How Did the Chevy Silverado Build Its Reputation?
A premier American car company, Chevrolet has been manufacturing vehicles since 1911. One of its most well-known models is the Chevrolet Silverado, an iconic truck that evolved into an industry leader. So, when did Chevrolet start making Silverado? Introduced in 1999, the Silverado series of Chevy pickups was mechanically similar to the GMC Sierra pickup. Over the past twenty years, it has consistently ranked among the top best-selling vehicles in the United States throughout the evolution of the Silverado, even with heavy competition. Here are the Chevy truck styles by year:
First Generation Silverados
Now known as the classic version, the first-generation Silverado included the 1500 and 2500HDs, which were available from 1999 to 2007. The 1500s were lighter duty models that came in three cab lengths: a standard cab with two doors, an extended cab with three to four doors, and a crew cab with a front-hinged four-door setup. It also came with three cargo bed lengths: the short bed (available on the crew or standard cab) at 69.2 inches long, the standard box at 78.7 inches, and the long box at 97.6 inches long. These options demonstrate that from the very beginning, Chevrolet developed the Silverado to be customizable to each buyer’s specific needs.
On the 1500 model, the engine was a 5.3-liter that produced up to 285 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 2500HDs upgraded to a 6-liter 6000 V8 engine with 300 horsepower. Additionally, the Silverado SS was introduced in 2003 and foreshadowed what was to come as a high-performance model with interior and exterior upgrades. Its engine produced 345 horsepower, and the vehicle included better suspension, bigger, wheels, and a flashier exterior.
Second Generation Silverados
The second generation of the Chevy Silverado was introduced between 2007 and 2013. The new models quickly earned awards: the Silverado was named Truck of the Year by Motor Trend Magazine and North American Truck of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI.
In 2001, the series underwent a full redesign to include a high-strength steel frame to increase stiffness by 92%. By adding bigger rear springs, engine and transmission mounts to improve ride quality, and upgrades to the front suspension and torsion bars that enhanced its alignment and handling, the Silverado became more heavy-duty. These new features complemented the use of snowplows by allowing the four-wheel drive models to carry up to 6,000 pounds on the front axle.
Third Generation Silverados
Introduced in 2014, third generation Silverados were completely redesigned to feature a quieter ride, better fuel-efficiency, and upgraded technology in order to bring the utilitarian powerhouse into the modern era. The interior was enhanced with an 8-inch touchscreen Chevy MyLink infotainment display that seamlessly integrated with smartphones. Earning the Silverado a five-star rating from government crash tests, driver assistance technology was introduced in the series for the first time.
Now a fan-favorite, the Silverado series is currently in its fourth installment of the Chevy truck generations. While Chevy pickup model years have each been better than the last, the 2021 Silverado 1500, 2500HD, and 3500HD offer the most premium experience than any previous model in the series. Fully enhanced, they now feature a roomier cabin, wireless phone charging, heated seats, and leather upholstery. The vehicle has an impressive eight trim levels with several configurations for the bed and cab, allowing you to customize the Silverado for your exact needs. With constantly upgraded safety technology, it has two available safety packages with driver assistance technology such as front and rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and forward pedestrian detection with braking.
Visit your Orland Chevy destination at Apple Chevrolet to test drive a Silverado today!