2003 Chevrolet S-10 ZR2 4.3 Vortec V6 from North America


ZR2 makes the best of the S-10


The heater control vacuum valve failed. It was replaced under warranty with no further problems.

General Comments:

This is a decently-built small truck with an aggressive stance. The factory ZR2 option turns the lackluster standard suspension of the S-10 into a viable performer on light to moderate trails. Front suspension travel is still an issue on more difficult trails, but that is a common ailment for most IFS 4x4s.

The 4.3 Vortec V6 could use a dose of horsepower, but engine vibration and noise encountered when the truck was new have now diminished as the 4.3 has broken in. K&N's excellent FIPK (Fuel Injection Performance Kit) and a Gibson exhaust have improved the performance somewhat.

Interior noise is higher than expected, with squeaks and rattles here and there, but I've found the seats to be very comfortable, especially on longer trips.

Overall, the ZR2 is a good offering, making a decent off-road performer out of the standard S-10.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th June, 2004

2003 Chevrolet S-10 Crew Cab 4.3 Vortec from North America


This is a very poorly manufactured vehicle


The truck chassis is very noisy and harsh. Squeaks, rattles and scraping sounds and clunking sounds plague this truck.

Interior sound levels are very high. Wind noise, and loose interior parts make this a very loud and unpleasant driving vehicle.

Drive train noise is the worst of the troubles. The 4.3 Vortec engine, in its current state, has become a habitual noise generator. Tappet noise, and built in design defects which causes engine knocking when started warm or cold exist. Balance shaft problems cause engine noise at all speeds.

General Motors has received thousands of complaints on this engine, and has yet to resolve the problem. The noise issues are intermittent, so dealership warranty redemption is very difficult.

General Comments:

GM acknowledges the noise problems.

GM refuses to address them with little more than assurance that "is poses no longevity issues."

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th May, 2004

6th Sep 2004, 15:08

That is funny, because I have a 2003 S-10 and I find that the 4.3 L is very quiet for a big 6.

Minor interior rattles, no drivetrain noise at all.

7th Sep 2004, 13:56

I also have a 2003, and the drive train noise just recently started. I get a loud winding noise that gets louder with my speed. Truck currently has 77K miles on it, until now, I haven't had any problems with the truck. Engine is still pretty quiet. Noise is coming from the rear.

2003 Chevrolet S-10 ZR5 Crew Cab 4.3 V6 from North America


All around great


Transmission filter came loose and jammed shift linkage. Dealer had it repaired in 5 hours and gave me a loaner.

General Comments:

I love it! Looks good and is useful. Very similar to a nice Blazer, but you don't get the interior dirty when you have to carry stuff.

Tows a 5000# 23' travel trailer without problems. Only eats a lot more gas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st January, 2004

27th Jan 2005, 14:16

The zr5 is a great truck. the only problem is the gas mileage, it is awful. this small truck handles the snow like a champ.

17th May 2005, 12:48

Love my ZR5 except for drive train noise at takeoff. Especially bad in summer with windows down. The 4' bed suits my needs and the truck looks great.

It draws a lot of attention for the styling and I rarely see another like it on the road.

Speed controlled radio volume is a pain so, turn it off.

Gets 16- 20 MPG depending and has ample speed.

Heated leather seats and mirrors are nice in the mid-west.

Lock your spare. Replacement rims are $524 (with a GM discount).

I know.

Good back seat room and comfortable. 4 door crew cab makes a world of difference.

I'd buy this vehicle again.

2003 Chevrolet S-10 LS ZR2 4.3 from North America


Thank god I didn't pay full retail price


Climate Control failed at 1,200 miles

Squeaking and poor handling on the highway.

Interior door panels are showing signs of cracks and may need to be replaced.

Very poor speakers, sounds like they are blown.

This vehicle is falling apart on the highway.

There is no way it would survive off- road.

General Comments:

I will never buy another chevy.

I miss my ford ranger

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th October, 2003

16th Oct 2005, 02:11

I recently purchased a used '03 S10 ZR5 crew cab. Although I like the looks of the ZR2 slightly better, this truck is cool to look at and has performed to my liking. I bought it in June of '05 with 23K miles and have put another 5K on it since them.

It's been a dream to own. Tell me... are there S10 ZR2 packages available in crew cabs??

25th Oct 2005, 09:40

I think your vehicle was abused before you owned it. It may have had a few, hard, off-road adventures. In any case, something must be seriously wrong with this truck if you think going back to a Ford Ranger(Mazda junk) will solve your problems! Don't put down a vehicle that has problems because of abuse and/or neglect.

9th Jun 2006, 10:03

TO the above comment Ford owns Mazda not the other way around.

20th Apr 2009, 13:18

Yes, its called the ZR5.

19th Dec 2010, 17:57

I posted this original complaint back in 2003 when I bought the truck new. I continued to have so many problems with it so I traded it in for a new f-150. Since then I have put over 350,000 miles on the Ford and have not had any problems other than normal wear and tear. Chevy fans simply don't drive enough to realize that Chevy's suck.

7th May 2013, 16:23

Since this Chevy I have owned:

(2004) VW Jetta TDI.

(2009) Toyota Matrix S.

(2005) Ford F150.

(2012) Mazda 3.

(2012) Toyota Tacoma.

26th Oct 2013, 19:03

All my cars since 2003:

(2003) Chevy S-10 ZR2 36,000 miles.

(2004) VW Jetta TDI 150,000 miles.

(2009) Toyota Matrix 30,000 miles.

(2005) Ford F150 86,000 miles.

(2012) Mazda 3 25,000 miles.

(2012) Toyota Tacoma 15,000 miles.

(2010) Toyota Tundra.

7th Oct 2019, 23:36

All my cars since 2003:

(2003) Chevy S-10 ZR2

(2004) VW Jetta TDI

(2009) Toyota Matrix

(2005) Ford F150

(2012) Mazda 3

(2012) Toyota Tacoma

(2010) Toyota Tundra

(2014) Subaru Crosstrek

(2017) Subaru WRX

(2008) Ford F150 XLT screw

(1995) Isuzu pickup

(2018) Chevy 2500 HD

2003 Chevrolet S-10 LS 4.3 from North America




Black paint over the whole truck looks like orange peel so bad you can't see your reflection in a BLACK truck! GM rep. supposedly said "it's normal". I told them I doubt they'd put this in the showroom. Can't get keys out when in park over and over. Dealer insulted my intelligence and said: "You have the key too far in Accessory." AC? rattles when has been running--even after shutting off. "It's normal" again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th August, 2003