Acceleration as a subset of performance is determined by the power-to-weight ratio, and that could be all over the board in the S-10 game because of the myriad iterations. As it did (and does) with the full-size trucks, Chevy built an amazing number of configurations. There's the standard cab (no back seat, no storage to speak of), an extended cab, and, beginning in 1996, a third, driver's side door on those models.

By 2001, Chevy had followed the then-current small-truck trend with a four-door crew-cab iteration. There are many, many trim levels: Choose from Base or LS, plus variations like the Wide Stance, Xtreme, ZR2 (big tires and 4WD), in addition to suspension options.

The S-10 had mechanical issues, prompting four brake-system-specific recalls. Owners also rate the early trucks' brake feel as subpar. Through 1997, the S-10's fuel-injection system is said to be troublesome, as are the transmissions and transfer cases in the 1995-2002 models.

While the first S-10 in 1994 is currently valued slightly above the outgoing Toyota Pickup, it significantly lags behind the next year's offerings, when Toyota introduced the Tacoma, particularly where 4WD trucks are concerned. (The Toyota has dramatically better resale.) Overall, the S-10's value remains close to the Ford Ranger's, making the larger, more-powerful Chevy an enticing choice.


1994-2004 CHEVROLET S-10
Body type Two-, three-, or four-door pickup
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD
Airbags Dual front
Engines 2.2L/118-120-hp SOHC I-4; 4.3L/155-195-hp OHV V-6; 4.3L/170-190-hp OHV V-6 (1996-on)
Brakes, f/r Disc/drum or disc/disc, ABS
Price range, whilesale/retail (est) $775/2175 (1994 regular cab, short bed, 2WD); $8475/$12,600 (2004 crew cab, 4WD)
Recalls Too many to list; see www.intellichoice.com
NHTSA frontal impact rating, driver/pass Three stars/three stars