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1999-2007 Chevy Silverado Review




 

 

 

 

 

The second best selling truck in America behind the Ford F-series, the 1999-2007 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500 pick up trucks are an equally excellent choice of a 1/2 ton pick up truck.  1999 was a big change for GM pick up trucks.  1999 brought a new body style and interior to market along with the new LS style engine platform.  These changes had the potential to leap frog GM trucks past Ford for the best selling  pick up truck but several factors like pricing, incentives and other factors interfered and the government bail out in the 2000s did not help sales either.  Regardless, sales numbers don't necessarily indicate a better vehicle.  Just like in politics, some people are brand loyal no matter what.  Then there are people like me, loyal to no brand.  There are a lot of good vehicles out there and I won't let brand loyalty prevent me from owning or at least test driving them.  This article applies to both the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra 1500 pick up trucks as they are essentially the same truck with the only differences being name badges and slight cosmetic differences.

 

The body style change from boxy to smooth & sleek in 1999 was definitely a step in the right direction for GM.  The front end shares a similar appearance to the Suburban, Tahoe and Yukon front ends.  In 2000 GM came out with the 4 door extended cab which was a nice feature and allowed entry to the rear seats on either side of the truck, not just the passenger side like previous years.  The only real issue I see with the exterior of these trucks is rusting of the rocker panels and cab corners.  Rocker panel rust is real common on this body style but typically the rust is only cosmetic and limited to the outside layer of the rocker panel.  I don't think I have ever seen one of these trucks that rusted into the door jam area of the rocker panel or interfered with anything other cosmetic appearance.  If you can catch it before the rust eats holes or even before the rust starts, sand paper and a can of spray in bed liner will considerably extend the life of the rocker panels.  What I have done in the past is scuff the paint on the rocker panels with 180 grit sand paper.  If there is any surface rust, sand it completely off and use a grinder or Dremel if you have to.  Tape off the door, fender and any other area you don't want painted with bed liner.  Then apply several coats of the spray in bed liner which when dry will protect the rocker panels from stone chips, road grime, salt and anything else damaging.

 

The interior was another change that offered improvements over the preceding model.  The seats became more comfortable, the dash was restyled and leg room improved slightly, especially in the extended cab rear seat area.  All accessories are well located and easy to access.  There were several interior packages offered with options in seat material, heated seats, upgraded climate control systems, Bose stereo system, available console, overhead console, integrated HomeLink garage door remote, steering wheel mounted radio controls, driver information center, moon roof and various other features and options.  Some of the packages did get a bit confusing over the years.  For a while LT trucks had leather interior but a some point their were multiple LT packages (LT1, LT2 and LT3) and all of them had different options included and I believe leather was only included in the LT3 package.  Options for the rest of the truck is the same so make sure you research the different packages and what is included before purchasing one of these trucks.  GM was nice enough to put a sticker in glove compartment with RPO codes for the vehicle.  That sticker has a code for everything the truck is equipped with from axle ratio to seat material to engine and everything in between.  The integrated HomeLink garage door opener system which is in the front of the overhead console is a very convenient feature. The HomeLink system has 3 buttons that can be programmed to garage doors, remote lighting and just about anything else that is remote controlled.  The ride quality of these trucks is possibly one of the best for half ton trucks in this era, partly due to the independent front suspension.  The interior is fairly quiet going down the highway and the seats are comfortable which makes long trips in these trucks a breeze.  For anyone purchasing one of these trucks, I would suggest looking at the models with a center console unless you need a front bench seat or your specific needs dictate otherwise.  The center console offers a large storage well between the seats that is lockable in most models, a smaller storage area under the dash, and two cup holders and some open storage between the two.  From what I've seen, the center console models usually are equipped with a Bose sound system as well (starting in 2003 I believe).  The extended cab and crew cab models also have decent storage under the rear seat.  There is enough room to keep jumper cables, small tool kit, blanket, flash light, snow brush and a few other items.  Like the Tahoe, Yukon, Suburban and other models from this era, the Silverado and Sierra suffer from plastic finish chipping on trip pieces and the stereo and tearing of the seam on the door side of  the driver seat.

 

 

1999 was the introduction of the LS style V8 engines which are far superior in many ways to the previous V8 engines.  There were four different engines offered in these trucks consisting of a 4.3 liter V6, a 4.8 liter V8, a 5.3 liter V8 and a 6.0 liter V8.  The most common engine in these 1/2 ton trucks was the 5.3 liter V8 with power ranging from 270hp in 1999 to 310hp in 05-07.  The 5.3 is a perfect balance of power and economy with plenty of power to pull with and the ability to get good fuel mileage.  The 6.0 liter was more common in the 1500HD series but did also find its way into some standard 1500 trucks.  The drivetrain in these trucks are built solid and very reliable.  As long as you maintain the truck, you can expect to see in excess of 250,000 miles without any major engine or transmission  problems.  With age and mileage it is common to have valve cover gaskets leak on these engines.  I have seen many exhaust manifolds crack also.  Like the GM big SUVs, there is a common problem with the rear brake disc dust shield rust and deterioration which is not a big deal.  My opinion is this era of trucks are equal to or better than Ford or Dodge trucks due to many reasons including power, fuel economy, comfort, styling and options.  Opinions aside, if you are in the market for a truck I doubt you will be disappointed with a Silverado or Sierra.

 

 

 

 

 

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