Used 2013 Chevy Silverado 1500: Well-Rounded Performance

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The third generation of the used Chevy Silverado in Cincinnati, OH started back in 2013, and has seen a lot of changes since then. It’s received a new design, engines have come and gone, a new transmission has made an appearance, and the technology has been upgraded. While most people would rather grab the newest model, there are still some that are looking for an older one. Now, you might want something a little newer in order to reap the benefits and comforts of modern technology and engineering. On the other hand, it still needs to be a truck that can get the job done. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to grab a 1500 trim from 2013.

Why? Because, this was the last year it still had four engine options for well-rounded performance. This well-rounded performance means versatility between the trim levels, and an engine for whatever type of job you might be looking for, big or small. Plus, the size of a 1500 truck (half-ton) is more than enough for basic work needs.

 

Engine Options

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Combined, Chevy offers four engine options between trim levels: a V6 and three V8s. Depending on what you are looking to do, power ranges from 260 lb-ft of torque to 417 lb-ft of torque. Which means you have the ability to either focus on fuel-efficiency and sacrifice power, or focus on power and sacrifice efficiency. Alternatively, you could sit happily in the middle with one of the V8 engines that strive to strike a balance between the two.

4.3-liter V6

The 4.3-liter V6 engine is the one that’s found standard on the Silverado, and finding a 1500 Work Truck trim will land you a truck that produces 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque — which is respectable for standard power coming off a base engine. You’ll find this engine equipping the Work Truck trim level, which is the most basic Silverado offered by Chevy for this year. It doesn’t have any flashy extras or goodies because it’s just geared for working. However, it’s not geared for working too hard. While the possible-best 5,400-pound max towing capacity for this engine is appealing, you might need to step-it up to a V8 engine if you are going to need more power for towing.

Alternatively, you might just be looking for a cheap used truck to get you through a handful of winters. If that’s the case, opt for this 1500 trim. Even in 2WD it’s got the power and handling you need to navigate hazardous roads. Plus, the 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway won’t make you stop at the pump constantly. If you want extra assurance for winter driving, then get a 4WD model. The decrease in fuel economy isn’t that bad, and the sting of it is taken away by the amount of capability provided by a four-wheel drive model. After all, you don’t need the biggest engine available to have an effective vehicle for driving in hazardous winter conditions.

Which makes this V6 engine the perfect choice if you are looking for a vehicle that provides a solid combination of efficiency, 4WD capability, and towing power for your daily drive.

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4.8-liter V8 

The 4.8-liter V8 engine is found on the LS trim and is the first V8 engine we see in this lineup. This engine is rated at 302 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque, which is a sizable increase on both accounts compared to the V6 engine. This engine can tow up to 7,200 pounds, which tacks on almost an extra 2,000 pounds in towing capacity compared to the V6 trim. Fuel economy expectedly drops, and is rated at 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. Realistically, for close-to an extra 2,000 pounds of towing, and a decent increase in horsepower and torque, only losing out on 1 mpg city and highway isn’t bad at all. Naturally, those numbers are on a 2WD model, and a 4WD model will experience slightly less fuel economy.

As nice as the increase in power compared to that minor decrease in fuel economy is, however, the 5.3-liter V8 engine does it better. Essentially, this engine was intended to be a sweet spot for the Silverado 1500 because it gained such a large amount of power for only a slight drop in fuel-efficiency. It would have been the perfect next step for those who need just a little extra power, but didn’t want to stop at the pump more often.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and this engine actually ends up getting less fuel economy than the larger and stronger 5.3-liter, which explains why this engine was eliminated for the 2014 model. However there is a silver lining, and that lies in the fact that it’s cheaper to own outright than the 5.3-liter. After all, a bigger engine on a higher trim means a more expensive upfront cost. Therefore, the lackluster fuel economy is offset thanks to the reduced price. Essentially, it’s a cheaper way to get V8 power if you don’t mind hitting the pump more frequently.

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5.3-liter V8 

The 5.3-liter V8 engine takes the performance to the next level, and is the engine you want to go after if you are looking to walk that fine line between power and efficiency. This engine comes standard on the LTZ, and produces a powerful 315 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque, which translates to a possible best 9,700 pounds of towing capacity when properly equipped. For those in 2WD models, the fuel economy is a surprisingly efficient 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.

The towing equipment to get that 9,700 pound towing capacity and addition of 4WD will lower the fuel economy a bit, but even then it’s still a good balance between power and efficiency.

6.2-liter V8 

This engine is optional on a few trims, and is the engine of choice if you need the best towing capacity offered by a half-ton Silverado, which is 10,700 pounds when properly equipped. On a 4WD model, which is needed to get this type of towing, the Silverado equipped with this engine gets 12 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. But let’s face it, if this is the engine you are opting for, then fuel economy really isn’t your concern. If it was, you would have opted for one of the other V8s or the V6. Instead, this is for those who are seeking to be able to tow items like a 30-ft RV.

With a V6 engine that provides lower power and torque but with decent fuel economy, a V8 engine that provides a quick and cheap upgrade in power, another V8 that strikes a balance between power and efficiency, and a third V8 that provides the ultimate power, buying a used 2013 Silverado 1500 has well-rounded performance for whatever it is you might be looking to do.