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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Pickup Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Pickup Overview

Tough, Tried and True

Chevy's venerable Silverado 1500 continues to be one of the best selling trucks in the country and the best selling vehicle in the GM fleet.

The Silverado pickup line is wide and varied. You can choose a regular or extended cab, long or short bed, fleetside or sportside box and half-ton or three-quarter ton configuration. There are four engine choices, including three different V8 engines and one V6. All models offer the availability of four-wheel drive and trim levels—base, LS and LT—range from basic to black tie. For hauling ability plus passenger room, we chose to test the Silverado 1500 LT extended cab with the short box. Our test vehicle came equipped with a 4800 Vortec V8 engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission.

If you select a similarly equipped truck, you will find it to be a very well equipped and powerful pickup, well suited for duty as both a utility vehicle and a daily driver. You'll find the interior of the Silverado to be refined and comfortable, with wide, flat seats that are soft yet supportive. The dash design places most of the controls squarely within the driver's reach; for the most part, they are clearly marked and easy to find, even at night. And in what must be a testament to the endurance of the cassette tape, the LT comes standard with an excellent AM/FM/CD stereo that includes a cassette deck isolated in the upper portion of the center console. You will appreciate the small center horn and four spoke design of the steering wheel once you drive the Silverado; not only is it easy to find a comfortable place to rest your hands, but its open design allows the driver an unobstructed view of the dashboard switches and gauges.

On the extended cab Silverado, a rear-facing second door opens out to allow easy access and egress of passengers and cargo. When both front and rear doors are fully opened the entire cab is exposed, with no pillars or seatbelt straps to hinder loading. (The front shoulder belts are built into the sides of the front seat.) Rear seat passengers have ample legroom, though the bench seat is a bit on the short side when it comes to thigh support. We give Chevrolet a big thumbs-up for placing two rear-seat headrests in front of the glass rear window, a feature that protects the head and neck of the rear seat occupants in the event of an accident. When it comes to safety, the Silverado is well equipped and includes high-strength side door beams, driver and front passenger airbags and a cutoff switch for the passenger side airbag.

The strongest asset the Silverado possesses is its engine and drivetrain. The 4.8-liter Vortec engine is an outstanding example of how a V8 engine should be built. Even though its basic design is somewhat dated (it does not have an overhead cam, for example) it still manages to pump out 275 horsepower, offers excellent acceleration and is nearly silent when operating. And considering the Silverado's brick-like aerodynamics, the 4.8 still manages to attain surprisingly decent fuel mileage. GM's electronic four-speed transmission gets the credit for keeping the rpm low when running at cruising speed, further decreasing the amount of fuel the engine consumes.

The Silverado's steering is light, with modest feedback to the driver but the brakes get excellent marks and pedal feel is rock solid. It should be noted that different wheel and tire packages will affect the way the Silverado feels on the road, so you may want to test drive a variety of setups before making your final choice. For the true off-road enthusiast, Chevrolet offers the Z71 package, which includes upgraded wheels and tires, gas shocks, additional skid plate protection and an upgraded suspension.

Base models are aggressively priced, yet nicely equipped. The base 1500 comes standard with a V6 engine, automatic transmission, daytime running lights, air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, driver's message center and swing-out quarter windows on extended cab models. The LS and LT add even more comfort and convenience items, but also increase in price exponentially. Chevy also offers a long list of options and upgrades, including matching hard and soft tonneau covers for the bed, bedliners and tie-down accessories and tubular side-step rails.

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