I will say from the start that this car wasn't on my list when I was considering buying a car. I had decided that I would buy a car about two years old to save a few dollars since I mostly drive to and from work with the occasional trip to other cities. I was looking at different import models (I've owned Mazda in the past).
My wife's grandfather passed away six months after buying a new Alero. Her grandmother decided she did not want the car and offered it to us at market value. I immediately thought no but then started to think of the reasons to buy it - newer car, balance of warranty, fully loaded with more toys than I'd likely get for the same money. So, I took it for a test drive. I was impressed. I waited a couple weeks and tried it again. Again, I was impressed. I bought it.
Having looked at some of the other reviews, I'll first point out some of the features as follows: Six cylinder so it has ample power for my needs and I can pass with more confidence than I've had in a while with four cylinders. That helps driving the main highways. Power seats help since I'm a tallish person, 6' 1", and the ability to lower the seat gave me more headroom, albeit it's still a bit close when I sit up very straight (usually in the morning - by the end of day at work I'm slouching a bit). Four doors which helps since I have two growing boys. Bigger tires than standard so handling is very respectable - the BFGoodrich Touring T/A tires offer smooth ride with good road handling and response when needed, as they are designed to do. Also, I live in Canada and the tires and overall handling got me through a particularly nasty winter this year without problem. The heater and rear defogger work well too by the way. The traction control feature kicks in when needed and I've noticed the difference.
This also has an eight speaker stereo with CD. I like music and I've throughly enjoyed the sound system. When in the front seat, my thirteen year old can't stop playing with the stereo - his favourite feature. When the two of them have to sit in the back, they have never complained about seat comfort or lack of space. I've had two adults in the back and no one has complained so far (although we are Canadian so we tend to be polite). Three adults in the back would receive complaints I'm sure but, hey, this is a mid-size car.
There are some small things like not exactly perfect body work in some areas inside the trunk lid and the lousy position of the second cup holder (just under the dash and in conflict with the gear shift when in Park) but I don't sweat the small stuff. One strange thing is the lack of a locking gas cap. The trunk isn't enormous but we have a van as a second vehicle so the Alero isn't meant to haul things. The fold down rear seats have helped in a couple of occassions.
I've owned the car for seven months now. I like having it in the garage. It's been a good, reliable car so far. No problems. My comment about it not holding it's value is based on the declining value I've noticed in all Oldsmobile vehicles I've tracked (also, my father and mother-in-law have driven them for years). Also, with the Oldsmobile name being discontinued in a year or two, I suspect this won't help value at all. However, I drive vehicles for many years so I'm not too worried about depreciation.
Amount Paid (US$):
2002Model and Options:
6 cyl. automatic; Full power group incl. power seat; 8 speaker stereo;