Chevrolet Alero Chevrolet Alero

The European debut of the Chevrolet Alero took place in February 1999 in Amsterdam. It comes with a sedan body, a 2.4-liter petrol "four" or a 3.4-liter V6 and so far only with an automatic four-speed gearbox. The same model, sold in America under the Oldsmobile brand, was introduced in Detroit a month earlier. Produced in Lansing, Michigan.

Yuri NECHETOV. Photo by Alexander Polunin

Perhaps you will laugh if you find out that gas costs as much in the US as it does in Russia - 25-30 cents per liter, to put it mildly, a noticeable difference in income. At European gas stations, prices fluctuate within one dollar. That is why in the Old World they are so preoccupied with profitability, and in the New World they run some kind of “Saberben”, devouring twenty liters “per hundred, ” and do not blow into the mustache. There are some other national features, however, the desire to expand sales markets makes car companies, primarily American ones, obey the charters of “alien monasteries”, without forgetting their own.

The first acquaintance with the Alero, with the V6 engine, took place in Europe. Against the background of stiff "Germans", practical "French" and expressive "Italians", he stood out for his not-so-wide sweeping, free design. What are the only huge light blocks in the "half-machine"! By the way, the lenses on them are smooth, without corrugation, so that a burnt thread in any lamp is visible to the naked eye. At the same time, the sedan did not seem bulky at all, but rather, lean and dynamic - thanks to the "light" rear pillars and a short roof. Another characteristic detail is the narrower rims than the “Europeans”, just six inches for a 215 / 60R15 wheel. However, this solution has its own merit - you can grind to curbs without risk of damaging expensive alloy wheels, which are included in the standard package.

Out of touch with “nationality”, but simply as a fact, we note powerful elastic bumpers that can withstand a blow at a speed of 8 km / h without consequences for the owner’s wallet. At the same time, the massive rear bumper makes access to the trunk somewhat difficult. The volume of the latter can be increased by folding the split back of the rear seat.

The salon is equipped in American style, with chic: leather chairs with many adjustments, cruise control, on-board computer, air conditioning, audio system with a CD player, and, of course, electric windows and mirrors. The original ashtray is a plastic cup with a lid in front of the “automatic machine” selector. For the laziest drivers - a light sensor that automatically turns on the headlights in the evening or, say, when driving through a tunnel.

Driving is spacious and comfortable. The wide range of steering column height adjustment and the unusually developed “Americans” lateral support on the seat cushion are surprising.

The review "from the bridge" is not bad, but at the rear it is limited by the wing on the trunk lid. However, if you already got behind the wheel, start the engine without delay - after disabling the protection, the automation takes 40 seconds to do this. Did not have time - push the button on the key fob again. I must admit that it’s annoying from a habit, although you can’t stand it for the safety of your favorite car.

A peculiar landing in the back seat. It is located, according to our concepts, low, so that only the heads of passengers rise above the side. Above them is not a roof, but a rear window. The middle one supports it with its crown, because it is placed on a rather rigid roller. The only way out is to slide down a bit, since the front seatbacks are far away.

The European voyage was quite long - about 800 km happened to drive on the Alero, some of which passed through the Alps. I liked the powerful quiet motor, adaptive "automatic", which adapts to the driving style - from quiet to sporty. The presence of a tight lock of the torque converter provides an almost "mechanical" connection with the wheels, without annoying the annoying switch "down" with moderate acceleration. The steering wheel is easy when parking, not bad on the highway with small turning angles, but on winding mountain roads it almost lacks informational content - it turns too easily. However, the missing information about the steering tension is regularly received through another channel - the acoustic one: the wheels begin to squeak quite early and the faster, the louder. The brakes are good, and the ABS and traction control (ETS) work just fine, at the limit of the tire grip. Unexpectedly modest was the average fuel consumption - 8.5 l / 100 km.

Acquaintance with the car turned out to be "two-stage" - a month later, the Alero with a 2.4 liter engine was also tested. And this time - on our native potholes and tram tracks. The energy intensity of the suspension turned out to be on top - these same paths can be flown, as they say, by a stroke. It would be great if the front spoiler is higher. Nevertheless, the rolls and buildup inherent in many "Americans" are minimal.

And now about the respect for the "alien monasteries." The expulsion of two cylinders and one liter of working volume from under the hood had little effect on the dynamics (plus 1.1 s in acceleration to “hundreds” and minus 1 km / h of maximum speed). The change in the gear ratio of the steering (2.7 turns from lock to lock instead of 2.9) added a little sharpness to it. The Quartet is significantly more economical than the Six (9.4 l / 100 km in the combined cycle versus 12.0 l), although it is more finicky (the "95th" gasoline instead of the "92nd").

"Alero" is conceived so as to become your own on both sides of the Atlantic - not to disappoint the Americans, but at the same time to attract Europeans. The first half of the problem seems to be solved successfully - 64, 000 cars were sold in the USA during spring-summer. But how good it is for Europe, it is up to wealthy Russians to figure out - since October, a car with a 2.4-liter engine has been offered here for $ 26–31 thousand.

+ Good dynamics, effective brakes, tight energy-intensive suspension, excellent sound insulation, rich equipment.

- Limited visibility through the inside mirror, uncomfortable fit for the average passenger

rear, low ground clearance.


(in brackets - 3, 4 l)

General data: number of places - 5; curb weight - 1480 (1483) kg; gross weight - 1855 kg; maximum speed - 200 (201) km / h; acceleration time from standstill to 100 km / h - 10.6 (9.5) s; fuel consumption in conventional suburban and city cycles - 7.1 and 13.4 (9.4 and 16.6) l / 100 km; fuel supply - 57 l; fuel - unleaded AI-95 gasoline (AI-92). Sizes, mm: length - 4742; width - 1780; height - 1399; base - 2719; track front / rear - 1500/1500; ground clearance - 120; trunk volume - 433 l; turning radius - 5.5 m. Engine: four-cylinder, gasoline, in-line (V6) with distributed injection and four (two) valves per cylinder, located transversely in front; working volume - 2392 (3350) smz; cylinder diameter and piston stroke - 90.0x94.0 (92.0x84.0) mm; compression ratio - 9.7 (9.5); power - 104 (130) kW / 141 (177) l. with. at 5800 (5200) rpm; maximum torque - 199 (271) N.m at 4200 (4000) rpm. Transmission: front-wheel drive; gearbox - four-speed automatic; gear ratios: I - 2.96; II - 1.62; III - 1.00; IV - 0.68; h. x - 2.14; final drive - 3.42 (3.05). Suspension: “McPherson” type, with anti-roll bars, assembled on subframes, in the front - single wishbones, at the back - one trailing arm and two transverse links. Brakes: hydraulic disc with a vacuum booster and ABS, front - ventilated. Steering: rack and pinion with power steering. Tire size: 215 / 60R15.