What's New for 2002
The standard Vortec V6 gets multi-point fuel injection for better overall drivability, while the rear axle now receives a standard dose of synthetic gear oil for reduced heat buildup and longer bearing life. Keyless entry is now included on Safari with power locks and a new gray cloth interior available as options.
With their body-on-frame construction, standard rear-drive layout and stout 5,800-pound trailer towing capacity, the Safari is one of the few minivans that is suitable for fleet use. The Cargo Van model is offered with a stripped-out interior ready for upfitting into a workhorse service van -- complete with tool racks or parts bins. All-wheel drive is optional, providing superior traction for companies who can't have their trucks stranded when the weather gets ugly.
GM's 4300 Vortec V6 is standard, sporting a new multi-point fuel injection system for better overall drivability in all conditions. The 4.3-liter powerplant sends 190 horsepower and a healthy 250 pound-feet of torque to an electronically controlled four-speed automatic overdrive transmission equipped with a tow-haul mode for improved performance under loads. Long-life engine coolant and spark plugs help keep maintenance costs to a minimum.
Safety concerns are addressed by dual airbags and standard four-wheel antilock brakes. Additional features, such as speed-sensitive power steering, delayed interior lighting, overhead reading lamps, various built-in cupholders and storage bins, and three power outlets make the Safari a work van that still offers plenty of creature comforts and convenience.
Insiders say that Safari's days (and those of its Chevy Astro sister) are numbered. But for now, whether your choice is simple rear-drive or full-time all-wheel drive, Safaris are still the smart choice for anyone looking for a tough minivan that can handle the rigors of day-in and day-out work duty without a whimper.