2003 Alero New Car Test Drive
With sporty styling, an elegant interior, a smooth ride, and spirited performance and handling, the Oldsmobile Alero is one of the best of the mid-size domestic sedans.
For 2002, a new more fuel-efficient 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine is offered along with a smooth V6. Automatic transmissions are standard, but a five-speed manual is available for four-cylinder models.
A classy interior, a roomy back seat, and a sizeable trunk make the Alero comfortable and practical. Clean lines differentiate the Alero from the pack of relatively bland mid-size sedans. Sedan and coupe body styles are available to suit your lifestyle.
The Alero is stable at high speeds, whether on a lonely Interstate or going through fast, sweeping turns. Quick, precise steering makes it enjoyable on winding back roads. The optional V6 engine delivers good mid-range torque for quick passing maneuvers, combined with quick, positive shifting from the available automatic transmission. Best of all, the Alero is affordably priced.
Over the next several years, the more than 100-year-old Oldsmobile brand is being phased out of the General Motors portfolio. This shouldn't be a big concern for buyers, however. GM says its dealerships will continue to honor all warranty claims and maintenance for Oldsmobiles.
Oldsmobile Alero comes in two-door coupe and four-door sedan body styles. Each is available in three trim levels, GX, GL, and GLS. Sedan prices: GX ($17,210); GL ($18,620); GLS ($21,965). Coupe prices are nearly identical.
For 2002, a new four-cylinder engine comes standard on GX and GL models. Designed by GM and Lotus, the all-aluminum 2.2-liter dual overhead-cam engine delivers significantly improved fuel economy (3 mpg) over the previous four-cylinder engine. A 170-horsepower 3.4-liter V6 is optional on the GL ($655) and standard on the top-of-the-line GLS.
All Aleros come standard with a four-speed automatic transmission. However, a five-speed manual transmission is an option for GX and GL2 trim levels, giving the buyer a $785 credit by opting out of the automatic.
Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS comes standard along with traction control.
A Performance Suspension Package ($250) is available for GLS models that includes a sports suspension, high-performance tires. GLS models come standard with 16-inch alloy wheels.
The Alero sedan competes with the Mazda 626, Toyota Camry, Ford Taurus, Chrysler Sebring, Honda Accord, Volkswagen Jetta, and Nissan Altima. The Alero coupe competes with the Dodge Stratus, Honda Accord Coupe and Toyota Solara.