2000 S-10 New Car Test Drive
Once upon a time, a pickup could be a truck and just a truck. No longer. Today, pickups are being used as cars with big open trunks. Sure, you can still by a base Chevrolet S-10 with vinyl seats and full-floor vinyl covering, and many are purchased just that way for the hose-out convenience of commercial users.
But most Chevy S-10 buyers gravitate to the LS model. With its full carpeting and velour 'Deluxe Custom Cloth' seats, it's much more like that 'other' car in the driveway, except that other car won't bring home sacks of manure or carry an ATV in its trunk. The S-10 LS can do either and still provide car-like comfort - or close to it - even with four-wheel drive. Chevy's Xtreme attracts attention everywhere it goes. Whenever we're driving this slammed S-10 pickup, young dudes shout 'Nice truck!' Or give us the thumbs up or otherwise express their approval. No question, it's the lowered stance, ground effects bodywork, wide tires and general street rod appearance.
Just as important, its price puts it well within grasp, making it a popular choice for lovers of hot-rod trucks.
There are two basic models in the S-10 pickup line, the rubber-floormat base model and the LS, which offers full civilian comfort.
That's only the beginning, however, as the S-10, like most pickups, comes in a variety of configurations. Both are available with either conventional rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The regular cab 2WD S-10 is available with in short box, long box and extended cab versions that span wheelbases of 108.3 inches, 117.9 inches and 122.9 inches respectively. The 4x4 models come in regular cab short box or extended cab models only. The standard engine on 4x2 models is a 120-horsepower 2.2-liter four-cylinder with a 5-speed manual transmission. A 180-horsepower 4.3-liter V6 is an option on 2WD S-10s; all 4WD S-10s come standard with the V6, which is tuned to produce 190 horsepower. A 4-speed automatic is optional with either engine.
Two option packages are, as far as we are concerned, separate models unto themselves: the Xtreme, a low ride-height highly styled cruising truck, and the ZR2 Wide Stance Sport Performance Package that, with a higher ride height, wider track and even a stronger frame, is ready for the toughest of off-road duties. The Xtreme is essentially a rear-wheel-drive S-10 pickup that's been lowered two inches; it comes with the ZQ8 suspension and ground effects bodywork. (Look for our review of the standard S-10 pickup.) The Xtreme Sport Appearance Package is available with Base trim or LS trim. You can order it as a Regular Cab or Extended Cab in either Fleetside or Sportside body styles. (Sportside bodies feature stylish exposed fenders and a narrower pickup box. Fleetside bodies offer a standard-size bed with internal fenders. Base trim is only available with a Regular Cab Fleetside body.)
The Xtreme package includes the upgraded dash package with a tachometer and a nice leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Preferred Equipment Group (which retails for $3,236) bundles the Xtreme package with floor mats and an AM/FM stereo; a CD player can be added for $180. High-back bucket seats are a $291 option, as are tilt-wheel and speed control ($395). A third door is available for extended cab bodies for $295 and sliding rear window is available for $120. A Power Convenience Group, including power locks, mirrors and windows, remote keyless entry and content anti-theft are another $795.
A well-optioned Xtreme with the 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine ranges from $15,199 to $18,624. A V6 adds about $1,350 and we drove one equipped this way that retailed for $23,422.