2002 Ford Thunderbird Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2002 Ford Thunderbird - Road Test Specs

2002 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

(3.9L V8 5-speed Automatic)


Model year2002
StylePremium 2dr Convertible (3.9L 8cyl 5A)
Base MSRP$36,495
As-tested MSRP$37,020


Drive typeRear-wheel drive
Engine typeV8
Displacement (cc/cu-in)3.9
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)252 @ 6,100
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)267 @ 4,300
Transmission type5-speed automatic


Suspension, frontIndependent unequal-length control arms
Suspension, rearIndependent unequal-length control arms
Steering typeSpeed-sensitive variable assist rack-and-pinion
Tire brandMichelin
Tire modelHX MXM
Tire size, frontP235/50VR17
Tire size, rearP235/50VR17
Brakes, front4-wheel disc w/ABS

Track Test Results

0-45 mph (sec.)4.4
0-60 mph (sec.)7.0
0-75 mph (sec.)10.0
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)15.2 @ 92.6
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)30
60-0 mph (ft.)119
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)63.0
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)35.2
@ Full throttle (dB)76
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)77

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsOur best effort used a combination of a street start with the traction control disengaged. Any way you launch it, the engine revs easily and smoothly, with the power delivered from its 3.9 liters of displacement making this pudgy car feel surprisingly quick.
Braking ratingExcellent
Braking commentsThe Thunderbird achieved some short solid stops. Our best effort was on the first attempt, but even on our third run, we were within 1 foot of the first. It did produce some ABS system noise, but nothing intrusive or bothersome. Stability was also good, adding to the solidity of the well-designed system. It stopped 2 feet shorter from 60 mph than the Lexus SC 430.
Handling ratingAverage
Handling commentsSteering is one of Ford's strengths, and it shows here. The Thunderbird went through the cones with similar handling characteristics to the Lincoln LS, upon which it is based. Despite its cruiser status, the Thunderbird can hold its head high; it matches the much-higher-priced Lexus SC 430 in speed through the cones and is downright fun at the same time. — Neil G. Chirico

Testing Conditions

Elevation (ft.)85
Temperature (°F)50
Wind (mph, direction)0 mph

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)Auto 17/23 Manual /
Edmunds observed (mpg)19
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)18

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,775
Length (in.)186.3
Width (in.)72
Height (in.)52.1
Wheelbase (in.)107.2
Legroom, front (in.)43.7
Headroom, front (in.)37.2
Seating capacity2
Cargo volume (cu-ft)8.5
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)9


Bumper-to-bumper3 years / 36,000 miles
Powertrain3 years / 36,000 miles
Corrosion5 years / unlimited miles
Roadside assistance3 years / 36,000 miles
Free scheduled maintenanceNot included


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsNot Available
Head airbagsNot Available
Antilock brakesStandard
Electronic brake enhancementsNot Available
Traction controlStandard
Stability controlNot Available
Rollover protectionNot Available
Emergency assistance systemNot Available
NHTSA crash test, driverGood
NHTSA crash test, passengerExcellent
NHTSA crash test, side frontExcellent
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot Tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceExcellent

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