1999 Chevrolet S-10 Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Sleek styling, fuel-efficient base engine, stout optional V6, sporty Xtreme model handling.
  • Spotty build quality, inferior-grade interior trim, low seating positions.
List Price Estimate
$1,161 - $2,426

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Like most of today's compact trucks, Chevrolet's S-Series has been growing more car-like, especially since its last redesign in 1994. That's the trend, and Chevy has done a good job of transforming its small-scale pickups into everyday vehicles, without blurring their identity as practical machines. Riding smoother and handling better, they gained plenty in performance and overall refinement, ranking closer to their main competition, Ford's similar-size Ranger. Grasp the S-10's long manual-transmission gearshift lever and it's easy to imagine you're piloting a big rig, while enjoying the blissful comforts of a compact.

Four-cylinder models need that manual shift to gain top performance, but the two V6 engine options are strong with either manual or automatic transmissions. For maximum output, the optional 180-horsepower L35 Vortec 4300 V6 is the engine to select (190 horsepower in 4WD models). But the slightly less- energetic LF6 Vortec 4300 V6 is no slouch, thanks to 175 horses and 180 pounds-feet of torque.

Extended cab models can be equipped with a handy access panel that opens wide to allow for easier access to the rear of the cab. Located on the driver's side, this optional third door deletes one of the extended cab's jump seats, but makes it much easier to load cargo, a friend, or your pal Spot into the S-10. But be warned, the third door makes for aggravating rattles on broken pavement.

Two- and four-wheel-drive trucks come in several configurations, with a short or long bed, a Fleetside box or Sportside box, and a short or extended wheelbase available. Ride comfort varies from car-smooth to strictly firm, depending on the choice of suspensions and tires.

Headroom is ample and seats are supportive, but the driver sits low, facing a tall steering wheel and cowl. In theory, three people fit across an S-Series bench seat, but only someone as slim as TV's Ally McBeal could fit comfortably in the space allotted. Surprisingly, the extended cab's rear jump seats are comfortable enough for short trips, as long as only one adult occupies the space behind the front seats.

The full complement of gauges is excellent and easy to read, but the upright dashboard is constructed of cheap- and brittle-looking plastic. Despite a low-height windshieldnot unlike the Ranger'svisibility is super, helped by huge mirrors. Dual airbags and daytime running lamps are standard, as well as a theft deterrent system four-wheel ABS. Off-roaders will want the burly ZR2 package with its wider track and taller ride height, featuring special wheel flares, tough suspension components and aggressive rubber.

New this year is the Xtreme package, which can be had as a regular or extended cab, with a Fleetside or Sportside box, a four- or six-cylinder engine, manual or automatic transmission, and in base or LS trim. Riding on a special ZQ8 suspension that is lowered two full inches, the two-wheel-drive only Xtreme aims to be a factory sport truck that can be custom-tailored to meet a variety of needs and budgets. No matter how you configure it, Xtreme stands out from the crowd with body-color grille and bumpers, front air dam with fog lamps, full ground effects with wheel flares and unique 16-inch aluminum wheels wearing P235/55 blackwall tires. While we'd pick an extended cab LS Sportside with the V6 and a five-speed, this truck rides sports-car firm and handles superbly any way you package it.

Also new for '99 are improvements to the automatic transmission and outside mirrors, plus the addition of a content theft alarm, headlamp flash-to-pass feature and three new exterior colors. There's even a new lockout provision that prevents the doors from locking if you inadvertently leave your keys in the ignition.

Like many Chevrolets, the S-10 is loaded with value, but we've never quite warmed up to it. Occasional squeaks and rattles and the low-buck interior don't provide the feeling of brawny quality that we've experienced in the S-10's major competitor, Ford's Ranger. With further refinement in this year's S-10, maybe more test drives will help win us over.

1999 Highlights

An all-new sport package called the Xtreme debuts. All S-10s get automatic transmission enhancements to improve sealing and durability and larger outside mirrors with an optional power-heated mirror. Other changes for '99 include a content theft alarm, headlamp flash-to-pass feature, three new exterior paint choices and the availability of GM's AutoTrac electronic push-button transfer case on select four-wheel-drive models.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Chevrolet S-10.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Bullet-proof engine and tranny, but....
hamhock,11/15/2011
I've owned this truck for 8+ years and am generally happy with it. I replaced the alternator in 2006, but the biggest problem has been the fuel pumps. As of 2011, the truck is on its 3rd fuel pump. Local mechanic says Chevy/GMC fuel pumps burn out every 5 years or so, and as the fuel tank needs to be dropped (or bed removed), it is a very expensive ($700-$1200) repair due to labor costs. Recently, an exhaust manifold bolt failed due to corrosion, but it was a quick and easy fix. Overall, this truck is pretty solid. It's old, but the engine, clutch and transmission have been trouble-free. It would cost too much to replace, so a few hundred bucks a year sure beats a monthly car payment.
Love this truck!
Budget Tuners,12/27/2006
This is a truck I have wanted for a while now and I finally got it back in Aug of '06. I got a '99 with the 2.2 5speed and I love it. I put an intake and exhaust. Sounds great, runs great. Power for the mods I have on it aren't bad. Looking to get more out of it soon but all and all a great truck to customize. A lot of parts that change out and soon I'm going to lower it a bit and put rims and tires on it. Love this truck. Best truck I have had
IMPRESSED TOTALLY
RANCE H. GREGORY,02/27/2003
THE 1999 CHEVROLET S-10 I HAVE HAD FOR THE PAST 4 YEARS IS A FUN WELL, WELL BUILT AND A GOOD PERFORMER WITH THE 4.3 V6. I STILL ENJOY GETTING IN IT EACH DAY AND DRIVING IT. IT IS THE 1ST NEW VEHICLE I HAVE EVER OWNED THAT I STILL LIKE IT AS MUCH AS WHEN I FIRST PURCHASED IT,
4th S-10
Dale,06/05/2010
Great truck, no complaints, no break downs, this truck had over 270,000 highway miles and nothing other than tires, brakes shoes, and fluids replaced. sporty look, and great color code for 99.

Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
180 hp @ 4400 rpm
MPG
20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
120 hp @ 5000 rpm
MPG
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
180 hp @ 4400 rpm
MPG
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
180 hp @ 4400 rpm
See all Used 1999 Chevrolet S-10 features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver2 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Marginal

More about the 1999 Chevrolet S-10

Used 1999 Chevrolet S-10 Overview

The Used 1999 Chevrolet S-10 is offered in the following submodels: S-10 Regular Cab, S-10 Extended Cab. Available styles include LS 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS Xtreme 2dr Extended Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS Wide Stance 3dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), 2dr Regular Cab LB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS 2dr Regular Cab LB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS 2dr Extended Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS Wide Stance 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS Xtreme 2dr Extended Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), LS 2dr Extended Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), and LS Xtreme 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 1999 Chevrolet S-10?

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Find a used Chevrolet S-10 for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $9,862.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 Chevrolet S-10?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Chevrolet lease specials
Check out Chevrolet S-10 lease specials