The Oldsmobile Alero was introduced to the public in 1998 at the North American International Auto Show and it became popular very quickly. It was the replacement for the Achieva and available as a coupe and a sedan. The Alero has sporty styling, a smooth ride, and a classy interior to accompany the roomy back seat and spacious trunk.
Body Styles: sedan, coupe
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder, 3.4-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Oldsmobile Alero GX, Oldsmobile Alero GL1, Oldsmobile Alero GL2, Oldsmobile GLS
The 2002 Oldsmobile Alero got a new 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that replaces the 2.2-liter engine from previous models. Oldsmobile redesigned the wheels, revamped the center console, and added two new exterior paint colors.
The standard exterior features for the 2002 Oldsmobile Alero include: 15-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent windshield wipers, rear defogger, power locks, remote trunk release, and power windows. The GL1 trim replaces the steel wheels for alloy wheels and adds remote keyless entry and fog lights. The GL2 trim replaces the 15-inch alloy wheels for 16-inch alloy wheels.
The Alero shares the same chassis as the Pontiac Grand Am, but the exterior styling is more akin to the Oldsmobile Aurora. It has the same horizontal flattened-oval headlights and the minute detailing around the front bumper and fog lights. The large taillights look like that are draped around the rear of the car like a shawl. The overall impression of the Alero is sporty and stylish.
The interior features of the Alero XE include: premium cloth upholstery, front bucket seats, split-folding rear bench seat, air conditioning, a six-speaker in-dash CD stereo system, power steering, and 12V power outlets. The GL1 trim has a driver’s seat with manually-adjustable lumbar support, speed-sensitive power steering, a leather-trimmed tilting steering wheel, and leather trim on the shift knob. The GLS trim has a six-way power driver’s seat with manually-adjustable lumbar support and leather and cloth upholstery.
First glances at the interior will give the impression of expensive materials because of the quality construction, but a closer look will reveal that the quality of the materials is subpar. The instruments are hooded to keep them out of direct sunlight to make them easier to see. The audio and climate controls are located in the center of the console and easy to reach. The front bucket seats are comfortable and supportive, even for larger passengers. Rear seat room is generous in the sedan and adequate in the coupe. The coupe has a cargo capacity of 13.6 cubic feet and the sedan has 14.6 cubic feet. The split-folding rear seatback allows you to carry longer cargo with ease. The low lift-over makes loading the trunk easy.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 Oldsmobile Alero GX and GL1 are powered by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 140 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. The GL2 and GLS trims are equipped with a standard 3.4-liter, V-6 engine that makes 170 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated with a standard four-speed automatic transmission, but the GL2 and GLS trims can get the optional five-speed manual. It has standard front-wheel drive and four-wheel independent suspension.
The four-cylinder engine produces adequate passing power and it operates quietly and smoothly. The V-6 engine is peppier than the four-cylinder, but it suffers from torque steer, a phenomenon that causes it to pull to the right during rapid acceleration. The automatic transmission shifts gears smoothly, but the manual transmission is jerky. The ride quality is good, but not impressive. It displays unstable behavior when driving over rough pavement. The tires have good grip, but the steering feels vague and heavy when driving on-center. Braking is strong and sure with good pedal action.
Standard safety features for the 2002 Oldsmobile Alero includes: four-wheel ABS, engine immobilizer, dusk-sensing headlights, dual front airbags, rear child door safety locks, ventilated front disc/solid rear disc brakes, emergency interior trunk release, child seat anchors, and electronic Brake force distribution. The GL1 trim adds fog lights and traction control.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Alero five stars for frontal-impact passenger protection, four stars for frontal-impact driver and side-impact rear protection, and one star for side-impact front protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Oldsmobile Alero GX: 21/30 mpg city/highway
Oldsmobile Alero GL1: 21/30 mpg city/highway
Oldsmobile Alero GL2: 18/27 mpg city/highway
Oldsmobile Alero GLS: 18/27 mpg city/highway
- Roomy interior
- Sleek styling
- Good performance and handling
- Good selection of standard features
- Ergonomic interior
You Won't Like
- Cheap interior materials
- Numb steering and torque steering with the V-6 engine
- Low resale value
- Rear seat entry/exit in the coupe
Good V-6 acceleration and a long list of standard features, but low resale value.
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