In reaction to the trend of vehicle downsizing for better fuel mileage of the early 1980s, Chevrolet created the S-10 compact truck. In 1994, the Chevrolet S-10 underwent a complete redesign consisting of a rounded front end and enhanced performance. A substantial upgrade to the S-10 occurred in 1998 model of the pickup truck that was available as a regular or extended cab body style. With the extended cab model, a third door was optional providing easier access to the rear seat area.
Engine choices for the Chevrolet compact pickup truck consisted of a 120-horsepower 2.2-liter four-cylinder and a 4.3-liter six-cylinder engine generating 180 horsepower. With the V-6 engine, the S-10 is offered with both two-wheel and four-wheel drivetrain systems. Presenting the S-10 with a lowered suspension, 16-inch wheels and other race-like enhancements, the SS package gave the truck a sportier appearance. For 1998, the Chevrolet S-10 added a passenger-side frontal airbag as standard equipment. In 1999, the SS package was renamed the Xtreme package presenting the same performance-oriented aesthetic appeal.
Increasing ground clearance for better off-roading, the Chevrolet S-10’s ZR2 package rode on 31-inch all-terrain tires supported by a suspension featuring Bilstein components. The 2001 model year introduced the addition of the first Chevrolet S-10 to feature four doors. The 205-inch long 2001 S-10 Crew Cab was exclusively equipped with four-wheel drive powered by the six-cylinder engine. The bed of the Chevrolet S-10 boasted a two-tier loading design and standard tie-downs for optimum load management. For 2004, the Chevrolet S-10 was only offered with the Crew Cab body style. After 22 years on the market, the Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck concluded production after the 2004 model year. The medium-sized Chevrolet Colorado replaced the S-10 in 2005.