Used 2002 GMC Safari Cargo Review
A workhorse minivan that leaves refinement to the other guys.
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.
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.