2001 Oldsmobile Alero GL2 2.4 4 cylinder. from North America
A great car if you can find one cheap
Only two things. First, the turn signals are malfunctioning due to a bad hazard switch. They will suddenly stop working until I thump the dashboard with my fist just above the hazard switch. It's kind of funny, especially when someone is walking in front of my car while I'm waiting to turn. GM issued a recall for this, so it will be fixed for free once I get around to taking it to the dealer. Second, when the car has just been filled up with gas, the gas gauge drops to empty and then goes back up to full about 8 or 9 times. After that the gauge works normally. Nothing major.
I have a 2001 Olds Alero that I bought used in Dec. of 2001.
For those wondering about the cars' name, Alero is a Latin word meaning 'catastrophic depreciation'.
The Alero and the Pontiac Grand Am are basically the same car, but the Alero doesn't have the garish interior or the tacky platic cladding of the Grand Am. That's pretty much the reason I bought one.
At the time, I thought I got a good deal on it, but two and a half years after I bought it, the car has depreciated to less than a quarter of its original value. I owe about $4000 more than it's worth. So now I have to hope it will stay reliable, as I pretty much have to drive it into the ground to get my money's worth out of it.
To be fair, it is a nice enough car. It doesn't hold a candle to an Accord or Camry, but compared to other American or Korean cars it does quite well. Interior finish is good, but some of the pieces fit poorly. For example, the plastic central vents above the radio are warped and loose. I have never seen a cupholder so poorly placed in any other car. If you put anything larger than a soda can in it, you will constantly bump it with your elbow.
The 2.4 four is perfectly adequate and reasonably fuel efficient. I get on average 26 to 29 mpg in mostly highway driving. However, the transmission is very poorly geared. If you are at highway speeds and you attempt to pass someone, the transmission downshifts into second gear instead of third which causes you to approach redline. If it were a Honda or Subaru, great; in an American car, not so much.
It has traction control standard. By traction control I mean that when the wheels start to spin a little light on the dash comes on to tell me 'Low Trac'. It doesn't seem to do much more than that, though. The antilock brakes are nothing less than stellar.
It handles much better than any other American car. It loves curves.
All in all, the only way I'd recommend it is if you plan to drive it forever. Get it cheap. And if you buy a four-cylinder one, try to find a 5-speed manual, even if it has less equipment. Seriously, the automatic sucks.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 21st April, 2004
17th Sep 2004, 11:08
My 2002 will definitely smoke a accord or camry!! Its got about 280-300 horse with a vortec supercharger. I hope Alero sticks around like the 442's and Hurst'.
26th Oct 2004, 12:14
I agree with everything you had to say about Alero. I just got one dirt cheap (and I'm glad I didn't pay much money for it). I had the same thing happen with the flashers, and the shifting thing you're talking about, the car is great at low speeds, but on the highway, when you try to pass someone it down shifts! I have never driven anything that did that before. I got the tranny checked out and it is fine. Oh, well, I guess I will have to put up with it, since I got a good deal on it. (I can see why now, I got a good deal on it.)