Used 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab Review
Edmunds expert review
Chevrolet makes a pretty good pick-'em-up if powerful engines are your thing. But it has a ways to go to match the Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra when it comes to the quality of the materials and assembly.
What's new for 2002
Chevrolet's Silverado has a reputation as a fast, comfortable and capable truck. With class-leading engine power and clean looks, Silverado offers innovative features that make it an attractive truck in the competitive world of half-ton pickups.
Two cab styles are available in three different trim levels. Regular cabs can be outfitted with Base or LS trim, while extended cabs come in Base, LS or LT. Base Silverados are best used as work trucks, as they come from the factory with a vinyl bench seat, rubber floor covering and few amenties. Mid-grade LS trim is the most popular, with upgrades like cloth upholstery, air conditioning, power windows and locks, cruise control, CD player, remote keyless entry and chrome exterior trim. Fully trimmed LT trucks add aluminum wheels, leather upholstery, the OnStar communications system and premium audio.
Several engine choices are available for the Silverado, ranging from a 4.3-liter V6 to a 5.3-liter V8. Most buyers select the mid-range 4800 and 5300 Vortec V8 engines, generating 270 and 285 horsepower respectively. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on regular cabs. Optional on that model (standard on extended and crew cab) is the venerable 4L60-E four-speed automatic, which features a tow-haul mode that improves shifting performance under heavy loads.
Holding all this together is a three-section frame that is very stiff and lightweight, giving the big truck a smooth ride and a quiet interior. State-of-the-art steering, suspension and braking systems help make driving the Silverado a joy. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are standard, and power rack-and-pinion steering (on models with a GVWR less than 6,400 lbs.) gives the big truck excellent road feel. Electronic traction assist is available on 2WD models for those who don't want the added expense and complexity of four-wheel drive.
Unique to the Silverado in the big pickup market is the availability of a PROTEC truck box on extended-cab 4X4s with the Z71 option. A factory alternative to an aftermarket bedliner, this all-composite box is 50 pounds lighter than its steel counterpart. It offers protection from dents and scratches along with superior resistance to corrosion. The tailgate is also lighter for easier opening and closing while its load-carrying capacity increases to 1,000 pounds compared to 600 pounds for the steel version.
Inside, Silverado buyers will find a logically laid-out interior, with an easy-to-use climate control system and clear, uncluttered gauges. The cabin is roomy, particularly on extended cab models. Standard rear doors on the extended cab make entry and exit to the rear bench seat easy, and if front passengers are willing to sacrifice a bit of legroom, the back of the extended cab is quite comfortable. Since the front seatbelts are mounted to the seats themselves, rear passengers don't need to chop through a web of straps to get in and out.
With its powerful range of V8 engines, wide lineup of cab and trim levels, and appealing styling, the Silverado should have no problem continuing its successful run in the highly competitive full-size truck market.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.