With designers taking inspiration from the contemporary Hillman Minx, FIAT 1100, Ford Prefect 100E and Ford Consul Mk1 (1951–1956),and Jowett Javelin (with the Prefect and Consul being the models they choose to copy from without buying a license. The Moskvitch 402 utilized 35 hp (26 kW; 35 PS) 1,222 cc (74.6 cu in) inline 4-cylinder flathead engine (derived from the 1,074 cc (65.5 cu in) of its predecessors).
The top speed was 88–90 kilometres per hour (55–56 mph), no more than a slight increase over the 401 series (mostly due to considerable reductions in body weight); it could achieve 9 L/100 km (26 mpg-US; 31 mpg-imp) It was not until 1958 that the engine was replaced with MZMA's OHV development (among other changes) which allowed to obtain a maximum speed increase up to 115 kilometres per hour (71 mph) and a much less noisy drive. At 4,055 mm (159.6 in) overall, it was200 mm (7.9 in) longer than the 401. Though the gearchange had moved to the steering column, the gearbox was the same three-speed manual.
Electrics changed from six volt to twelve (a change already being made in the U.S.). Radio, cigarette lighter, and demister were standard, at a time when the demister was not in the UK.
The final Moskvitch 402 was produced in July 1957; there were 94,080 in all (including 18,019 for export).