For the first time since 2004, the S10 nameplate returns to North America after GM unveiled the all-new 2023 Chevy S10 Max late last year, as its new entry-level midsize truck for Mexico. Made in China by SAIC, the S10 Max is a wholly new vehicle in the Chevrolet catalog, completely unrelated to the long-standing Brazilian market Chevy S10, which shares close relation to the international market Chevrolet Colorado.
While the Brazilian S10 is a locally made version of the Chevrolet Colorado we get here in North America, the made-for-Mexico S10 Max shares absolutely nothing with our domestic midsize trucks–it’s a rebadged SAIC Maxus T70 as sold in China. This is the first time GM will sell a made-in-China pickup under the Chevrolet brand, the 2023 S10 Max is also the first third-party Chinese vehicle rebadged and sold with a bowtie on the grille.
S10 Max shoppers in Mexico will have a choice between two available engine options. There’s a naturally-aspirated 2.4L engine good for 158 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque, the lone transmission is a five-speed manual. The other choice is a turbocharged 2.0L engine good for 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, transmission choices are between a 6-speed manual as standard equipment or an 8-speed automatic. The truck will be available with 4×4 capabilities as well.
In order to satisfy the versatile demands of the Mexican market–and better compete with the Nissan NP300–the truck will be offered in Chassis Cab, Regular Cab, and Crew Cab configurations. The S10 Max offers a payload of 2,205 pounds, in comparison, the U.S market Colorado manages 1,543 pounds with its 3.6-liter V6 engine.
Inside, upmarket versions of the 2023 Chevy S10 Max will feature a 10-inch multimedia screen compatible with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, automatic air conditioning with rear vents, keyless access, push-start ignition, cruise control, and semi-leather seats. There are also six airbags, stability control, parking sensors, and a backup camera.
Could this truck be successful in North America as a low-cost option? That all depends if GM thinks it should sell three midsize body-on-frame pickups in the USA, the 2023 S10 Max is in the same ballpark size-wise as the current Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. The smaller Ford Maverick may be finding popularity with buyers, but it only offers limited capability, and in one body style. Such is the tradeoff of a unibody design.
Pricing of Mexico’s new Chevy S10 Max is not yet available, but considering its utilitarian origins, we imagine something like this modest machine would be an attractive choice for anybody who just wants an honest new truck. Theoretically, it would allow the Chevrolet Colorado to play more upmarket (where it’s made its name for itself with the ZR2 and ZR2 Bison), as a cheaper Chevrolet S10 Max would serve as a viable fleet-focused pickup with minimal frills and an attractive price to avoid unfavorable levels of cannibalization. Hey, it’s working for the Maverick, after all.