A Buyer’s Guide to the Perfect Used Chevy Truck

February 16th, 2024 by

A white 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country is shown driving from a dealer with used trucks for sale near Dayton.

Is it possible to find “the” perfect truck? Searching for used trucks for sale near Dayton might leave you with more questions than answers. After all, there are a lot of great models to choose from, but Chevy has a reputation for being one of the best. Whether you’re an experienced truck owner or thinking about getting your first one, opting into a brand like Chevy is a smart investment when it comes to used trucks.

This automotive icon made a name for itself in affordable, long-lasting vehicles, which helps make it the go-to choice for Ohio drivers who need a truck that fits their needs. Whether for tough work or tough play, Chevy trucks have no problem doing double duty as a family and labor vehicle.

So, what does Chevy offer drivers right now for used trucks? Plenty! A stunning lineup of midsize, light, and heavy-duty models offers a diverse selection for your next ride at a price that will fit your budget, not break it. Whether you’re taking a scenic route along the southwest side of Dayton out toward Germantown Metropark or dealing with congestion along I-75, there’s a truck ready to meet any challenge the Gem City puts before it.

We’ve got the low-down on everything Chevy. We’ve compiled a list of Chevy trucks to help you match your ride with your lifestyle; big or small, there’s a Chevy truck waiting to lighten the load and get you where you need to go without cutting corners.

The Light-Duty Best-Seller

It makes sense to start by highlighting Chevy’s best-selling Silverado 1500. This light-duty, full-size pickup truck rolled off the assembly lines in the late 1990s and is now well into its fourth generation. The Silverado 1500 has been popular from the start, often rivaling the F-150 for a top spot on truck lists. For many, the Silverado 1500 is appealing because of its well-rounded nature that incorporates Chevy’s strong engines and smart design. The Silverado 1500 is often called the ‘Swiss army knife’ of trucks because of its uncanny versatility. Its potential to do it all helps it stand out for drivers who need a truck that can meet the constantly changing demands of the day.

Over the years, this light-duty truck has scooped up numerous high safety ratings and consumer awards. As recently as 2023, it was named “Best Pickup for Towing” by Cars.com. While gathering up prestigious titles and high ratings among industry insiders and casual drivers, the Silverado 1500 has continued to work for its praise. Since its fourth generation was introduced in 2019, many have turned from praising the truck’s exceptional performance to noting its impressive styling.

In fact, the styling choices for the latest generation of Silverado 1500s have been one of the key reasons for its continued success, with research showing many drivers choosing this model for its rugged good looks alone, with increased popularity among drivers ages 18-34.

For young families or solo adventurers on the go, the Silverado 1500 is the perfect fit for those needing power for recreational hauling. Whether a trailer or boat, a used Silverado 1500 loves to get off the beaten trail and have fun.

A combination of cab and bed options allows you to get the cargo potential and seating room you need to bring along everyone and everything. The current fourth generation is popular when you’re searching for a used model because it is lighter than previous generations, giving it the ability to offer more efficiency without sacrificing performance.

However, in terms of overall driver satisfaction and price point, opting for a used Silverado 1500 from its second generation (2007-2013) is a great investment for those who want the power and reliability of Chevy but are shopping on a tight budget. In 2007, the Silverado 1500 was named “Truck of the Year” by Motor Trend. The second generation is noted as having the fewest recalls and mechanical issues over any other generation, making it a worthwhile investment for drivers who are focused more on performance or budget than the latest bells and whistles.

A black 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is shown driving.

The Heavy-Duty Cousin

The Silverado HD series includes the 2500 and 3500; both are one-ton, heavy-duty, full-size trucks that round out the Silverado family. The major difference between the Silverado HD and the 1500 is its payload and trailering potential. The Silverado HD series offers driver industrial strength, with the highest performing being the Silverado 3500. Other than towing and hauling abilities, these trucks are nearly the same in terms of comfort and cabin design. So with the HD, it’s all about putting the focus on power—and lots of it.

Getting a pre-owned Silverado HD model is ideal for drivers who need more than your average truck. If you have a big job, the Silverado HD is capable. Ensuring you get the right model for your needs is essential when shopping pre-owned. Depending on the year, drivers can unlock a V8 gas or V8 diesel to meet their needs. Getting the Silverado 3500 means you’re going to get all that Chevy has to offer, as this truck nearly doubles the towing capacity of the mid-level Silverado 2500, delivering upwards of around 36,000 lbs, depending on the engine.

Using materials like steel over aluminum and increasing the performance of the truck’s suspension and shock absorbers, the Silverado HD is ready to tackle whatever you put before it. The 2020 Silverado 3500 HD brought home the KBB award for “Best Resale Value” in the heavy-duty pickup segment, beating out rival giants like Ford and Ram.

Going for a pre-owned HD? 2018-2020 are years to watch out for. This unlocks a powerful truck with increased efficiency plus advanced driver assistance tech that can make towing and hauling safer and easier than ever before, all without a heavy brand-new price tag.

A blue 2020 Chevy Colorado Z71 is shown driving.

The Midsize Cruiser

Whether you’re an urban dweller living in the heart of Dayton or you just make frequent trips to the city, the midsize Colorado is a great companion for the urban setting. Its smaller size and efficient handling help it fit in where a larger vehicle might struggle—and yet the current smallest truck of the Chevy family offers plenty of towing potential for everyday errands like hauling lumber or mulch home or bringing along gear for a weekend outdoors at White Oak Campground. The Colorado might be midsize, but it is fierce when it comes to helping drivers tackle the day.

Drivers with an off-road spirit can upgrade to the Colorado ZR2 to get increased performance for muddy trails and rocky roads. The ZR2 is noted for its wider wheelbase and offering more off-road tech than any other truck in its segment. Get a real winner when you find a 2018 Colorado ZR2, as this model was awarded “Pickup Truck of the Year” by Four Wheeler.

It’s not just the ZR2 that impresses drivers, but the Colorado stands on its own, receiving numerous awards from noted sources like Popular Mechanics and Overland Journal. The Colorado is the perfect fit for busy lifestyles that don’t require the heft of a full-size truck, as its smaller frame is at home in an urban or suburban setting where drivers might need room for the family one minute and space for sports gear or lawn materials the next.

The Colorado has been running the roads since 2004, so there are lots of great models to pick from when you’re thinking about a used midsize Chevy. Models from 2007-2010 are praised as being some of the best pre-owned ones you can buy because of the low recalls and high customer satisfaction rate. For those looking for a ride with updated tech and modern styling, the 2020 model has no recalls and scores high in reliability with low maintenance.

A World of Possibilities

Getting into a pre-owned Chevy opens up the road for drivers looking for an affordable truck that keeps going mile after mile. Many drivers choose Chevy because of the automaker’s reputation for long-lasting models at great prices.

With a diverse array of options that suit a variety of lifestyles and budgets, Chevy trucks offer the reliability, power, and versatility that driving in Ohio requires. Whether you’re navigating downtown Dayton or rush-hour traffic on Route 35, a used Chevy truck provides the right balance of performance and affordability you need from your next vehicle. Explore Dayton and the surrounding countryside with confidence when a Chevy truck is your co-pilot.