Northwest NEWS

January 29,2001

Entertainment

TEST DRIVE 2001 Oldsmobile Alero

The 2001 Oldsmobile Alero GL2 coupe is a nice driving car. My midnight blue with pewter cloth interior test model came with the "Sun and Sound" package which added $1,100 to the standard price of $19,525, but gave me a sunroof and nice sound system.
   The Alero is a stylish mid-size car with a rear spoiler and side rib molding.
   The dual frontal airbags, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, daytime running lamps tilt-steering wheel, cruise control, power locks, power windows and outside rearview mirrors, reclining front bucket seats, rear window defogger and other features are standard on this model.
   The Alero models available are the GX, Gl, GLS coupe and sedan.
   My test model came with the 2.4L DOHC 4-cylinder engine which was responsive and pulled plenty of power. A 3.4L SFI V6 engine is available.
   The Alero I drove had the five-speed manual transmission made by the German transmission manufacturer, Getrag, which features a synchronized reverse gear and a reverse lockout feature which means you cannot go into reverse until you pull up on the ring located just below the shift knob. This transmission is only available on the Alero 4-cylinder models. A four-speed automatic transmission is available.
   The 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with power front disc brakes and rear drum brakes are standard on the GL as are 16-inch alloy wheels and performance tires.
   A dim-to-park headlight control allows the driver to dim the headlights when necessary.
   The front bucket seats recline and the split rear seat goes to a full fold-down position for more trunk space. My test model came with a 6-way driver seat power adjustment which added $305 to the price.
   Dual front air bags, solar-tinted glass and air conditioning are also standard.
   The AM/FM stereo with compact disc player, cassette and eight speakers were part of the Sun and Sound Package. I enjoyed the with clear, balanced sound and I always like the CD/cassette choice.
   The system included the new Radio Data System (RDS) radio receiver which allows the vehicle to receive and decode broadcast information signals along with regular programming. Listeners can see the name of the station they are listening to and find stations with specific program descriptions.
   The safety features include a new trunk latch release system which includes a pull-handle on the inside of the trunk for anyone trapped inside, child seat anchors and safety cage body construction.