The stock exhaust on your truck is perfectly okay… However, when it comes to performance and sound you can get a much better experience with an aftermarket exhaust. You may be one of those truck owners who want to personalize their truck and get the very best out of it. So, you will certainly want to know which is the best exhaust system for a Chevy Silverado 1500 truck.
The great news is that there are a bunch of great options for you to consider.
We have put together a list specifically aimed to work with a Chevy Silverado truck so you don’t have to sort through every single product yourself.
Before we dive in, it is important to note that this list will direct you to great brands and options but we can only provide a general list without vehicle specifics. Before buying, check compatibility:
- Make and model (Chevrolet Silverado 1500 in this case)
- Engine (Silverado’s have all sorts of different engine options)
- Cab size and truck-bed size are also factors
As long as all the above are compatible with the exhaust, you are good to go. A great way to go about checking the above quickly and easily is to load your truck details into Amazon and then click on the following links to ascertain compatibility.
Additionally, fitting an exhaust system is not a simple task. You should make sure you have the required technical skills and know-how.
Or, simply take it to a shop to fit. You should be able to get it fitted for around ~$150 or less.
Now that we’ve covered our bases, let’s get into the meat of this article. Read until the end if you want to see which pick is our favorite!
Best Exhaust System – Overview
Below is a full list of some of the best options available to you, so you can get a quick overview before we dive into the detailed reviews.
|Borla ATAK Cat-Back Exhaust System|
|CORSA Cat-Back Exhaust System|
|MBRP Cat-Back Exhaust System, Pre-Axle Dual-Outlet|
|MagnaFlow 15267 Cat Black Exhaust System|
|MagnaFlow 15270 Exhaust System, Dual Rear Tire Exit|
|Gibson Performance Exhaust, Cat-Back, Dual Split|
|Flowmaster 717787 Chevrolet Exhaust System|
|Flowmaster American Thunder Cat-Back System with Aggressive Sound|
Best Exhaust System For Silverado 1500 – Detailed Reviews
1. Borla ATAK Cat-Back Exhaust System
The Borla ATAK Cat-Back exhaust system is an excellent and well-priced system. In case you were wondering, ATAK stands for ‘acoustically tuned applied kinetics’ and it refers to their patented muffler design which allows for better flow.
It is one of the top exhaust systems for 1500 Silverados. Additionally, the Borla Cat-Back exhaust system uses engine-specific silencers. These are designed, tested, and optimized specifically for the particular year, make, or model of vehicle. One of which is the Chevy Silverado 1500.
Borla tests and prototypes extensively to ensure that their exhausts provide the best sound, performance, and durability. Additionally, this system just looks good with those stylish exhaust tips.
CNC manufacturing ensures a perfect fit and a high-quality standard. Additionally, they manufacture their exhausts using aircraft-grade stainless steel.
- Borla ‘sound of power’
- Aircraft-grade stainless steel
- Patented ‘multi-core’ Muffler design provides better flow
- Designed to reach a million miles
2. CORSA Cat-Back Exhaust System
Aftermarket Cat-Back Exhaust systems are known to improve the sound of your truck and this one is no different. Corsa is a reputable brand operating in the US and you will definitely be happy with the roar you will get with this system.
It also has a really sleek-looking twin exhaust tip and let’s be honest, style is an important factor.
They boast that you will get an aggressive sound that is drone-free. They have patented what they call ‘Reflective Sound Cancellation’ technology which is what allows for a drone-free experience by eliminating low-frequency resonance.
It is built from 304 stainless steel which has high amounts of chromium and nickel. This provides better corrosion resistance which is desirable when it comes to vehicle parts.
As this is just a cat-back exhaust installation should be simpler than replacing the entire system but you will still get the benefit of increased horsepower.
- No-drone, ‘reflective sound cancellation’ technology
- Aggressive custom tuned sound
- Easy bolt-on installtion
- 304 stainless steel construction
3. MBRP Cat-Back Exhaust System, Pre-Axle Dual-Outlet
This is a more affordable option but it still packs a punch in the performance and sound department. It is a pre-axle variation which means it will stick out to the side of your vehicle before the back tire so if you have a running board installed make sure there is room for it. Otherwise, MBRP also has regular options that exit through the rear of your truck.
It is made of T304 stainless steel which is commonly used in exhaust manufacturing. It is a soft and durable material that is bendable, weldable, and provides great corrosion resistance.
This exhaust system is designed to increase airflow and keep exhaust temperatures low. So, with these features, you are not only getting a performance increase but also better fuel economy.
Additionally, you get improved sound with the exhaust system providing a deep rumble. Bolt-on installation is painless and simple.
There is also a version with black coated tailpipe and tips which is worth looking at from a stylistic perspective.
- T304 stainless steel
- Increaed Fuel efficiency
- Increased HP due to better airflow
- Deep rumble exhaust sound
4. MagnaFlow 15267 Cat Black Exhaust System
This system is made in the US and it is excellent all-round. From performance, sound to durability, you cannot go wrong with this exhaust system.
The performance gains are proven with extensive Dyno testing so you can be sure that you will get increased HP. Furthermore, it is made from quality stainless steel which has been manufactured using CNC machining. Thus, fitment and quality are highly dependable.
MagnaFlow has also designed this system to enhance the external sound to a moderate level. They do so without sacrificing internal sound comfort. Thus, you will get the rumble you are looking for at a comfortable level for you and your surrounding drivers.
Finally, the polished design and shapely exhaust tip, finish off this product as an all round success.
- Polished stainless steel, preventing corrosion
- Heavy duty clamps
- Dyno tested power gains
- Great external sound with comfortable internal sound
- CNC machining for quality and longevity
- Limited lifetime warranty
5. MagnaFlow 15270 Exhaust System, Dual Rear Tire Exit
The Magnaflow 15270 Cat-Back exhaust system is another great option for your Silverado.
This includes all the great benefits we have seen with the previous MagnaFlow exhaust including the quality material, manufacturing, sound improvements, and design. The only difference is that it has a dual tailpipe and exits before the back passenger tire.
If that is the style and exit type you’re looking for, this is a great option.
- Bolt-on installation
- Heavy duty clamps
- Polished stainless steel
- Great balance between external and internal sound
- Dyno-tested power gains
- Limited lifetime warranty
6. Gibson Performance Exhaust, Cat-Back, Dual Split
At an affordable price, this Gibson exhaust system provides style and performance. The black ceramic tips are visually appealing and you will get increased horsepower and more miles per gallon.
Gibson uses a superflow muffler which produces a rich deep sound from your exhaust. While the sound will not know your socks off it is adequate especially at higher rev.
If you are looking for something mellow and affordable that doesn’t skimp on performance this may be the right choice for you.
- Gives a deep, rich and throaty sound
- T304 stainless steel
- lifetime limited warranty
7. Flowmaster 717787 Chevrolet Exhaust System
If you are looking for a more aggressive sound along with your performance gains, this Flowmaster may be up your alley. It has an aggressive to moderate exterior sound level due to its straight-through performance muffler.
This exhaust system, like a lot of the others in this list, is mandrel-bent for optimum performance and airflow. Not to mention, the installation is easy and simple.
Tt is manufacture using 409S stainless steel which accounts for its lower price. The reason being, this type of stainless steel will not last as long as 304 stainless steel and will begin to get surface rust over time. The rust should not penetrate the tube but it will not look as good.
On a more positive note, the black ceramic tips are aesthetically pleasing. This exhaust system will exit in front of the back wheel.
- Black ceramic tips
- Moderate-agressive sound
- 409S stainless steel
- More affordable price
8. Flowmaster American Thunder Cat-Back System with Aggressive Sound
We had to include this Flowmaster variation because it has all the great features that we covered above but with dual split tailpipes.
So, as before, you are getting an aggressive sound, performance increases, fuel economy and with those stylish stainless steel tips, you get visual appeal as well.
This is a bit more of a beast than the option above but it is another great option for a 1500 Silverado. So, it is definitely worth your consideration.
- 409S stainless steel
- Loud exterior volume but quieter cabin volume
- Lifetime Limited Warranty
Exhaust System Buying Considerations
In order to make sure you choose the exhaust system that meets your needs, you should have a look at the aspects you’ll want to consider before buying:
This was covered briefly in the introduction but it is worth mentioning again. You need to make sure that the exhaust system is compatible with your Silverados year, engine, cab size and truck-bed size.
Furthermore, you will also have to choose between a single rear-exit tailpipe, duel rear-exit tailpipes, or a side-exit tailpipe.
When in doubt about compatibility, Amazon has a helpful function that allows you to load your vehicle details to check if the part fits.
There are numerous manufacturers that produce a variety of exhaust systems. So, it is helpful to note which brands are reputable and which are not.
The brands we included in this article are all reputable so you do not have to further research. For ease, here is the list of exhaust brands you can trust:
Each of these brands should have an exhaust system that will fit your specific Chevy Silverado 1500/ So, if the ones we reviewed specifically aren’t compatible you will certainly find something similar that does.
A louder, deeper, and more beastly roar is likely what you want when you upgrade your exhaust system. There are different levels though, from moderate to aggressive.
Furthermore, some exhaust systems are better at balancing the external volume and the internal volume.
You simply need to evaluate how aggressive you want your exhaust to sound. Then choose an exhaust system that aligns.
A single note of warning – you should also take into account the environment you live and drive. Be careful if there is a chance you can get into trouble for disturbing the neighborhood with your overly loud and aggressive exhaust.
Material and build Quality
Most of the options above are made from 304 stainless steel. It is a great metal for exhaust systems that is corrosion resistant and durable. However, there are also 409 stainless steel options that will not last as long but are cheaper.
Furthermore, bent pipes are going to provide better airflow than welded pipes.
On top of all that, some of the options are made using CNC machining. This is a superior manufacturing method because of its robotic perfection so you will get a longer-lasting product that fits better.
Those are your main three considerations when it comes to materials and build quality, so pick wisely. If money is no object, it may be worth it to go with the most upmarket option. At the very least, go with the most quality option, you can afford.
Exhaust tips are the part of the exhaust that you see. It is not hidden underneath the body of your car.
Therefore, in our opinion, this is worth your consideration. This may not be a huge concern for you but a sleek, stylish exhaust tip can boost the appeal of your vehicle.
Look out for shapely slants, polished steel, black ceramic coatings, etc. for some of the sexier options.
You can expect to pay between $500 and $1200 for a decent exhaust system. It may sound like we are harping on about this but it’s best to choose the best you can afford.
There is a strong correlation between price and material quality so if performance and longevity are important (and they should be) a more expensive option may be worth it.
Be careful when it seems like you are paying for brand appeal instead of actual quality. if you follow the advice above about material and build quality you will not be duped.
Finally, if you are not going to be installing the exhaust yourself, you need to factor in an extra $150 or so.
Most of the options in this list simply require bolt-on installation so they are not massively complex. They are all cat-back exhaust systems meaning that they only include the parts after the catalytic converter. Therefore, you are not replacing the entire system so the process is slightly simpler and quicker.
However, if you have zero experience with modifications like this and little impetus to learn, you may want to outsource the installation.
This video should help you get a sense of what the installation process is like for a Silverado 1500:
Reading some of the customer reviews can also help you assess the options available to you. Often customers will provide helpful information about their experience with installation.
Furthermore, they may provide their assessment of the sound, performance, and MPG improvements they experienced.
Some Common FAQs
What are the different components of an exhaust system?
The exhaust system is made up of a whole bunch of different parts that serve different functions. The main components are as follows (starting from the engine):
- Catalytic Converter
- Back pipe (may include a resonator)
- Tail pipe(s)
- Exhaust tip(s)
There are many variations of exhaust systems and sometimes the order of each part is slightly different. Regardless, this image should provide you with a general sense and at the very least, a visual, to aid your understanding:
What does “cat-back” mean?
Cat-back refers to everything in the exhaust system that follows the catalytic converter. This usually includes the back pipe, muffler, tailpipes, and exhausts tips.
So, a cat-back exhaust is a system that only includes the component above or everything behind the catalytic converter.
Which exhaust system sounds the best?
This is a bit of a subjective question as exhaust systems usually sit on a spectrum between moderate to aggressive sound. If one had to pick the best sounding exhaust system it would be one that produces a deep, rich moderate-aggressive sound. When you rev it should sound powerful.
Therefore, the Borla or Corsa options may be the right picks.
What is the loudest truck exhaust?
The loudest is most likely the ‘Flowmaster American Thunder” which is the most aggressive sounding exhaust system on this list. It’s right there in the name…American Thunder!
How can I improve the sound of my exhaust?
The easiest, cheapest and most effective way to improve the sound of your exhaust is to replace the Muffler. The muffler is the component of your exhaust system that largely controls the sound of your exhaust so switching to a performance muffler will go a long way. This is especially true if you currently have an OEM muffler installed because they are generally designed to absorb as much sound as possible.
You may also see some improvement replacing just the exhaust tips especially if your current tips are worn.
Finally, you can also drill holes in your exhaust system which brings us to our next question:
Does drilling holes in exhaust make it louder?
Yes, it certainly will make it louder. As we mentioned above, the muffler is responsible for dampening the sound from the exhaust system. Drilling holes before the muffler will allow sound to escape. This will create a louder more aggressive sound.
If this interests you, this article provides details on how and where to drill.
Can I install an exhaust system myself?
You definitely can. You will need some technical skills or the impetus to learn but cat-back exhaust systems are generally bolt-in. Therefore, no modification is required and your truck should already have all the requisite holes for fitment.
Does a loud exhaust use more fuel?
No, it doesn’t. There is little correlation between the two. However, replacing your exhaust system with a performance cat-back option as we include in the above list will likely improve your fuel economy.
Often, with a performance exhaust, your MPG (miles per gallon) will increase so you are actually using less fuel.
How much horsepower will a performance exhaust system add?
Cat-back exhaust systems like the ones on this list can certainly improve performance. The reason for this is because these types of exhaust systems allow for a better flow of exhaust fumes. Thus, reducing the amount of pressure put on the engine as it expels fumes.
To answer the question though:
The result is an improvement in both horsepower and torque. You can expect a horsepower gain in the range of 5 -10%.
An aftermarket exhaust system provides a whole host of benefits from better sound, fuel economy, performance, and style. An exhaust system upgrade for your Chevy Silverado is no different…
If you want to reap the benefits, we have covered some excellent options that will provide the upgrade you are looking for.
As long as you make sure the exhaust system you buy fits the exact vehicle specs of your Chevy Silverado 1500, you should have no problems. Furthermore, since these are cat-back exhausts, installation is generally ‘bolt-on’ and fairly simple.
The reason being,
They are both manufactured to a high standard with CNC machining. Both have been tested for proven performance. The sound improvement is great and you can’t forget about the stylistic impact of those tail tips.
As usual, though, go with the best you can afford. This list has great options in a variety of price ranges so you are sure to find the right option for you.