2003 Tracker New Car Test Drive
For the price of a little car, some folks would rather have a little truck. Little trucks are often better for carrying big things. With their higher ground clearance, they can go places little cars can't, particularly if the little truck has four-wheel-drive. Little trucks make a bigger styling statement. A little truck tells the neighbors you relish adventure; a little car says you relish economical living.
Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Mazda know this, and they each offer a tall little car (CR-V, RAV4, Escape, and Tribute, respectively) with some of the characteristics of a little truck. And that suits most folks just fine. But the Chevrolet Tracker is a real, genuine, 100-percent truck, built on a rigid truck-type ladder frame, and offering truck-style part-time four-wheel-drive with a rock-crawling low range.
Yet Tracker also offers some of the best features of a little car, including maneuverability, reasonable fuel economy, and even a base price comparable to that of a well-equipped compact.
So the Tracker makes a lot of sense for a lot of people.
Chevrolet Tracker prices begin at $15,865 for the two-wheel-drive, two-door convertible. Air conditioning is standard, as is a 127-horsepower 2.0-liter inline four with four valves per cylinder. The price of admission also includes a fuel-tank skid plate and front and rear tow hooks. For 2002, Chevrolet has added front-seat arm rests, an adjustable lumbar support for the driver, and a CD player.
Four-wheel-drive convertibles are offered in either base ($16,965) or sporty ZR2 ($18,835) trim. The same 2.0-liter engine provides the power, but ZR2s add fender flares over wider tires on alloy wheels, skid plates for the oil pan and transfer case, cruise control, power locks with remote entry, power mirrors, cloth seating surfaces and other conveniences.
Chevrolet also sells a four-door Tracker wagon, which many people will find more practical than the convertible. Four-door models also come in either two- or four-wheel drive, with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder as the base engine. The four-wheel-drive ZR2 package is available, but four-door ZR2s are powered by a 2.5-liter dohc V6. A four-speed automatic transmission, optional with the four-cylinder engine, is standard with the V6. For 2002, all four-door Trackers come standard with a roof rack.
Buyers who wish to make a more formal styling statement may choose the LT, which also comes with two or four-wheel-drive, but only on the four-door body. LT models pack all the same functional features as the ZR2 (including the V6 and automatic transmission), but trade the ZR2's sporty fender flares and charcoal grille trim for classy contrasting bodyside cladding and a chrome grille surround. Lower-profile tires, color-keyed mirrors, two-tone bumpers and a full-cloth interior all contribute to LT's upmarket image. A 4WD LT lists for $21,700.