Last post on Sep 02, 2013 at 11:01 AM
You are in the Oldsmobile Alero
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Oldsmobile Alero, Sedan
#151 of 3014 Test drive other cars before buying an Alero
Nov 15, 2000 (4:54 am)
I bought a Sandstone 2001 Alero GL2 wtih V6, sun and sound package (Premium 8 speaker sound system and Power Sunroof), and the performance package. I only bought the Alero because I wanted to take advantage of the 0 down, 0 interest, 0 payments for one year plan. I am also a college student graduating this year. I figured, I will drive the car free for a year, and start paying it off when I get a job out of college. I should have waited another year to buy a car.
Because the financing plan was in lieu of the cash rebates, I could not take advantage of the cash rebates. But don't let any of these incentives fool you into buying an Alero. I would trade in the Alero's extra features for quality and refinement.
Although I put 900 miles with no mechanical breakdown, the fit and finish on the car is terrible. The carpet looks like it will come off. The dash has an unfinished look. The interior rattles, the leather shift knob and the center dome light is loose. The fabric looks cheap and ugly.
Furthermore, the engine is loud, coarse, and no where nearly as quiet or smooth as a Honda or Toyota four cylinder. The performance suspension doesn't improve the handling very much but the ride suffers. I could feel every little ripple and bump on the road. There is a lot of impact harshness over bumps. The brakes are OK, but the steering is numb at the center and not always linear.
I am not leaving out the heating/ventilation system. You can not leave it in recirculation mode without turning on the fan. That means I have breathe the smog fumes coming out of cars in front of me and let outside odor into my car. It turns out turning on the fan will turn on the air conditioner compressor. Correct me if I am wrong, but won't turning on the air conditioner compressor reduce my gas mileage? The manual's justification is that this will prevent fogging. But hello! Not everyone lives in cold climates. I live in Southern California where "chilly" is 65 degrees.
People say that Alero offers lot of bang for the buck. But I paid $19,900 (MSRP $21,600) without cash incentives. For this price, I could have bought a Passat, Accord EX, Camry, Taurus, Jetta 1.8T, or a Galant, all of which I believe are superior cars. Not even the $750 Oldsmobile is offering right now on 2001 models should convince you to buy an Alero. Unless Oldsmobile offers a $2000 rebate, like it does right now on 2000 models, just skip along to a Honda, Volkswagen, Ford, or Toyota dealer. If you're bent on getting an Alero, get a GLS with leather and throw out the "premium sound system".
Nov 15, 2000 (7:25 pm)
I have owned the lot of foreign automobiles, VWs,SAABs, Peugeots, Fiats, Nissans, etc. and have rented Camrys, Corrolas, Mirages, Elantras, Etc. But when it came time to buy a really fun car to enjoy I bought a 2000 GL Alero sedan. Also bought a 2000 Intrigue for my wife. These are both program vehicles with a few miles on them.
They are both nearly perfect when compared to the foreign names. I was buying these looking for the fine quality that was supposed to be there, but I never found.
Sorry you can not enjoy your car as I do.
#153 of 3014 wilhfurtw
Nov 15, 2000 (7:52 pm)
Did you not take the car out for a drive? If you hate it so much why did you buy it?
I totally disagree with you assessment of the car. The Alero is an excellent choice for a smaller mid-size sport sedan.
#154 of 3014 cd-player skipping
Nov 15, 2000 (7:54 pm)
I have a 2000 ALero GLS, performance package, upgraded sound system (the 100watt system), etc. About a month after getting the cat the cd-player was skipping, but my dealership replaced the stereo under warranty. The skipping started again. Has anyone else had a similar problem??
Besides this problem, I love my car. Also, has anyone heard the 2001 8 speaker sound system? Is it much better than the 100watt upgrade of the 99 to 2000 alero?
Thanks for any info
#155 of 3014 Dim lights 7 Rear Defroster
Nov 15, 2000 (10:27 pm)
Has anyone experience their headlights dim when the rear defroster is turned on? I also notice that when i accelerate the heat accelerates? Am i missing something or what?
Nov 15, 2000 (11:30 pm)
As far as the looks and sound of the car, you could have decided not to buy it when you test drove it. Personally, I love to hear the engine fire up when you step on the gas, it totally enhances the driving experience. Also, the engine noise is virtually non-existent when cruising. As far as squeaks and rattles, I have only noticed one rattle that was soon resolved with a quick thump.
I have test drove the performance suspension, and yes you do feel the bumps more. But, that's what a performance suspension is for, better road feel. You will need a obsenely heavy car or a loose and flexible suspension and frame not to feel any bump at all. You're not going to find an active suspension in this class yet.
I do agree with the heating system however, it should be more flexible. But, it's nothing that I can't deal with.
If you were looking for perfect refinement vs. performance, you should have went for another car. But for this price in it's class, you can't find anywhere close to the performance and handling that the Alero provides.
#157 of 3014 darkworlder
Nov 15, 2000 (11:53 pm)
Generally agree with most of what you wrote.
Though, Buick managed to make cars with rigid suspension, not transmitting the road bump to the driver's butt. I mean Regal, with Gran Touring suspension. It have thick seats and, as I had read, rubber bushings between the car body and suspension.
Of course, Regal is larger than Alero, but hardly obscenely heavy. The same size and weight as Intrigue, or about 10% heavier than Alero with 3.4l engine.
#158 of 3014 Response to Above
Nov 16, 2000 (1:40 am)
I realized I was going to take a ride penalty when I ordered the performance suspension, but the other manufacturers have the ability to make their cars ride better and handle as well, if not better than the Alero. Consider again, the Ford Focus, Contour, Honda Accord, and Volkswagen Passat.
Case in point: Compare GM's Buick line with a Toyota Avalon. They both have soft suspension tuned for ride comfort. Although Buicks ride comfortably, they have (for lack of a better description) a cheap feeling over bumps. You can feel the bump transmit through the whole car. With an Avalon, the car simply makes a simple soft thump and makes no more commotions about it and moves on. The Avalon still manages to handle better than the Buick even with a superior ride.
As for engine noise, I like the sound of engines too. But the Alero sounds like a tractor. Ford's Duratec and Yamaha SHO, Toyotas V6, Hondas VTEC I4 and V6, and Nissans V6s all sound sexy and they rev as if there is no red line. Alero's V6 is not only coarse but it is lazy to rev.
You guys are right. I should not have bought this car. But I won't have to make payments on it for one year. I hope I can get a decent price for it next year when the payments are due. But with its dismal resale value, I will probably suffer a huge loss if I sell it.
#159 of 3014 Response to Mdemars
Nov 16, 2000 (1:48 am)
You asked about the 2001 8 speaker premium sound system. It has a 200 Watt amplifier, four loudspeakers, two tweeters, and what looks like a couple of woofers or subwoofers. I don't have the exact specs, so I am not entirely sure.
I have this setup in my 2001 Alero, and the sound sucks, particularly the midrange. I listen primarily to classical music and opera. The strings don't sound rich, cymbals sound fake, and overall there is too much brightness.
So, you have nothing to feel bad about. You have not missed out by buying a 2000 model with the premium sound. Get aftermarket components.
Nov 16, 2000 (3:21 am)
Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I just test drove two Aleros today - 2001, one was 2.4 engine w/performance suspension and one was GLS w/V6. I do hate the sound of the 4 cyl., but the V6 sounds pretty gutsy for that type of car. it also has great power. The performance suspension rides firm but not annoying over bumps. I currently drive a 98 Monte Carlo with the standard suspension and I feel its too soft.
My mom has a 2.4L 2001 Alero, so all together now i have driven 3 Aleros and all are quiet and for the msot part rattle-free. Maybe you just got the one bad one. They really do give you a lot of bang for the buck.
I have to ask you about the price you paid: 19,900 for a MSRP of 21,600?? I have the GM Supplier Discount and they quoted me the exact same thing. Whoa! Did you have a GM discount? i thought this discount was supposed to be less than what the public pays.
Am I getting a raw deal, paying $19900 for a $21600 car?