The Chevy S-10 landed in American driveways in 1982 and continued to be a popular seller for Chevy until it was discontinued in 2004. This compact pickup has been sold under several other names including the S-15, the Sonoma and the Syclone. For a brief time in 1997 and 1998 this vehicle was even available in an electric version. The series continued after 2004 under the name of the Colorado.
Safety wasn’t very high on the priority list when Chevy was designing the S-10. There aren’t many safety features available on these trucks, particularly the older ones. They did have rear antilock brakes throughout the production cycle. But driver airbags are only available after 1995 and the passenger airbags did not make an appearance until 1998. These trucks largely predate modern side curtain airbags, so protection for any rear passengers is minimal. Modern cars feature all kinds of electronics to monitor tire pressure, prevent rollovers and improve stability overall. Unfortunately, the S-10 predates most of those advancements. The bottom line is that the Chevy is not likely to protect you very well in the event of an accident. For this reason, expect insurance premiums to be slightly higher than average.
The IIHS reviewed the 2000 S-10 and found that the protection levels and crash ratings bordered on dismal. A front impact rating of only 3 stars is matched by bumper quality that’s found to be marginal and restraints that were found to be poor. The safety cage was only of a marginal quality while protection for the head and chest was found to be good. Overall, the quality of the S-10 was not found to be conducive to protecting occupants in the event of an accident. This is the type of information taken into account by insurance companies, and it does lend to higher rates.
The interior of the S-10 is found to be built with poor quality materials that are prone to breaking. This is not only disappointing for the working man who needs a sturdy and beefy truck; it’s also problematic for insurance companies. The more likely things are to break, the more likely it is that they will break in an accident and be billed to the insurance company.
On the bright side, the S-10 was priced to be within the budget of the average working family. It was affordable for most people, even when brand new. Used versions continue to be an affordable choice for people seeking a car that will get them from point A to point B and allow them to load up plenty of cargo in the back. This low cost to replace means that the insurance companies overall liability for the truck itself is limited, helping to offset insurance premiums.
The second generation of S-10 is considered to be superior to the first. Available between 1994 and 2004, it gave buyers the choice of regular cab trucks, extended cabs and even crew cab bodies with both long and short beds. If you are considering choosing a Chevy S-10 for your next used car purchase, try to get a second generation model. The safety features are better, the options are nicer and the quality is higher overall. You can also expect to pay a little less for insuring these versions because of the slight improvement in safety features.