Used 2002 Chevrolet S-10 Review
Now eight years old (that's, like, 80 in people years), the Chevy S-10 is in desperate need of a redesign. That's coming, and soon. But for now, this middling edition is on sale. Try the Dodge Dakota, Ford Ranger, Mazda B-Series or Toyota Tacoma on for size instead, pardner.
Like most of today's compact trucks, Chevrolet's S-Series offers the practicality of a pickup with a smaller, more manageable size that makes it a viable small car alternative. With three body styles, two trim levels and two different engines and transmissions, the S-10 is sure to be sold in a combination that will work for you. Two-wheel-drive S-10s come in either regular or extended-cab body styles. The standard engine is a 2.2-liter four-cylinder rated at 120 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque mated to a five-speed manual transmission, with a four-speed automatic optional. If a four-wheel drive S-10 is your preference, you can choose between an extended or crew cab body style. The standard engine on these models is a 4.3-liter Vortec V6 with 180 horsepower and 245 lb-ft of torque (250 on 4WD). A five-speed manual transmission is standard on extended cabs, while the four-speed automatic comes standard on crew cabs and optional on extended cabs. The 4.3-liter Vortec V6 is also an option on both 2WD S-10s.
The S-10 comes in two trim levels: base and LS. Base trim gets you features like dual airbags, an AM/FM stereo, four-wheel antilock brakes and power steering. Upgrading to the LS trim level will add full carpeting, dual power outlets, deluxe cloth upholstery, an upgraded stereo system, as well as additional optional features not available on base models.
If you want an S-10 with a little more attitude, check out the ZR2 or Xtreme options packages. The ZR2 turns an extended cab 4x4 into a serious off-road machine with a wide stance suspension, 3-inch-taller ride height, Bilstein gas pressurized shocks and 31-inch off-road tires. On the other end of the spectrum is the Xtreme package available on both regular and extended-cab 2WD S-10s. This package drops the truck 2 inches, adds ground effects, a quick ratio steering box, Bilstein shocks and optional full-length stripes for the ultimate street machine look.
All S-10s feature a full complement of easy-to-read gauges, but the upright dashboard is constructed of cheap- and brittle-looking plastic. Despite a low-height windshield, visibility is excellent, aided by huge side mirrors. This year, extended-cab models get a standard third door for easier access to the rear seats. Although there are two jump seats in back, space is limited, so rear passengers will be comfortable for short trips only.
Like many Chevrolets, the S-10 is loaded with value once price is taken into account, and with so many configurations to choose from, you're likely to find a pickup that suits your needs and wants. While we're not thrilled with its low-buck interior, especially compared to its main competitor, the Ford Ranger, the S-10 does have a commanding exterior presence in either ZR2 or Xtreme form that's sure to turn some heads.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.