What’s the best part about visiting a Chevrolet dealership? Surprisingly, it’s not the innovative technologies or the models’ great looks (although those are great perks as well). Instead, it’s the history that accompanies each new Chevy model. While history may typically be seen as “boring” to some buyers, Chevy’s long-term dependability is what makes its models so appealing.
You can look back at models such as the Silverado, the Tahoe, and even the Malibu, and see decades of affordability and longevity. We’ve got details surrounding Chevy’s best, most reliable models, and how that legacy has affected the brand’s choices today.
Chevy’s Impressive Beginnings
Before we get into each model, let’s take a quick look at how Chevy first began. Chevrolet’s story started in 1911, during the time when Ford’s Model T started gaining popularity. In order to compete with Ford’s brand-new model, Chevy created the Series C Classic Six. This model included what were then referred to as “luxury features,” but at a reasonable price—one-upping Ford from the beginning.
Unlike modern brands that struggle to find the balance between performance and convenience/tech features, Chevy models never sacrificed performance for technology, or vice versa. Chevy doesn’t cut corners, which is part of what makes it such a dependable company. A great example of Chevy’s early performance advances its small-block V-8 engine. In 1955, Chevy released the small-block V-8 engine, which set the frame for modern-day performance cars. Chevrolet models began outselling their competitors due to their high-quality parts and affordable prices—a pattern they continue to strive for today.
What Are Some Historically Dependable Chevy Models?
Chevy has created several long-running models that are still on the market today. While new model designs are exciting, many buyers want to put their money into something that’s been around for a while. This way, you know the model’s history of recalls, faulty issues, and dependability ratings.
Before we get into the top-rated Chevy models, let’s define what dependability means in the automotive world. A dependable vehicle is one that performs well with little to no major mechanical issues. Instead of retiring your vehicle at 100 to 150,000 miles, you want to be able to keep it as long as 200,000 miles or more. Some great examples of Chevy’s dependability include the Tahoe and the Silverado. These are models that, with proper care and maintenance, can outlast their competitors.
The Chevy Tahoe
The Chevy Tahoe is a full-size SUV that has been around since 1995. An impressive investment, the Tahoe is known to last an average of 200,000 to 300,000 miles. No matter which model year you choose, you can depend on this SUV to handle average towing and a high passenger/cargo capacity. It’s a great choice for large families.
The Chevy Silverado
Since 1999, Chevy has consistently produced a variety of Silverados, ranging from tough passenger pickups to beefy, commercial haulers. This truck originated from a popular Chevy C/K truck trim, replacing the C/K line altogether.
Many Silverado models have lasted far beyond their expected mileage range. In fact, the Silverado has lasted longer than any other modern truck on the market. One 2006 Silverado 3500 model is reported to have had over 1.2-million miles on it. And that’s not including the 500+ miles the owners put on it each day, even after reporting this. Keep in mind as well that a diesel Silverado is likely to last even longer than a gasoline model typically would. On average, the Silverado is also known to last between 200,000 and 300,000 miles.
The Chevy Malibu
The Malibu is another long-running Chevrolet model that has had years of experience under its belts. This model is known to last an average of 380,000 miles. Modern Malibu models like the 9th-generation Malibu (2016 on) get impressive fuel economy ratings of up to 29 MPG in the city and up to 36 on the highway. The Malibu is a great daily commuter, and it’s certainly a good used vehicle option to pursue if you’re looking to save some money.
What Are Chevy’s Most Dependable Modern Models?
Many of Chevy’s popular historical models are still in production, such as the Tahoe, the Silverado, and the Suburban. These models remain dependable. For example, Car and Driver gave the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500, Tahoe, and Suburban models an 8.5/10 overall rating. However, Chevy also offers some recent-year models that prove dependable as well.
In fact, the most dependable Chevy model of all time is the all-electric Chevy Bolt. All-electric models are becoming more and more popular as gas prices skyrocket. But you want to be careful when choosing to drive electric, as battery life and MPGe ratings are very important.
The Chevy Bolt scores great when it comes to mileage and dependability. The Chevy Bolt has high reliability ratings overall. Kelly Blue Book gives the 2022 model a 4.7/5 rating, while Consumer Reports gives the Bolt a gleaming 5/5 rating. It may not tow your boat, but the Bolt will get you where you want to go. Just don’t forget to charge it.
A Few of Our Favorite Chevy Trims
While we’ve listed some of the most reliable Chevy models you can buy, we want to showcase our favorite models and trim levels. Whether you want an off-roader, a commuter, or a family-friendly traveler, you’re sure to hit it off with at least one of the following models.
The 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2
You can now give off-roading a try in your Silverado 1500, thanks to the 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 trim. We love this trim because it keeps everything we love about the modern Silverado while adding in hardcore off-roading features, such as terrain modes, underbody skidplates, tow hooks, and more. The ZR2 even includes 33-in. mud tires and Multimatic DSSV dampers. And, it produces 460 lb-ft of torque, giving it plenty of power for off-roading inclines.
The 2022 Chevy Tahoe LT
From its early roots, Chevy has given us high-quality models for affordable prices. The 2022 Tahoe is further proof that you don’t have to dive deep into Chevy’s high-end trims to get technology features. The second-level LT trim offers fun features such as wireless device charging, a hands-free power liftgate, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Designed for family-friendliness, you can haul up to 8 passengers in the LT trim, just like you can with any other 2022 Tahoe model. We prefer the LT trim because it’s an affordable, base-level option that offers everything you could need, without the additional price.
Your Next New Chevy Model
So, which is the best Chevy model? That depends on who you ask and what their driving needs may be. You probably don’t care for a Silverado’s impressive tow ratings if you never tow anything. If you have kids to haul back and forth to ball games and after-school events, the Tahoe may seem like the premier Chevy. Need a simple work commuter? The Malibu and the Bolt will earn your affection.
Overall, this American-made brand is chock-full of historically dependable models. Sure, luxury brands take the cake in terms of performance ratings and luxury fittings, but Chevy’s affordable offerings with long-lasting value have undeniable mass appeal.