Starter failed at approximately 3,800 miles. It could not have happened at a more convenient place though. I drove the truck home from work and was getting ready to drive it again that evening and it would not start right in front of my house. At first I thought it was an electrical system failure, but after trying all of the lights, radio, blower, etc. I new it had to be either the starter or fuel pump. I called the dealer the next morning. They sent out a tow truck to pick it up and called me a few hours later to tell me that a terminal had come lose or broken off of the starter solenoid. It didn't cost me a dime except an extra trip to the dealer to pick it up that afternoon. Very good dealer service. Not one problem since.
This S10 pickup was the first new vehicle I had ever purchased. My main reason for buying it was the fact that I had cash incentives from my GM Mastercard and GM was offering additional incentives at the time. Also my trusty old Toyota pickup was not doing too well and I needed somehting that got better mileage and cold weather performance. My 1989 Toyota truck was a carbureted model, one of the last, and time had gotten the better of the carb which no mechanics know how to tune anymore. 18 mpg and severe cold start problems were too much to bear.
Anyway I actually had a genuine need for a pickup other than cummuting to work. I used to go hunting and shooting quite a bit up until about 2 years ago when my son was born and now I hardly go at all. I also do lots of home improvement projects where hauling lumber and other bulky building materials comes into play. There is no substitute for a pickup here.
I bought the base model S10 with an AM/FM CD stereo as the sole option. It has the 2.2 four banger, 5 speed manual transmission, no carpeting like all pickups should be and that's about it. The truck did come standard with lost of nice features like air conditioning, intermittent wipers, full gauges including tachometer and cloth seats. I like the automatic headlight switch and I rarely ever use the manual switch.
The interior is fairly roomy for the driver for a small truck, but the foot room on the passenger side is very cramped and there is a prominent bulge in the footwell. The dashboard seems overly large as well. Maybe this is to accomodate the dual air bags, but I'm not sure. The a/c is powerful as is the heater and the stereo has great speakers for a standard unit and very good reception.
The 120 hp 4-cylinder engine is pathetic. It is terribly underpowered for such a heavy small truck at almost 3500 lbs. with the Leer shell. It has an almost flat power band. You can barely detect when the torque peaks unlike in my old 102 hp Toyota where you could definitely feel the relatively low end torque kick in. The engine is quiet at idle and starts right up even in extreme cold, but it is harsh and noisy under even mild acceleration. Then there is the disappointing gas mileage. It struggles to get over 23 mpg in combined driving and has only gotten over 27 mpg once on an extended weekend highway trip. You have to keep it at 65 mph or less to get decent mileage. It is EPA rated at 22 city and 28 highway, but it achieves neither mark. My Toyota truck would routinely get 25-26 mpg combined driving and near 30 mpg highway driving with a carbureted engine and straight 4 speed manual until the carb went bad.
The suspension while providing a soft and mushy ride does not provide for decent handling or load hauling capability. The rear sags badly even with mild loads of around 500 lbs. or so. Trucks should have firm suspensions, but I guess GM caved in to buyers who want them to be cars. Here is my message to those buyers - Go buy a damn car if you want a cushy sissy ride.
It has been slightly over 5 years since I bought my S10 and I have only racked up a tad over 31,000 miles since my wife and I carpool to work 99% of the time. I only had one maintenance issue in that time which I consider acceptable. It receives regular maintenance, but still has mostly original parts including tires, brakes, belts and hoses so my operating costs have been almost entirely gas. If I had to do it over again I would have gotten a full size pickup. In exchange for an extra $35.00 on my monthly payment I would received much more plus greater resale value. S10's have the worst resale of any pickup there is. I plan on trading it in this summer so we'll see what I can get for it. I may just sell it outright.