1994 CHEVROLET S-10 EXTENDED CAB PICKUP
Used Truck - 1994 Chevrolet S-10 Extended Cab Pickup in Bedrock, Mn
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1994 Chevrolet S-10 ReviewThis car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale.
The actual numbers are more or less a secret, but it is an indication of the importance of the midsize truck segment that Chevrolet spent as much or more to market its new S-Series pickups as Chrysler spent to launch its entire LH car line.
The new S-Series pickups are attractive and comfortable, with interiors that are more car-like-driver and passenger-friendly-than their predecessors. While they still exhibit some of the choppiness that all midsize pickups seem bound to display, they ride better and perform well. They are worthy competition for Ford's successful Ranger series and for Dodge's Dakotas.
The S-Series Extended Cab Fleetside Pickup we tested carried a sticker price of $17,329. This tells us the days of a well-equipped midsize truck for $12,000 are long gone. Admittedly, though, our Apple Red/Silver Metallic Extended Cab Fleetside was extremely well-equipped and is price-competitive with the Ford Ranger and Dodge Dakota. Load capacity, interior room and optional equipment become the determining factors.
Chevrolet spent a lot of money on styling, and it is immediately apparent if you compare 1994 and 1993 models side by side. With a more rounded frontal profile, more glass, a raked windshield, a chrome grille integrated with the headlights, sculpted flanks and bold wheel arch moldings, the new edition makes a real styling statement. It also makes its predecessor look boxy, rather plain and even dowdy.
The look is a little bit in-your-face-pert, saucy. We like the styling a lot. We also like the Ford Ranger, but the two trucks seem to take different paths to the same result. The Ranger seems as if a custom shop took a factory product and made it better by tweaking things. The S-Series seems to have more integrated styling. We don't compare the Dodge Dakota here because its styling dates to the mid'80s and is due for a makeover.
Pickups often have that unfinished look around the lower body. Not true for the new S-Series. The sculpted sides integrate a new front bumper and rear step bumper. On our model, the sculpting was topped by a hefty black composite bodyside molding. One demerit here, though. The bodyside molding is too low to offer any real parking lot protection.
The first thing we noticed when we got in was that our ears popped when we shut the door. Chevrolet says that new triple seals for the doors are part of the improvements it has made throughout to manage road noise. The cab is exceptionally tight and quiet.
Inside, there is room with a view. Chevrolet has increased the glass area by 20 percent, and that increase is apparent. You immediately notice the additional rake of the windshield. Also noticeable is the increased hip, head and shoulder room in the cab. Chevrolet says it also increased the front seat travel but we would like even more fore/aft adjustment.
Our S-Series Extended Cab Fleetside Pickup had the LS Decor Package that included grey deluxe cloth and vinyl trim throughout. We also had the optional reclining highback bucket seats; an AM/FM stereo with CD player; tilt steering; speed control; power locks, windows and mirrors; and air conditioning.
Chevrolet has given the driver a door-mounting armrest that flows into the instrument panel. The console is huge for this size truck, with ample cup holders and storage bins. The bucket seats, with thicker, softer foam padding and lumbar supports, are comfortable but could be more supportive. Two center-facing-jump seats in the rear can carry passengers on short-very short-trips.
One nice feature included in the LS package is power outlets below the cigarette lighter for a cellular phone, a portable fax machine or laptop computer. Controls and gauges were well-placed. We liked the easy-to-use new heater controls. We don't like, and never will like, the Chevrolet system of putting the wiper/washer controls on the same stalk with the cruise control. It is awkward operating the cruise control when the wipers are on.
Included in our S-Series was one of the best sliding rear windows we've seen. It opened and closed easily, and sealed tight. Many of these windows leak air and water; not this one.
The cargo box has been made deeper for increased load carrying. Also, special notches permit two-tier loading. The pickup bed has drain holes and there are no exposed bolt heads to corrode or snag cargo. The handy step bumper is standard on extended cab models.
Overall, we give the new cab high marks for comfort and looks. Compared to last year's S-10, the transformation is significant. We think this is a midsize truck we could live with for a long time.
We noticed a big improvement in the performance of the 1994 S-Series pickup over a comparable 1993 model. There are three engine choices for the S-Series-a standard 2.2-liter 118-hp four, an optional 4.3liter 165-hp V6 and an optional 4.3liter 195-hp V6. Our truck had the higher -horsepower Enhanced Vortec V6 with Central-Port Fuel Injection. We also had the optional four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and the heavy-duty trailering equipment package.
Acceleration from a stop and from 35 mph to 55 mph was outstanding. Freeway merging and highway passing were accomplished very easily. Handling was another strong suit. The independent front suspension with coil springs provided a smooth, sure ride with little body roll. Bigger shock absorbers all around were partially responsible for this.
We drove on some washboard gravel roads and the unloaded rear end performed the usual sideways hop under lively going. This is characteristic of pickups and we didn't feel threatened by it.
The four-wheel anti-lock brake system is standard on all models with the enhanced V6. It was flawless in performance, producing straight-line stops under every road and weather condition (gravel roads, rain-covered pavement) we met. The system has front discs/rear drums.
The optional four-speed automatic transmission offered solid performance and a nice touch of gentility to our S-Series. It is smooth, with well-thought-out shift points, although we didn't try it with a load in the pickup bed. Power steering is standard on all S-Series models but we had a minor bone to pick with it. The ratio seemed a little slow to us, requiring more steering wheel movement than we like.
We enjoyed the new S-Series and think it should be formidable competition for the Ford Rangers. As mentioned, Dodge Dakotas are also in the mix, but they have more capacity and seem to be in a niche between full-size and midsize. If a midsize pickup seems to be the answer to your transportation needs, the new Chevy S-Series models look great, perform well and are comfortable and quiet. And, although they are priced competitively, they are pricey when loaded with options. After all, what isn't?.