A lot of cars have been given the name Thunderbird over the years. To the point that no one really takes it seriously any more. Ford gives the T-bird its dignity back in the 2002 model year. The 2002 Ford Thunderbird offers an incredibly attractive vehicle with many design accents that give a much deserved nod to the past. While not a sports car, the 2002 T-bird offers a relatively comfortable ride and sufficient power. Whether sitting in the driveway or on the road, the Thunderbird gets plenty of attention.
Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 3.9-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Ford Thunderbird Deluxe, Ford Thunderbird Premium, Ford Thunderbird Neiman Marcus Edition
Until the 2002 model year, the Thunderbird had been absent from the Ford lineup. It reappears this year with a nod to the classic 1950s T-Birds in a two-seat roadster design.
The 2002 Ford Thunderbird gets a lot of attention. It provides a unique blend of the past and the present. The body style of the Thunderbird recalls the T-birds from the 1950s and the designers certainly do their jobs well. This roadster looks elegant with the details from yesterday. The front end and grille look rounded and retro, with round headlights as well. The rest of the body appears sleek. This roadster comes equipped with a bolt-on hardtop as well as 17-inch alloy wheels. Available in three distinct trim levels, the T-bird comes in several color choices. Some of the most popular options include Inspiration Yellow, Torch Red Clearcoat, and Thunderbird Blue.
With such an impressive body design, it only stands to reason that the 2002 Ford Thunderbird should have a comfortable and exciting interior design as well. It certainly doesn’t offer a lot of space as a two-seat roadster. If you have been inside a Lincoln LS, the design of the dash and instrument cluster should look familiar. The Thunderbird has white-faced gauges that look appealing with this car’s overall appearance. For the models with leather seats, the driver’s seat offers adjustable lumbar support and six-way power adjustment. Black interior comes standard in the 2002 Thunderbird, but Ford offers a package that allows customers to choose seats in the same color as the exterior of the car, permitting for true customization of the model. The steering wheel, lower instrument panel, and shift knob receive the same color options as well. Customers also get the choice to use contrasting colors for the interior.
Performance & Handling
All trim levels of the Thunderbird come equipped with a 3.9-liter V-8 that offers 252 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a five-speed automatic transmission, the 2002 Ford Thunderbird offers a reasonably comfortable ride and performance. However, do not expect sports car precision. The Thunderbird rides on an all independent suspension system with a short long arm design. Especially with the optional traction control system, the T-bird does well in all types of weather.
Ford makes every attempt to ensure the safety of occupants in the 2002 Thunderbird. The 2002 Ford Thunderbird comes equipped with head and chest side airbags. This marks the first time these airbags show up in a Ford convertible. The passenger-side airbags can be deactivated to accommodate children in the car. It also comes equipped with child seat anchors that can be changed to accommodate the child’s specific seat or booster. A traction control system remains optional.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Thunderbird: 15/22 mpg city/highway
- Bolt-on hardtop
- Nice, smooth-running V-8
- Attractive body design
- Based on the Lincoln LS platform
You Won't Like
- No manual transmission option
- Possible expense
- Lincoln’s less-than-impressive five-speed automatic
Great looks and plenty of style.
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