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Oldsmobile Alero



  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Looks like it is a mistake then. The 2.2L will be the only 5-speed option it would seem.

    I will still try and find out more. Perhaps they added the GL2 sport last minute and Motor Trend picked up on it?
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    Ya, it certainly doesn't seem in the GM tradition to do something consumers might like. That's why I was so surprised by the "news".

    As far as I could tell, the bean counters were behind teaming the stick with the 2.4 originally. Why else would you do that (if not for bean counting)?

    Ironically, the 2.4 was less fuel efficient than the 3.4...which meant the 5spd 4cyl combo would appeal to NEITHER the high mileage nor performance fans, which just leaves a couple thousand people who want to save $700 off the purchase price (and what is $700 on a $20,000 car?). I thought maybe a bulb might have lit above some heads down there and they began to realize the fallacy of their bean counting line of thought.

    Furthermore, it likely costs GM more to produce an Alero with the stick shift rather than the auto anyway due to economies of scale. Why they even bothered with the stick shift in the first place amazes me.

    I believe the Alero and the Grand Am are made in the same plant (correct me if I'm wrong). So if they decide to put the stick in the V6 Pontiac (which only makes sense since Pontiac tries to market itself as some type of performance car maker), it would be likely that the combo would be available in the Alero too.

    I was getting excited for a sec there that I might actually be able to salvage the $700 in GM card rebates that continue to dwindle in my account (I stopped using that card 4 years ago). I had previously taken the attitude that $700 off a car I don't like isn't a big value to me. A V6 5spd Alero would have been just as appealing to me (if not more so) as some of the Japanese and Chrysler products, hence my previous excitement.

    But alas...

    GM seems much more interested in saving money than selling cars. This 1920s attitude of trying to sell consumers what the company makes (production driven) rather than trying to make what the consumer wants (market driven) is wholly responsible for GM precipital decline in market share. Until this changes, people like me will be forced into Honda, Toyota and Chrysler showrooms - where there are cars we actually WANT to buy.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Actually, even the new 2.2L with a 5-speed should be a nice car. The Getrag 5-speed is solid and the 2.2L is one of the best 4 cyl motors I've ever driven. I tested it in a Saturn LS last year and it should be even better in the Alero.

    You should call Oldsmobile direct and ask. No better way to confirm the story.

    I wouldn't say Honda / Toyota make very many exciting vehicles though. Dull but good quality is all that comes to mind when I see them on the road.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Actually, I have the impression that GM IS market-driven, however it thinks that everybody and their dog only want to buy trucks, not sedans anymore... :^(
  • Well, we made a trip from Brockville to North Bay (about 1000 km round trip) this weekend. Calculate 34mpg in U.S. gallons for highway driving, for both legs of the trip. The return from N.B. was made using 10% Ethanol fuel and with the A/C on 75% of the time (not hot, but quite humid ! ). The trip to N.B. was just on Regular with absolutely no A/C.

    Altogether, we are very happy with the mileage. Our previous car ('93 Corsica, 3.1L V6, 3spd auto.) would get 28mpg in these same conditions.

    burdawq. Looking at that picture of the Alero interior again, I think it was "stretched" graphically - the proportions just don't seem right.
  • I received an Alero GLS sedan loaded with features (roof, performance tires suspension, spoiler, etc.) as a loaner car while my dealer has on order a pre-owned Cadillac Catera waiting for delivery. I almost want to cancel my delivery for the Catera because of how much I now like this Alero sedan. Do yourself a favor before you go out an waste alot of money on a Honda Accord (boring), a Camry(boring), or a Maxima(nice car but pricey). Test drive the V6 Alero and check out the otpion packages that comes with the vehicle (GLS model). I think you will be presently suprised. I was.
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    Dindak, my October Motor Trend issue arrived yesterday, and indeed it pretty explicitly states the 5-spd can be hooked up to the V6 in the 2002 "GL2 Sport." Not quite the info my dealer had though. The only thing they could tell me is that the 2.2 was going to be a really nice engine (you've got to love salespeople).

    Perhaps it IS a really nice engine, but it's only got 140 horses to play with while pulling 3000 lbs (unloaded) around.

    I think Alero will have its work cut out for it this year - especially with the new Altima coming in at about the same price point.

    Unfortunately for Oldsmobile, it's in a segment where the competition wants to play much harder than they do. I can't see myself even considering the 2.2 5-spd (an auto is not an option for me) with anything less than a $2000 rebate. I would be willing to pay a couple thousand more for a comparably equipped Accord (which continues to build the nicest shifting manual transmissions bar none), but not $4000 more.

    That may strike some as nutty, but I'm talking about the manual transmission models only and GM's Getrag units cannot compete with the fluid action of the Honda-made manuals (and I'd prefer not to think about resale value on any Oldsmobile equipped with a stick).

    To market the Alero as a "sportier" alternative to Accord and Camry and then not follow through with the promise just does not make any sense to me. It may look "sportier", but looks are just skin deep. I thought selling nonsporty sports cars was supposed to be Pontiac's territory.

    The 5-spd 4 banger in the Accord not only runs circles around the V6 auto Alero, it feels lighter and more athletic going about its work. If you doubt me, drive them back to back. 50 lashes twice for the Oldsmobile bean counters! I'm hoping they read this...

    For us manual transmission fans, there just isn't a lot of appeal in the GM fleet other than low purchase price. I was hoping that might change.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I'm not a big stick guy, only because I live near a big city (Toronto) and with the traffic my foot goes numb pushing the clutch so often. I used to have a stick back in my home town, but it's not an option any more.

    The new Altima does look good but it's more money, especially when you add a few options. The discounts on the Aleros should be good later in the year or in the winter. I will likely go for a 2.2L GX with auto. I have a C$2000 Olds credit from my '00 Intrigue which will make the car a bargoon if combined with other offers. The Alero would be a second car replacement for us and given my original thoughts were Sentras, an Alero will be much more car for the about the same $$.

    Our "performance" car is the Intrigue an my wife will drive the Alero most of the time. Intrigue is a better performer than a Accord V6 and it's more spacious to boot. I'm not a big Honda fan (dull comes to mind), but I like Nissans these days.
  • I know it's been said before, but given the advancements made by the Alero's competitors isn't it a crime that GM hasn't found a way to install the 3.5 V6 "shortstar" in the Alero? The addition of that powerplant would immediately catapult the Alero to the top of the small/mid-size sedan heap.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Problem is that the LX5 is a premium engine (read "expensive")... :^(
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    The traffic here in Minneapolis-St.Paul is certainly no joy either, but sometimes you just have to make the big sacrifices.

    I've long gotten used to that burnt clutch smell, and rowing through gears is a good way to burn calories. The constant movement of my left leg keeps those nacho cheese Chalupas from expanding my gut size (something I've just started to get concerned about as I enter the latter half of my twenties).

    It's all mindset. You just need to think of the rush hour driving as work-out time :).

    On the Altima, I thought the pricing seemed pretty much in line with the Alero (rebates notwithstanding). From the pictures I've seen, however, Nissan has installed some extremely cheesy Hyundai-like plastic on the dash and door panels. Why must everything in life be a trade-off?

    BTW, my parents have an '01 Intrigue as well and indeed, it's much more fun to drive than an Accord with an auto. The bigger Olds is also better looking than the smaller Olds IMO.

    I'm sure Olds COULD find a way to install the 3.5 in the Alero, but they will never do it because it would cannibalize sales from its more expensive models. Who would want to buy a $34,000 Aurora with an "Alero" engine?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    You're funny.

    The other problem I have is my wife can't drive 5-speed and since she will be primary driver, it will be a very hard sell. I'll test one when the times comes and see.

    I personally like the lights on the Altima, but yes I can see how they are a bit cheezy also. Have not seen C$ pricing on it but MT mentioned that adding options to the Altima add up fast. Alero is likely our best bet unless we decide we need a truck/van. A growing family is making us thinking about things I never dreamed. Ack!!!

    I don't honestly think the 3.5L will fit in an Alero. It's a big engine. It's also very expensive to make which is one of the reasons it's being phased out for next year. It's a great engine though, lot's of mid range power for the highway!!
  • yes traffic here in MSP really sucks these days doesn't it.

    Hey, ditch those chalupas and hit the Zantigo in Fridley or Mahtomedi and try some chilitos. Alot easier to munch while rowing the gears.

    I have fried plenty of clutch in my old 89 SHO on 35W.

    The plastic in the new Altima isn't as dreadful as those have said.....still nicer than GM plastic.

    The new 2.2 4 in the Alero is an excellent motor. I have test driven the motor with a 5 speed in the Saturn L and it has good power. It is also pretty smooth, especially for a GM product. But hey, it was co-developed by Lotus, so that would figure. I don't think there's ever been a decent 4 cylinder that was solely engineered in Detroit.
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    Dindak, don't get a truck whatever you do. The reason I say this is because I know I'm not the only butthead out there who intentionally tries to make life hard on the "suburban truck driver." I think the last time I made room in traffic for anyone driving a passenger utility bus (one of my pet names for vehicles larger than a Cherokee/Blazer) was 1997.

    And if your wife can’t drive a stick, I can understand where you’re coming from. Still, in my mind that’s more her problem than your problem – why let her be the wet blanket on your driving pleasure?

    Hmmm...perhaps it’s this type of attitude that’s keeping me single...

    Regfootball, don't be so quick to judge the interior plastic on the Maxima. I didn't think it looked too bad either until I saw the forward part of the driver's door panel in the 9-01 issue of Automobile. Turns out most of the door is shellacked in hard plastic, and I'm not talking about the tasteful matte variety - it's the shiny stuff (not unlike what you'd find in an '81 Mercury Zephyr).

    The quality of GM interiors seems to vary widely IMO. I find the Oldsmobile products quite attractive inside. The Pontiacs and Saturns...well, that’s another story altogether. As my friend would say, they aren’t worth the powder to blow them up.

    BTW, what the hell is a chilito (it sounds like a young Chilean boy)? I’d try one, but unless I can get it in the south or west metro, I don’t think I’ll ever see one. Mahtomedi is halfway to Duluth from where I live. I’d probably wither away in bumper to bumper traffic before I ever got there.
  • and I still didn't have any real issues with the plastic.

    There is a Zantigo also in Woodbury.

    Chilitos are a tortilla, cheese and chili sauce...steamed to melt the cheese.


    And hey, I don't think ANYBODY's wife knows how to drive a stick. (At least 95% of them).
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    As she will be driving the proposed Alero 80% of the time, it's her call. I get all my pleasure from our Intrigue. I will get her to try a 5-speed at some point though. Who knows.

    Truck/Van is my last choice, but the Intrigue is packed tight when we go on trips these days and another kid in a couple of years won't help. If we get an Alero, it will be leased for 3 years maximum.

    As for Saturns, the L-series interiors are fine. The S-series suck. IMO.

  • I've just been catching up on my reading in this forum, and back a little ways folks were discussing tires...I have the GL1 with the v6 (took delivery 7/23 and I love this car)---is there any reason why I can't drive in snowy conditions on the tires that came standard?

    I live in Chicagoland...only a couple of years here, used to live in the south and am not used to even thinking about this issue.
  • rkw2rkw2 Posts: 66
    I was reading the current issue of Car and Driver today. One section is devoted to "what's new" for 2002. Accoring to C & D the 2.2 l 4 cyl engine in the 2002 Alero is the one that has been used in the Pontiac Sunfire. No menton was made of using the Saturn engine.( Maybe they made a mistake but this makes more sense as Saturn is still indepedent from the rest of GM. I don' think GM would want to mix Saturn in with a dead animal).
  • Below is a link to an online tire retailer, and at the bottom of that page you'll see the result of their survey of people who have the BF Goodrich T/A SR4. Click on comments to see other people's comments on this as well.

    For my part, I picked up a 2000 Alero a couple of weeks ago and have opted to get a second set of rims with 205/65R15 Michelin Arctic Alpins on them. And if tire studs were legal in Ontario, I'd run on those in the winter instead! I've never had problems with all-season tires for snow traction, but I certainly have for ice traction - which is the most demanding situation.

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