2002 Dodge Viper Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Exotic car performance, head-turning looks, value priced.
  • Lack of refinement, old-tech design, easy to spin.
List Price Estimate
$10,341 - $21,695

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With a new Viper set to debut for 2003, fans of the current version should visit their Dodge dealer soon, as the '02s are expected to sell out fast.

Vehicle overview

Designed to be the modern incarnation of the Cobra, the Viper debuted at the 1989 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a show car. Enough people wrote to Chrysler requesting street versions that plans for production of the rakish roadster were set into motion soon thereafter. Viper was introduced for public sale in 1992, and became the darling of the automotive press, not to mention high-profile stars like Jay Leno and Kelsey Grammer (who flipped his).

A preview of things to come from Chrysler, the success of the Viper revitalized a company that many thought wouldn't last through the middle of this decade. It also paved the way for future concept-car-turned-production-car models, including the Plymouth Prowler and Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Dodge introduced the GTS Coupe midway through 1996. The 8.0-liter V10 was substantially reworked, featuring a new block, new heads, shorter cooling jackets and a revised sump. These changes resulted in a 35-horsepower jump, bringing peak numbers to 450 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque. Not only more powerful, the revised motor, found in both the coupe and roadster versions, is 85 pounds lighter than the one in the original RT/10.

Inside the Viper, analog gauges and dual airbags greet serious drivers, who have the much-appreciated option of adjustable pedals. Power windows and door locks are standard, as is ABS for the first time in Viper's history; but traction control and dynamic stability control are still not available. The interior is dominated by cheap-feeling plastic, and the seats are virtually nonadjustable. Getting into the car requires a waiver from a chiropractor, and getting out could result in singed legs due to the exhaust pipes being routed within the car's lower rocker panels.

For those individuals who need more than the standard Viper's 450 horsepower, a race-oriented ACR coupe edition is available in limited numbers. These fire-breathers gain an extra 10 horsepower and lb-ft of torque through the use of minor engine modifications while weighing slightly less than their GTS brethren. The ACR also comes with upgraded suspension components, 18-inch BBS wheels and massive Michelin Pilot Sport tires. Zero-to-60 times of 4 seconds and a top speed near 190 mph bear witness to the fact that this is a very special Viper. Despite the fact that Chrysler added air conditioning and a CD player to the ACR's option list back in 2001, we feel this car is best suited for weekend track duty rather than public highway hijinks.

Certainly it's got obvious ergonomic shortcomings and a lack of overall refinement, but the Viper is chock-full of character. The look and sound offer a classic take on modern sports car philosophy. Those "enthusiasts" who like their performance doled out in user-friendly fashion should look elsewhere (can you say Z06?). Those seeking the ultimate in exotic-car performance at less than an exotic-car price will find the Viper a bargain. Truly, Chrysler Corporation has created an American icon that rivals the Corvette's claim as "America's Sports Car."

2002 Highlights

Nothing's new except for an available color scheme on the GTS: Graphite metallic with silver stripes.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 Dodge Viper.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

awsome!!
jew,05/11/2002
RT/10 2dr Roadster (8.0L 10cyl 6M)
horsepower is really great i love the car so much its brand new i cant wait to drive it more
Viper RT10 Review
Review,08/11/2003
RT/10 2dr Roadster (8.0L 10cyl 6M)
Fantastic car for it's purpose. It's a street legal race car and built just for that purpose. The drive is exciting, powerful, and fun. Not a real good car for long trips. Simplicity is a positive with this car. Pure power and muscle. Probably the best money for the shear attention the car brings. The removable top could be a lot easier to handle, but most of the time it's off the car.
2002 final edition
berry222,10/18/2003
GTS 2dr Coupe (8.0L 10cyl 6M)
Car purchased new 9-11-03 9 miles, currantly 550 miles. Brake noise is common with these cars, due to the high performance brake pads. Car should have come with cruse control option, Dodge did not offer this as a factory option. However this car is a modern classic and exceptional in style and performance.
bad car!
rock_119,04/15/2002
RT/10 2dr Roadster (8.0L 10cyl 6M)
Big motor woopty doo... Car gets 80000 miles on it and it blows... this is with good treatment too.

More about the 2002 Dodge Viper

Used 2002 Dodge Viper Overview

The Used 2002 Dodge Viper is offered in the following submodels: Viper Coupe, Viper Convertible, Viper ACR. Available styles include GTS 2dr Coupe (8.0L 10cyl 6M), RT/10 2dr Roadster (8.0L 10cyl 6M), and ACR 2dr Coupe (8.0L 10cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Dodge Viper?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2002 Dodge Vipers are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2002 Dodge Viper for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 Dodge Viper.

Can't find a used 2002 Dodge Vipers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Dodge Viper for sale - 3 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $12,017.

Find a used Dodge for sale - 3 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $22,574.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge Viper for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $14,644.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge for sale - 10 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $20,316.

Should I lease or buy a 2002 Dodge Viper?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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