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What's the Best Chevrolet Silverado You Can Get for $40,000?

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author photo by Chris O'Neill October 2018

The Chevrolet Silverado is the second best-selling vehicle in the United States, behind only the Ford F-150. From humble work trucks to mild off-road variants, and from family haulers to luxury trims, there's a Silverado out there for just about anyone. Below, we'll discuss what buyers should look for with a budget of $40,000.

Year

With a base price of right around $30,000, buyers can get a number of options while still remaining under that $40,000 mark. Given the unique status of the product line at the moment, buyers really have three choices when it comes to choosing a model and year. An all-new Silverado is due out for the 2019 model year, and should be hitting dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2018. The new Silverado introduces new styling, more amenities and all of the tech buyers should expect from a brand new vehicle in 2019.

Another option is for buyers to seek out a still-brand-new previous-generation Silverado. The outgoing Silverado, on sale since 2014, will stick around for one more model year, overlapping with the all-new 2019 model for one year. While it will be available in limited configurations, the 2019 Silverado "LD," as it will be referred to, will provide buyers with additional value, as it will be priced below a comparable all-new 2019 model. Opting for a leftover 2018 model is also a similar option, and dealers should be offering discounts in order to make room for the all-new 2019 Silverado.

Finally, buyers looking for optimal value might consider a pre-owned 2016–2018 Silverado. While the outgoing Silverado went on sale for the 2014 model year, an update for 2016 introduced such modern features as a new infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, among other things that buyers may want to prioritize. Buying pre-owned also means being able to afford a nicer trim level, and the Silverado offers a variety to choose from.

Engine

The 2014 to 2018 Silverado has been offered with three different engines -- a V6 and two V8s, while all-new 2019 models will add to the bottom of that lineup with a new economical 4-cylinder turbo.

Altogether, the venerable 5.3-liter V8, available in both the outgoing Silverado and on the all-new 2019 model, probably offers the best ratio of capability to cost. In the outgoing model, this engine makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, and can tow over 9,000 lbs when properly equipped.

Configuration & Trim Level

While it's impossible to say that one trim level is best for everyone, we can't help but think that a 4-door crew cab Silverado configured with 4-wheel drive and the standard 6.5-foot bed length probably offers the most utility.

Based purely on MSRP, buyers hoping to buy new are limited to the LS and LT trim levels. Given the impending arrival of the all-new 2019 Silverado, heavy dealer incentives are being offered on 2018 Silverados, and there are currently around 800 brand-new 2018 Silverado LTZ models listed on Autotrader for around $40,000.

Buyers open to purchasing a used Silverado for $40,000 should look for a High Country model, which will get you the most truck for your money. The High Country trim is the top-dog Silverado and offers luxury touches like premium leather, a heated leather steering wheel, 20-inch wheels and a variety of other upscale touches. Right now, there are over 100 2016–2018 Silverado High Country models for sale on Autotrader with fewer than 45,000 miles for around $40,000.

Conclusions

Needless to say, buyers have a ton of options when it comes to buying a Chevrolet Silverado for around $40,000. While weighing all of the options is probably overwhelming, it really comes down to this: Want the latest design? Opt for a low-end all-new 2019 model. Looking to save but still drive off the lot with a new truck backed by a full warranty? Opt for a 2019 Silverado "LD" or a leftover 2018 model. Intrigued by a high-end trim level and not afraid of a few miles on the odometer? Look for a used 2016, 2017 or 2018 model in "High Country" guise.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
What's the Best Chevrolet Silverado You Can Get for $40,000? - Autotrader