Details begin to flow on 2002 prices

DETROIT - Price season was in full bloom last week as Cadillac, GMC Truck, Nissan, Toyota and Lexus placed stickers on some or all of their 2002 models.

The biggest surprise came from Toyota, which reduced prices 3 percent to 7 percent ($795 to $1,770) on Camry sedans. The Camry is the best-selling car in the United States.

But the price-leader CE series has been dropped. The 2002 Camry sedans start at $19,455, compared with $18,130 for the 2001 CE. The prices include the destination charge, which is $485 on 2002 cars, up from $455 on 2001s. The freight on 2002 trucks is $510, also up $30.

GMC added a base model to all segments of its Sierra pickups. It's generally a bit less than the 2001 SL, which was the entry model. The SL choices, now the mid-range Silverados, are $1,200 to $2,200 more than the 2001 SLs. Air conditioning ($825) has been made standard on the SLs.

GMC Safari minivans are up $220, and the full-sized Savana vans show increases of $93 (passenger) and $939 (cargo).

GMC's topper: $48,515

On the sport-utility side, GMC Envoy prices are unchanged for 2002, and the Yukon, Yukon XL and Yukon Denali climbed $355 to $802. The most expensive GMC vehicle is the Yukon Denali XL at $48,515. Next in line is the new Sierra Denali pickup at $44,105. All prices in this report include the destination charge.

Cadillac's new Escalade EXT, a cross between a pickup and a sport-utility, will be $49,990 when it arrives late this year. It will be $2,510 less than the similarly styled Lincoln Blackwood. Cadillacs are up $563 to $1,454, and the two-wheel-drive Escalade sport-utility is down $2,000.

Automotive News estimates that the 2002 Cadillacs are up an average of $538, or 1.2 percent, before adjusting for equipment changes.

Nissan adds long beds

Nissan has added long-bed models to its Frontier Crew Cab pickup. They start at $19,289 for the XE two-wheel-drive V-6, which is $550 more than the regular-bed Crew Cab.

Supercharged models are offered in the Frontier Crew Cab and King Cab pickups and in the Xterra sport-utility, starting at $23,739 (Crew Cab), $20,889 (King Cab) and $23,239 (Xterra).

Most 2002 Frontiers and Xterras are priced the same as at the end of the 2001 model year. Half a dozen show increases of $100 to $300.

The base Nissan Sentra XE sedan is up $50 for 2002, and the mid-range GXE rises $150. The top-of-the line Sentra CA stays at $15,439. Nissan Maxima sedans are up $650 to $1,750.

Lexus, like Toyota, added $30 to the freight, which is now $575 for all models except the IS 300. The IS 300 stays at $545. The freight increase is the only increase for the Lexus GS 300 and GS 430 sedans and the RX 300 sport wagon. The Lexus LS 430 sedan rises $230.

You can reach John K. Teahen Jr. at autonews@crain.com

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