Last post on May 28, 2012 at 5:28 AM
You are in the Oldsmobile Alero
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Oldsmobile Alero, Sedan
#879 of 3012 alas, no V6 5-spd on the horizon
Sep 05, 2001 (11:18 am)
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.
Sep 05, 2001 (11:41 am)
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.
#881 of 3012 I know it's been said before
Sep 05, 2001 (11:52 am)
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.
#882 of 3012 Re: I know it's been said before
Sep 05, 2001 (12:08 pm)
Problem is that the LX5 is a premium engine (read "expensive")... :^(
Sep 05, 2001 (12:11 pm)
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 $34,000 Aurora with an "Alero" engine?
Sep 05, 2001 (12:35 pm)
The other problem I have is my wife can't drive 5-speed and since she will be primary driver, it will be a very hard sell. I'll test one when the times comes and see.
I personally like the lights on the Altima, but yes I can see how they are a bit cheezy also. Have not seen C$ 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!!
Sep 05, 2001 (3:18 pm)
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.
#886 of 3012 dindak and regfootball
Sep 05, 2001 (9:00 pm)
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 canít drive a stick, I can understand where youíre coming from. Still, in my mind thatís more her problem than your problem Ė why let her be the wet blanket on your driving pleasure?
Hmmm...perhaps itís this type of attitude thatís 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, thatís another story altogether. As my friend would say, they arenít worth the powder to blow them up.
BTW, what the hell is a chilito (it sounds like a young Chilean boy)? Iíd try one, but unless I can get it in the south or west metro, I donít think Iíll ever see one. Mahtomedi is halfway to Duluth from where I live. Iíd probably wither away in bumper to bumper traffic before I ever got there.
#887 of 3012 I've sat in the altima at the dealer
Sep 05, 2001 (10:01 pm)
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).
Sep 06, 2001 (5:34 am)
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.