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2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Coupe

2dr Cpe LS

Starting at | Starting at 21 MPG City - 32 MPG Highway

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  • $20,425 original MSRP
Printable Version

2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Coupe

Printable Version

2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Coupe


2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Source: New Car Test Drive


Chevrolet says its 2002 Monte Carlo is "classy with a wild streak." The wild streak comes from the car being shaped in the wind tunnel for minimal drag and maximum stability because it of Chevrolet's participation in NASCAR Winston Cup stock car racing. It is no exaggeration to say Chevrolet and Monte Carlo have dominated NASCAR racing since the "modern era" of the sport began in 1972. Since its reintroduction to NASCAR's high-banked ovals in 1995, the Monte Carlo has won five consecutive Winston Cup Series Driver's Championships.

Of course, the Monte Carlo at your local dealership doesn't have the tube-frame or rear-wheel drive of a Winston Cup race car. But it does provide spirited performance in its SS form. And its styling does attract attention. Just don't expect people to cover their ears when you start it up.

Model Lineup

Two trim levels are offered. Both come with a four-speed automatic transmission.

LS ($19,985) is powered by a 3.4-liter V6.

SS ($22,785) uses a more powerful 3.8-liter V6, plus upgraded wheels, tires, and suspension.

Though the SS packs more standard equipment, Chevrolet has upgraded the LS to narrow the distance between the two models. For 2002, air conditioning with driver and passenger temperature setting is standard on both models. Electronic traction control became standard on both models last year.

For 2002, a new Enhanced Premium Sound System is available and includes eight speakers and an auxiliary amplifier. Also new for 2002 is a shoulder belt for the middle position in the rear seat and LATCH child seat attachment points.

Available on the SS version is a High Sport Appearance Package ($2100) that includes full ground effects, a race-inspired spoiler, unique aluminum wheels, stainless-steel exhaust tips and a red bow tie identification in the instrument cluster panel.


Monte Carlo is a slick car aerodynamically. However, it looks as if it were designed by a committee. Individual elements are attractive, but we're not quite satisfied with how they hang together as a whole. It looks like how it must have looked when the engineers and designers emerged from the last wind-tunnel session.

In addition its aerodynamic objectives, the Monte Carlo tries to integrate elements from past models. The result is a shape that's like nothing else on the road. Some love it. Others are not attracted to the droopy nose, the flat flanks, the bump in the deck lid and the radical roofline.

However, what you can't see is just as important to the integrity of the Monte Carlo. In that respect, we have to give Chevrolet high marks. Compared to pre-2000 Monte Carlos, this one has been strengthened in the roof, doors, and floor pan. An aluminum front cradle isolates the engine, transmission, steering, and suspension from the main structure of the car. The interior features a cast magnesium beam, called a MagBeam, that fits behind the instrument panel to further increase chassis rigidity and provide a stiff mounting for the dashboard systems. As a result, the latest Monte Carlo is much quieter than any previous generation. Increased chassis stiffness also makes the car less prone to squeaks and rattles over time.

Interior Features

Overall, the interior is a nice design with a sporty flavor that reminds us of Corvettes and Camaros.

The bucket seats are quite comfortable for around-town driving. Their shape makes it easy to get in and out of the car. Both seats are easy to adjust, and there's plenty of range for short and tall drivers. Front-seat passengers will appreciate the power seat option.

The instruments are nicely designed with straightforward gauges that are well laid out and easy to read. One of the best things about Chevrolet design is the uniformly functional instrument layout that has been wrought throughout the product line, from the Corvette to the Silverado pickup. With black backgrounds, white markings and red needles, the look is not only racy in flavor, but also easy to read and scan, with the major and minor gauges placed on slightly different planes to add visual interest.

The ignition switch is conveniently located on the dash, well to the right of the steering wheel. This makes it easy to quickly get in the car and get going, or quickly get out of the car after shutting it off.

Another nice touch inside the new Monte Carlo is its cockpit-style dashboard that houses those new gauges and controls. It separates the driver completely from the front passenger and provides fingertip access to every system in the array. It's a nicely styled package, and it works. The tall center console is a bit intrusive for drivers who like to shift the automatic transmission manually, however, and the T-handle shifter looks dated.

The trunk is large, but the opening is small, making it difficult to load big boxes.

Driving Impressions

Strong power and surprisingly good grip make the Monte Carlo an enjoyable drive.

The Monte Carlo SS features a thoroughly proven V6 that delivers 200 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque. It may not hold a candle to some of the old V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive Monte Carlos, but it's more than enough to break the tires loose on this front-wheel-drive model. Punch the throttle and there's instant power and lots of it.

GM's popular 3800 engine is probably the most highly developed overhead-valve V6 in the world. With all the refinements that have been baked into it over the years, in terms of valvetrain friction, bottom-end strength and friction, and electronic engine management and fuel injection, this is about as good as it gets for an overhead-valve V6. Couple this engine to GM's excellent four-speed automatic, add all-speed traction control, and you've got yourself a really solid power unit that offers fun as well as decent fuel economy.

The 3400 V6, on the other hand, is a solid unit, but this car isn't quite the same with the smaller engine. In fact, it seems to miss the point entirely. If you're after practicality, maybe you should look at the Impala.

The SS model's Sport suspension works with fat P225/60R16 Goodyear Eagle RSA tires to provide really surprising levels of grip. As a tradeoff for the bite they yield, the tires are a little noisy. The steering is over-assisted in a lot of situations and does not provide as much feedback from the front tires as we would like, but it is tight and accurate. The Monte Carlo has the widest front and rear track in its segment. (The track is the distance between the left and right tires.) Coupled with the tires and suspension, this makes for a platform that is good fun to drive down country roads, boulevards, or highways. In short, the Monte Carlo is stable and responsive, and it handles well.

If you're going to run with the fast guys, you'd better have good brakes. Large, powerful antilock brakes on this Monte Carlo are up to the job. They have the largest calipers and rotors in the class. We punished them mightily on one of our favorite stretches of twisty road, without a hint of fade or grabbiness.


The Chevrolet Monte Carlo offers spirited acceleration performance, decent handling, and good brakes. Shaped by the wind tunnel this is what the boys race every Sunday. If you're going to get one of these, then you must get the SS. Otherwise, check out the Impala.


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: LS ($19,985); SS ($22,785)
Engines: 180-hp 3.4-liter ohv V6; 200-hp 3.8-liter ohv V6
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard): Dual airbags, three-point belts for all seats, LATCH anchors for child seats, ABS; driver's side-impact airbag on SS
Safety equipment (optional): N/A
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Monte Carlo SS ($22,785)
Standard equipment: air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, dual remote mirrors, dual vanity mirrors, tinted glass, passive anti-theft system, tilt wheel, GT suspension package, 225/60R-16 tires, cast aluminum wheels, remote keyless entry, rear spoiler, ABS, traction control, OnStar
Options as tested (MSRP): Preferred Equipment Group ($660) includes driver information convenience center with HomeLink programmable garage door opener, trip computer with outside temperature display and compass and anti-theft system, six-way power driver's seat, dual power heated mirrors; AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo ($345); six-way power passenger seat ($325)
Destination charge: ($610)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $24,725
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine: 3.8-liter ohv V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 200 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 225 @ 4000
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 19/29 mpg
Wheelbase: 110.5 in.
Length/width/height: 197.9/72.3/55.2 in.
Track, f/r: 62.1/61.2 in.
Turning circle: 38.0 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 38.1/55.2/42.4 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 36.5/55.5/35.8 in.
Trunk volume: 15.8 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: 1000 Lbs.
Suspension, f: Independent
Suspension, r: Independent
Ground clearance: N/A
Curb weight: 3391 lbs.
Tires: P225/60R16
Brakes, f/r: disc/disc with ABS
Fuel capacity: 17.0 gal.



Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of September 01, 2001.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-222-1020 - www.chevrolet.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.


Printable Version

2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Coupe

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade

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Passenger Crash Grade

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Side Impact Crash Test - Front

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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear

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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std


Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Coupe

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile¹ CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile² Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile³ Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2014.

¹Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

²Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

³Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Coupe

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