.
This means that any Heavy-Duty Silverado truck in the CPO lot never truly hauled and towed to capacity. All the better for you to put it to work. Plus, a like-new High Country model—including genuine leather surfaces, unique design elements, and ergonomic heated and ventilated seats—will fall far short of its high price tag when new. That’s luxury fittings at a far more appealing price.
Chevy’s most popular, full-size SUV is also one of the nation’s top-selling family commuter vehicles. More stylish, better equipped, and more thrilling to drive than the soccer mom van (Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, we’re looking at you), the Tahoe sacrifices nothing in cargo or seating space.
In fact, the Tahoe sacrifices little at all. This do-it-all SUV is quite the jack of all trades, towing alongside the truck earlier on this list while zooming through traffic much like the performance car that follows. It’s off-road capable when equipped with four-wheel drive, welcomes 94.7 cu.ft. of storage, and is souped up with family-friendly safety tech like lane departure warning and traction control. Did I mention that its 6.2-L V-8 engine has a satisfying roar and produces up to 420 horsepower?
There’s much to love about a Tahoe, the 2018 edition in particular. The innovative Magnetic Ride Control has reactive shocks that smooth out unpleasant road conditions and the refined interior materials could put the fussiest child to sleep. Plus, the Chevy MyLink infotainment display is a consumer favorite. One may suspect that the 2018 Tahoe is the perfect family vehicle. However, it does have one significant drawback.
Why It’s a Good CPO Model
The 2018 Tahoe rides a dangerous line between well-equipped and high-priced. Therefore, it just makes more sense to find a used or CPO version of this tough SUV. A Tahoe at a significant price cut would be hard to pass up.
The Corvette is infamous as a street-tearing supercar, a staple of the American roadway, and one of the best feats of homegrown, domestic engineering. Forget imported luxury cars for a second as you take a gander at the 2020 Corvette, often considered Chevy’s best edition yet. Flashy, effortlessly quick, and surprisingly affordable (especially Certified Pre-Owned), this is the sort of nab-it-if-you-see-it vehicle that auto enthusiasts love.
Immediately after release, this eight-generation Corvette, also referred to as the “C8” by superfans, quickly earned top ratings from multiple outlets. In fact, it was rated about as high as a Porsche or Ferrari sports car—without the European price tag. While just about every model has its loveable specs, the wholly redesigned and perfected 2020 edition has some particular standouts.
New features of this model year include a fire-breathing, 6.2L V-8 engine set rear of the passenger cabin. 490 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque offer enough power to seamlessly lead city and highway traffic, plus some chops to hold your own in a loop racetrack. 0-to-60 speeds clock as low as 2.8 seconds in the 2020 Corvette, while its sporty brakes can grind from 70 mph to a halt in only 149 feet.
This generation’s redesigned interior deserves its own level of praise. The two-seater sits further up than usual to suit its new, mid-mounted engine formulation, and the cabin is lush with genuine leather, real metal trim, and soft suede touches. The steering wheel, pedals, gauge display, infotainment screen, and just about every interior feature you can think of have been optimized for the driver’s convenience—and the kind of Formula 1-ready machismo rarely observed in American engineering.
“Which Corvette is a must-find?” you might ask. Those familiar enough with Chevy’s enduring sports car know well enough that a Corvette isn’t just a Corvette. A Stingray model with the Z51 package has performance ratings that ascend into the heavens, while a 3LT trim is suave thanks to its genuine leather surfaces and carbon-fiber trim. Bonus points if you can find a convertible model, but the coupe setup is still a winner.
Why It’s a Good CPO Model
Corvettes, like nearly all quality sports cars, are essentially giant collector’s items. As such, the Corvette will age gracefully and avoid any down-the-nose glances usually attributed to used cars. This is a Corvette! So what if it’s technically used?
And, due to strict dealership standards, any Corvette you find that qualifies as CPO wasn’t pushed to achieve its full, roaring potential. Doesn’t every sports car deserve a chance to shine? If you’ve ever named a car, you can pity a CPO Corvette that got traded in before it truly breathed fire on the asphalt.
Some Extra Gems
Chevrolet throws in a few additional perks for shopping Certified Pre-Owned. These include thorough title and vehicle history research, new tires and brakes when needed, and a huge powertrain warranty. They even omit deductibles on warranty claims, which is an underappreciated bonus. Plus, they’ll throw in a temporary subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio and OnStar, their emergency response program.
All of that to say, many people prefer to skip all these gems entirely and just shop for a used car. A used version of any of the vehicles above could still be in excellent shape. However, the CPO guarantee just might be worth it for the added peace of mind.