Todays truck market is more fragmented than a crystal chandelier that took the quick
way down from the Empire State Building. Few trucks demonstrate this fact better than the
2001 Chevrolet S-10 Crew Cab 4x4. There was a time when, if you wanted a pickup, your only
choices were "furrd" or "chebby".
Of course, if you were shopping for such a vehicle, you were undoubtedly a
farmer, a laborer or a tow truck company owner. For you an "array of options"
consisted of whether or not you chose to pay extra for a rear bumper, a spare tire or a
Today the two best selling vehicles in the United States are both trucks.
There is a truck for every need, a configuration for every whim. Whereas once a pickup was
an engine compartment, a two-door cab and a bed with the absolute minimum number of
frills, it has recently metamorphosed into a vehicle with so many variations that it
"Active Lifestyle" is the latest buzzword to come from
Detroit. Various manufacturers, from Nissan to Ford to, and in this case, Chevy, are
trying to target the needs of this ambiguous group by offering "crossover"
versions of their various products. What this usually means is they make a vehicle
thats half pickup and half sport utility, but one that does neither job particularly
In the case of the S-10 Crew Cab, it does an admirable job of
satisfying both halves of its personality, but it suffers from concessions made in the
melding of the two. Case in point: the rear seating area and the cargo bed.
Though all four of the Chevys doors open in the conventional
fashion, the rear doors open just enough to squeeze into the rear seat, making entry
difficult for anyone who is not featured in a Calvin Klein ad. And unless the front bucket
seats are being occupied by Lilliputians, rear bench seat legroom is almost nonexistent.
Looking at this vehicle from the outside makes it clear that the Crew
Cab was added by slightly lengthening the cabin and shortening the cargo bed. For those of
you out there who are big fans of hauling standard sheets of plywood, Im afraid
youll be disappointed. But for you "Active Lifestylers" out there (whoever
you are) the Crew Cab will happily swallow as many Power Bars and spandex shorts that
youd care to cram back there within its standard bedliners walls.
I suppose its not fair to fault the Crew Cab for these
shortcomings. After all, this truck was not aimed at construction workers or longshoremen.
In fact, it is my impression that the rear seat is not meant for people at all, but to
offer a warm and dry place for active people to put their active stuff in.
With that in mind, dont let its small stature fool you, for
this truck is packed to the gunnels with standard features and has the goods to pound
pavement or travel trails with equal aplomb.
The Crew Cabs sole engine is a Vortec 4300 V-6. Its 190 bhp
allows the truck to tow a respectable 5,200 lbs., while returning a class-average 15 mpg
city/18 mpg highway. Thanks to the small size of the S-10 platform, this engine produces
some sprightly performance throughout the rev range, never leaving the driver wishing for
Helping to put that power to the pavement is a standard 4-speed
automatic overdrive transmission coupled to Chevys shift-on-the-fly Insta-Trac 4x4
system. Seamless in its operation, the system allows you to enter four-wheel-drive without
stopping and getting your hands dirty. Also standard on the Crew Cab is the Z85 Increased
Capacity Suspension package that, though it does harshen the Crew Cabs ride on
pavement, helps the truck to handle corners and cargo with ease.
Chevy has equipped its Crew Cabs with so many standard features, in
fact our Space Blue test truck had just about every option Chevy offers, but added only
$682 to the price. For that money we got a locking differential on the rear axle, fog
lamps, a "premium" stereo with AM/FM/Cassette/CD, digital clock with speed
compensated volume, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Just about the only option not
on this truck is an available Cold Climate Package, but this being California, its
not really necessary.
Standard equipment on the Crew Cab includes fabric upholstery, air
conditioning, four-wheel ABS, dual front airbags and two packages that are optional on its
other S-10s: The Power Convenience Group, which includes power door locks, power windows,
power remote exterior heated mirrors and remote keyless entry; and the Comfort Convenience
Group, which includes Tilt-Wheel steering column and cruise control.
On the outside, the Crew Cab boasts standard color-keyed/chrome front
and rear bumpers, a body-color grille with chrome center bar, body-side molding and
five-spoke cast-aluminum wheels with P235/70R15 tires, all of which add up to a
sharp-looking vehicle with just the right combination of off-road toughness and
Overall the Crew Cab is an easy vehicle to live with. Provided you do
not need to haul a great number of people or anything larger than a La-Z-Boy, the Chevy
can handle any task you can throw at it. Driving the pickup over long distances is no
problem as its cabin is well appointed and well laid out. There are several "power
points" throughout the interior into which you can plug your electronic equipment,
and cubbyholes and cup holders abound.
Chevrolet is calling the S-10 Crew Cab a "limited-availability" vehicle. With
an MSRP beginning at $25,494 and our almost fully loaded test price of $26,051,
thats not surprising. With prices like that, Im sure sales of this jam-packed
little pickup are going to be just as active as the lifestyles of its buyers. . By Andrew W. Davis © AutoWire.Net - San
Chevrolet Home Page
Byline: By Andrew W. Davis © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Column Name: A Truck for the "Active Lifestylers" out there
Topic: 2001 Chevrolet S-10 Crew Cab 4x4
Word Count: 1040
Photo Caption: 2001 Chevrolet S-10 Crew Cab 4x4
Photo Credits: Chevy Internet Media
Series #: 2001 - 11
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