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2002 Chevrolet Astro

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2002 Chevrolet Astro Review

A functional minivan with the capabilities of a full-size van or truck.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2002 Chevrolet Astro is a three-door minivan that is also sold as the GMC Safari. Available in one length and two trim lines, what makes it unique is that it is built on a truck frame. Rear drive is standard for the minivan, but all-wheel drive is also available. The goal behind it is to provide the comfort of riding in a passenger van with the versatility and strength of a truck. As a result, it is a roomy van that has the highest towing capacity of any of its competitors. The launch saw little change from the previous year’s version.

The Range

Body Styles: three-door van
Engines: 4.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet Astro LS, Chevrolet Astro LT

What's New

The 2002 Chevrolet Astro changes very little from the previous year. The engine has been updated with a new multiport fuel injector to make the engine run smoother and improve its efficiency. The catalytic converter was also redesigned to reduce the emissions produced by the minivan. Other than these improvements under the hood, both trim lines are identical to those seen in 2001.


The 2002 Chevrolet Astro is built in only one body length on a truck frame and can provide seating for eight passengers. Entry to the rear of the minivan is through a sliding door at the side or cargo doors at the rear. With the LT, the rear cargo doors are Dutch doors. These doors have a one piece rear window that flips up and then the cargo doors below swing open. This type of rear door set up is available on the base model as an optional extra instead of standard side by side swing open cargo doors. The exterior is boxy looking, but as a result provides plenty of room on the inside. To ease entry and exit into the 2002 Chevrolet Astro, optional running boards can be installed.


The 2002 Chevrolet Astro has seating for up to eight passengers across three rows of seating. The front seats are two bucket seats, followed by two three-passenger bench rows of seats. Having bucket seats in the second row of seats is an option. Both the second and third rows of seats can be removed to increase cargo space as necessary, but it's bulky and heavy so this should be done by at least two people. The LT is the second and third row of seats are split row benches. Standard features found in the base model include air-conditioning, a CD audio system, power locks and windows, remote keyless entry, cruise control, a trip computer, and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Upgrading to the LT adds upgraded cloth upholstery, dual zone climate controls, and the option of leather seating and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Performance & Handling

The 2002 Chevrolet Astro is sold with a sole engine and transmission. Both models are equipped with a 4.3-liter V-6 engine and four-speed automatic transmission that provides 190 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is fitted with a tow/haul mode that improves performance when the minivan is towing heavy loads. A standard rear drive can tow up to 5400 pounds. Both in size and handling, driving it feels more like a truck or full-sized van than anything else. The V-6 engine provides plenty of power for accelerating from a stop and passing when at speed. Steering and handling is adequate but not as precise as that found in front-drive minivans. While the seats are comfortable, the ride can be bumpy when the roads are not perfectly smooth.


The standard safety equipment found in both models of the 2002 Chevrolet Astro includes anti-lock brakes and dual deployment front airbags. Side airbags and traction control are not available. Crash test ratings are middle of the board, and it scores lower than many of its competitors.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet Astro: 14/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Roomy interior for passengers and cargo
  • High towing capacity

You Won't Like

  • Dated style
  • Ride
  • Safety scores

Sum Up

A functional minivan with the capabilities of a full-size van or truck.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Dodge Caravan
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Toyota Sienna

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