The Chevrolet S-10 was one of the first compact trucks made in the United States and has gone through several changes during its 12-year production run. In 1996, a handy third door was added to the extended cab as an option. Consumers looking at the 1996 model who want more power and tighter handling can opt for the V6 engine, alloy wheels, and short suspension. The transmission choices included a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual. In 1998 the front styling was modified and dual airbags were added. In 1999, the S-10 was available only as a rear-wheel drive. The last update to the Chevrolet S-10 came in 2001 with a new four door crew cab model that had a five passenger capacity.
There are not many first generation S-10s (1982 - 1993) on the road in good condition unless they have been restored. You can find better value in second generation S-10's, produced between 1994 and 2004. During this time period, available options include 4-wheel drive, short or long beds, and regular and extended crew cabs. The Chevrolet S-10 remained a best seller for Chevrolet throughout its long run, in part because it was much more affordable than full-size pickups. As long as you do not need significant towing capabilities, a used S-10 is still a value compared to a larger truck like the Chevy Silverado.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested the 1998 - 2003 Chevrolet S-10 for moderate overlap front crashes and gave each of these model years a rating of "Marginal."
NOTEWORTHY ABOUT THE CHEVROLET S-10
- A 1992 Chevrolet S-10 won the 24 Hours of LeMons Judges Choice Award.
- The Chevrolet S-10 SS was introduced in 1994 as a higher performance version. Less than 3000 of these trucks were produced each year and only sold in three colors. The S-10 SS trim was discontinued in 1999.
- The Chevrolet S-10 could also be purchased in SUV form--the S-10 Blazer--in 1982.
- There has been some talk that Chevrolet has plans to bring back the Chevrolet S-10.