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2002 Oldsmobile Alero

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31
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Coupe
5 Seats
24-28 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Oldsmobile’s most popular model has been the compact front-drive Alero two-door coupe and four-door sedan. Both are offered with a four-cylinder or 3.4-liter V-6 engine and either a manual or four-speed-automatic transmission. In size and price, the Alero fits below the midsize Intrigue sedan. The Alero’s engines and basic design are shared with the Pontiac Grand Am, but each model has considerably different styling.

A new 140-horsepower, 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine goes into the 2002 Alero. This new power plant is designed by General Motors and Lotus and promises improved fuel economy. Aleros wear 15-inch restyled alloy wheels. A revised console with greater storage capacity includes a new cupholder.

The Alero was introduced for the 1999 model year and will be around for a while longer, according to GM. In December 2000, the automotive giant announced that the Oldsmobile make would be phased out. But the Alero is expected to remain in production until sometime in 2004. Four models are available: the GX, GL1, GL2 and GLS. Rivals include the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and two-door Toyota Camry Solara.

Exterior
Styling has been one of the main points used by Oldsmobile to differentiate the Alero from Japanese-brand automobiles. Both the coupe and sedan share some design themes with Oldsmobile’s Aurora and Intrigue. Riding a 107-inch wheelbase, the Alero has more rounded fenders and quarter panels, as well as a low-nose/high rear-deck profile. B...

Vehicle Overview
Oldsmobile’s most popular model has been the compact front-drive Alero two-door coupe and four-door sedan. Both are offered with a four-cylinder or 3.4-liter V-6 engine and either a manual or four-speed-automatic transmission. In size and price, the Alero fits below the midsize Intrigue sedan. The Alero’s engines and basic design are shared with the Pontiac Grand Am, but each model has considerably different styling.

A new 140-horsepower, 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine goes into the 2002 Alero. This new power plant is designed by General Motors and Lotus and promises improved fuel economy. Aleros wear 15-inch restyled alloy wheels. A revised console with greater storage capacity includes a new cupholder.

The Alero was introduced for the 1999 model year and will be around for a while longer, according to GM. In December 2000, the automotive giant announced that the Oldsmobile make would be phased out. But the Alero is expected to remain in production until sometime in 2004. Four models are available: the GX, GL1, GL2 and GLS. Rivals include the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and two-door Toyota Camry Solara.

Exterior
Styling has been one of the main points used by Oldsmobile to differentiate the Alero from Japanese-brand automobiles. Both the coupe and sedan share some design themes with Oldsmobile’s Aurora and Intrigue. Riding a 107-inch wheelbase, the Alero has more rounded fenders and quarter panels, as well as a low-nose/high rear-deck profile. Both body styles are 186.7 inches long, which is a little shorter than the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Available with 15- or 16-inch tires, the Alero is 70.1 inches wide and 54.5 inches high. The coupe wears a rear spoiler.

Interior
Both body styles have five-passenger capacity and feature front bucket seats. Because the coupe’s rear seat is narrower than the sedan’s, three people in the backseat is a tight squeeze. Trunk volume is 14.6 cubic feet, but the rear seatback folds to expand cargo capacity.

A CD player, tilt steering wheel, air conditioning and power door locks are standard in the base GX. Its split rear seatback folds down for additional cargo space. The GL1 adds fog lamps, remote keyless entry and power windows, while the GL2 is the performance-oriented Alero. Topping the line is the GLS, which gets GM’s OnStar communication system, CD and cassette players, power mirrors and leather seating surfaces.

Under the Hood
A new 140-hp, 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine is standard on GX and GL1 models and optional on the GL2. This engine teams with either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission. Only the automatic transmission is available with the 170-hp, 3.4-liter V-6, which is standard on the GL2 and GLS and optional on the GL1. Antilock brakes, traction control and daytime running lights are standard.

Driving Impressions
The Alero’s four-cylinder engine delivers rather snappy performance, especially with the manual transmission. This car’s ride quality is better than that of many cars on the road. Even the performance suspension in the GL2 model absorbs its fair share of bumps. The Alero is light on its feet and very easy to steer, but handling talents are closer to average. Actually, average is a good way to describe the Alero: a cut above in some areas, but nothing special in others.

Flaunting more adventurous styling than most Japanese rivals, the Alero has been the most youth-oriented Oldsmobile model. Space is ample in the coupe, and the slide-forward passenger seat helps pave the way to the rear — which has more room than a lot of two-door models. The four-cylinder engine growls a little, but not enough to be annoying.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

3.7
23 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.2)
Performance
(3.7)
Interior Design
(3.6)
Comfort
(4.1)
Reliability
(3.6)
Value For The Money
(3.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Great product by genral motors nice daily driver o

by KYk from Rotonda West, Florida on October 31, 2018

It’s a good car to start driving with cheap economical very reliable and good on fuel never had a problem with it the time I had min Read full review

(5.0)

Great Car!

by BrookieLyn97 from Flowood, MS on January 24, 2018

This is my first car. I got it in 2014. I had to replace the fuel pump at 140K miles. I am at 170K miles now. Having no issues anymore. The motor in my back window went out recently and my lock ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2002 Oldsmobile Alero currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Oldsmobile Alero has not been tested.

Latest 2002 Alero Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Alero received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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