Car Ads from 2002
2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer

I joined the Consumer Guide team the summer of 2002. That means that, in just a few months, I will have been writing about cars full-time for 20 years. I mention this because I have only recently begun to consider just how much the automotive landscape has changed in the past two decades.

Most obviously, crossovers and SUVs have replaced traditional passenger cars as the general public’s preferred mode of personal transportation. High-technology “driver assistance” features that were barely even considered in 2002 are now commonplace, and often standard equipment. Recall that backup cameras–now a federally mandated safety feature–weren’t even available on new cars back in ’02.

Pickup trucks have changed, too. In some of their high-end trim levels, Ram pickups now rival top luxury-brand vehicles in terms of cabin refinement, and the regular-cab body style is now near extinction.

It saddens me a little that I am among the few people to recall—let alone care about—a failed attempt to resurrect the Studebaker brand that took place about 15 years ago. I also need to point out that the Kia Sedona minivan now starts around $31,000–considerably more than the $19,000 teased in the ad below.

Collected here are 12 car and truck ads–all but one of them from 2002. (We fudged a bit by including a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid ad, but since the Civic Hybrid debuted in the spring of 2002 as an early 2003 model, it’s not much of a stretch.) I don’t know how nostalgic you feel yet about the cars of this century, but a close look at the ads below will demonstrate just how much things have changed. Of the dozen cars, seven are no longer in production, and two of the brands seen here are also now defunct. What big changes have you noted over the past 20 years? The place to leave comments is down below.

More classic car ads

A Gallery of Car Ads from 2002

Chevrolet Trailblazer

2020 Chevrolet Trailblazer Ad
2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer Ad

Test Drive: 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer LT


Chrysler PT Cruiser

2020 Chrysler PT Cruiseer Ad
2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Ad

Review Flashback! 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser


Ford Escape

2020 Ford Escape Print Ad
2002 Ford Escape Ad

Test Drive: 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid


Honda Civic Hybrid

2020 Honda Civic Hybrid Ad
2003 Honda Civic Hybrid Ad

Honda Civic Growth Curve: 1986 Versus 2016


Jeep Liberty

2002 Jeep Liberty Ad
2002 Jeep Liberty Ad

Jeep Liberty: A Lesson in “Old Skool”


Kia Sedona

2002 Kia Sedona Ad
2002 Kia Sedona Ad

Forgotten People-Movers: More than 30 Minivans You Don’t Remember


Lexus RX 300

2002 Lexus RX 300 Ad. Coach Edition, Lexus RX 300 Coach Edition,
2002 Lexus RX 300 Ad

The 4 Most Important Vehicles of the Past 30 Years


Mercury Mountaineer

2002 Mercury Mountaineer Ad
2002 Mercury Mountaineer Ad

5 Discontinued Trucks You’ve Totally Forgotten About


Pontiac Grand Prix GTP

2002 Pontiac Grand Prix Ad
2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Ad

Cheap Wheels: 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Daytona 500 Pace Car Replica


Subaru Outback

2002 Subaru Outback Ad
2002 Subaru Outback Ad

Review Flashback! 2006 Subaru Baja


Toyota Celica

2002 Toyota Celica Ad
2002 Toyota Celica Ad

5 Cheap Coupes You’ve Completely Forgotten


Volvo Cross Country

2002 Volvo Cross Country Ad
2002 Volvo Cross Country Ad

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2002-Model-Year Ads Gallery

Car Ads from 2002

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