For many years in the 1990s Chevy sold over 250,000 S-10 pickups a year. It was an extremely popular little truck. Now, there’s an all-new S-10 pickup, but Chevy won’t sell it in the US. at least, not yet.
The S-10 Max will be sold in Mexico, but built in China
The last year of S-10 production in the US was in 2004. In 2005 the Chevy Colorado replaced it. But the S-10 name continued in other countries, including Mexico, where this new S-10 has been introduced. But if you thought that because it is available in Mexico, it’s made in Mexico, you would be wrong.
This new S-10, called the 2023 S-10 Max, is made in China by SAIC, GM’s Chinese subsidiary. While there is also a Brazilian S-10, it is almost identical to the Chevy Colorado. So they’re the same in name, they’re different trucks on different continents.
The S-10 Max is really the Chinese SAIC Maxus T70 pickup. So this becomes the first vehicle made in China rebadged with the Chevy Bow Tie bonked onto it. And while the Chevy Colorado has a 1,543 lb payload, the smaller S-10 Max has a 2,205 lb payload.
Chevy’s S-10 Max comes three ways
The S-10 Max competition is the Nissan NP300. So to compete, it will sell three offerings; a Chassis Cab, Regular Cab, and Crew Cab. But in the US, how would it compare with the Ford Maverick?
For starters, there are two engine options; a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter with 158 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The other engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter banger with 210 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. What, no electric version?
The turbocharged engine can be hooked to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. Only a five-speed manual transmission is available for the 2.4-liter engine. All of the above can be optioned with 4×4 capability.
Chevy has nothing in the US in the Ford Maverick segment
Inside, a 10-inch multimedia screen is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capable. Automatic air conditioning with vents in the rear, keyless entry, push-start ignition, cruise control, and semi-leather seats are all available in the higher trims. Stability control, parking sensors, a backup camera, and six airbags are also part of the deal.
So the S-10 Max compares favorably with the Ford Maverick, but as of now, GM doesn’t see it selling here. As an entry-level offering, we think it would. At a lower price than the Colorado and Canyon, it captures the market for a basic pickup that is also a body-on-frame platform. It has some safety features and options that keep it from being a bottom-dwelling stripped truck.
So what does Ford know that GM isn’t seeing?