2002 Chevrolet S-10 3dr Extended Cab LS 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl 4A)
My friends and I have owned s10's since we were old enough to drive. I bought my 02 s10 for $3800.00 with 168k on the odo. Since that time it has towed my boats, pulled trucks 3 times its size off the beach, been loaded with 1500 lbs of concrete blocks for home improvement projects, spent a good deal of time off roading in the hills of KY, and all the while took me an additional 72,000 miles. I have now passed the truck to my brother who uses it every day. I can't say enough good things about it. It is completely bulletproof. There is a good reason you see so many of these things on the road to this day. There is nothing on the road today that posesses the rugged simplicity of the S10.
Smooth shifting reliable automatic transmission. This is the most reliable transmission out there. Sure other transmissions have 5 and 6 speeds but the s10 makes the most out of its 4 gears. Cruises at 70mph at approximately 2000 rpm which is within the torque band for towing.
Repair parts for the s10 are plentiful and cheap. Any part that is needed to repair a S10 is available at any auto parts store. Parts are significantly less than other trucks in the class.
4.3L V6. Any mechanic will tell you this is one of the most reliable engines made by any manufacturer. It may not be the most efficient but it is smooth and delivers torque at low rpm's which is perfect for towing.
Cabin materials- All hard plastic. All pieces have gaps between them. Then again its a truck. What do you expect.
Stock stereo- I would suggest replacing with any aftermarket along with the speakers
Electronic Transfer Case motor- If you use 4 wheel drive often this will go out and need to be replaced.