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1999 Chevrolet S10

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1999 Chevrolet S10 Review

A capable compact pickup truck with car-like qualities that is well-suited for day-to-day driving.

Reviewed by Automotive on


Since it was given a major redesign in 1994, the Chevrolet S10 has been growing more car-like. The 1999 Chevrolet S10 is a great example of a compact pickup truck that while very capable for practical working tasks is still ideal for everyday driving. With a smooth ride and capable handling, it's more refined than even its immediate predecessor and available with a number of different engine choices. These consist of a four-cylinder and a choice of two different V-6s. The most formidable of these is the L35 Vortec 4300, which is rated at 180 horsepower in two-wheel-drive models and at 190 horsepower in four-wheel-drive versions. There is also a slightly less-powerful LF6 Vortec 4300 VF-6 that’s rated at 175 horse and delivers 180 lb-ft of torque.

The extended cab version sees the addition of an access panel that opens up easier access to the rear of the cab. This is essentially an optional third door that makes cargo loading easier at the expense of one of the extended cab version’s jump seats. The 1999 S10 is available with two-wheel or four-wheel drive and in a number of different configurations. These include a short bed, a long bed, a Fleetside box, a Sportside box, and short or extended wheelbases. The S10 is also available in one of two trim levels: base model or LS.

There are a number of extra packages available for the 1999 S10. These include the ZR2 off-road package, which includes a wider track, taller ride height, special wheel flares, a toughened-up suspension, and aggressive-looking rubber additions. The new Xtreme sports package is available for both regular and extended cab models. Opting for it sees the addition of a special ZQ8 suspension, a body-color grille, front air dam, foglamps, wheel flares, and 16-inch aluminum wheels.

The Range

Body Styles: pickup
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder, 4.3-liter V-6, 4.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual with overdrive, four-speed auto with overdrive
Models: Chevrolet S10 Base 4x2 Regular Cab 6 ft. box, Chevrolet S10 LS 4x2
Extended Cab 6 ft. box, Chevrolet S10 LS 4x2 Regular Cab 6 ft. box

What's New

For 1999, Chevrolet introduces a sport package known as the Xtreme. Automatic transmission enhancements are made to all S10 models. Additionally, larger exterior mirrors are added, and there is an optional power-heated mirror now available. A content theft alarm has also been added, as have headlamp flash-to-pass features, and three new choices for exterior paints. GM’s AutoTrac electronic push-button transfer case is also available on select 4WD versions.


Exterior features for the 1999 Chevrolet Prism include standard black bumpers, as well as available body-colored and chrome bumpers for select models. Rear step bumpers are standard across all models as are body-colored fender flares and black grille moldings. Dual manual exterior mirrors are also standard and there is an option for dual power remote heated ones.


Inside, the 1999 Prizm offers plenty of headroom and supportive seating. However, on the downside, the driver seat is low, especially in relation to the S10’s tall steering wheel and cowl. Also, while the S-Series’ bench seat ostensibly seats four, the middle occupant would have to be thin in order for this to be accomplished comfortably. Gauges are well laid out and easy to read. Also many of the plastics utilized in the interior’s construction are fairly low-grade.

Performance & Handling

One of the great things about the 1999 Chevrolet S10 is the car-like ride quality and driving experience it provides. Ride comfort varies from model to model and is largely dependent on the choice of tires and suspension. In order to maximize performance, four-cylinder models should be paired with a manual transmission. However, both V-6 engine options perform well with either manual or automatic transmissions. The 180-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 is particularly capable, and when equipped with that engine and the new Xtreme package, the 1999 S10 takes on many of the characteristics of a factory sport truck.


1999 Chevrolet S10’s standard safety equipment includes dual airbags, daytime running lamps, and a theft deterrent system. There is also a standard ignition immobilizer and an available option for a panic alarm.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet S10, 2.2-liter four-cylinder, automatic: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet S10, 2.2-liter four-cylinder, manual: 20/26 mpg city/highway Chevrolet S10, 4.3-liter V-6, automatic: 15/20 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet S10, 4.3-liter V-6, manual: 15/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Base model engine gets good mileage
  • Sleekly-styled
  • Optional V-6 offers good power
  • Superior handling with sporty Xtreme model

You Won't Like

  • Build quality is inconsistent
  • Interior trim made from low-quality materials
  • Seating is positioned too low

Sum Up

A capable compact pickup truck with car-like qualities that is well-suited for day-to-day driving.

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