Vehicle Overview
Chevrolet’s compact pickup truck sees only a handful of changes for the 2003 model year, including a new fuel-injection system for its 4.3-liter V-6 engine. The seats and door panels get new cloth trim. During the 2002 model year, a Flame/Heat decal was added to the Xtreme models and a ZR5 Sport Appearance Package became available for the Crew Cab trucks.

Two-wheel-drive (2WD) models may be equipped with either a four-cylinder engine or the 4.3-liter V-6, while four-wheel-drive (4WD) trucks come only with the V-6. A rear-hinged third door is standard on the driver’s side of extended-cab versions. Chevrolet also offers regular-cab models and a Crew Cab body, which has four full-size front-hinged doors. GMC’s Sonoma is closely related to the S-10.

For 2004, the new Colorado midsize pickup will replace the S-10, which has a long history in Chevrolet’s truck lineup.

Chevrolet’s compact pickup is offered in four configurations. Regular-cab models have a 6-foot cargo bed, come only with 2WD, measure 190.1 inches long overall and ride a 108.3-inch wheelbase. The 2WD regular-cab Long Box S-10 rides a 117.9-inch wheelbase and stretches to 206.1 inches long overall. Extended-cab models also have a 6-foot bed but are offered with either 2WD or 4WD. Crew Cab 4x4 models have a 4.5-foot bed. Extended-cab and Crew Cab pickups are 204.8 inches long overall with a 122.9-inch wheelbase.

Sporty exterior packages attract younger buyers. The Xtreme Sport Suspension Package imparts a low-rider look with a ride height that’s 2 inches lower than normal. Said to be “for those who want to turn heads as they zip down the road,” the Xtreme pickups are fitted with 270-degree ground-effects body components and a front air dam with fog lamps. Striping is optional. The ZR2 Wide Stance offroad package for the extended-cab 4x4 has “ZR2” decals and includes Bilstein shocks, 31-inch on-/offroad tires and extra-wide argent wheel flares. A new ZR5 option for Crew Cab trucks includes black aluminum bed rails, side steps, a roof rack and wheel flares.

Regular-cab models seat two or three occupants, extended cabs hold three or four people, and Crew Cabs are built for five passengers. Seating choices include bucket seats, a three-place front bench in either vinyl or cloth and a split front bench with a folding center armrest. Extended-cab models add a folding rear jump seat. Crew Cab models have two front buckets and a three-place rear bench seat. Air conditioning and a tachometer are standard.

Under the Hood
2WD pickups have a standard 120-horsepower, 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine. Most buyers choose the 4.3-liter Vortec V-6, which is standard in 4WD models. The V-6 produces 180 hp in the 2WD installation and 190 hp with 4WD. A five-speed-manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional, but Crew Cab models come with the automatic gearbox only.

Crew Cab models come only with the Insta-Trac 4WD system, which allows push-button shifting between 2WD and 4WD on the move.

Dual front airbags, antilock brakes and daytime running lights are standard.

Reported by Jim Flammang  for
From the 2003 Buying Guide
Posted on 1/29/03