2.2L EcoTec engine is decently powered for being in a bigger sedan. The instrument panels are very basic like just the bare essentials. Radio is different from the other models. its actually different from the one shown in the owners manual. The window clips that hold the window on a non-power window do become very fragile in advanced age. Only 2 major issues that have happened was transmission lines busting and brake lines busted all in spots which were difficult to repair by myself. There is one nagging issue but is very common and that is the security lock out upon start. The other slight issue is simply the road, between noise and comfort of ride. As the driver i have never had an issue with comfort in the front seat. My passengers tell me the front passenger seat is fine but the back feels like you are dragging the road. I would say this could be suspension. However, i replaced the whole nine yards of it, making it brand new parts. One major recommendation with an Alero (and any car for that matter), is to always do the regular maintenance because as it wears out, the way the car runs and rides becomes rough in this car. I know this due to the Condition of it when I purchased the vehicle in 2012.
I haven't seemed to have any serious problems with my '03 Alero, which is now at 201,700 miles. Just some part that needed to be replaced, which included my fuel pump, but that was my fault, because I hated so much to stop and get gas, and my gas will always be on empty. And a harmonic balancer and something that has to do with the drivebelt. But that was just very recent. So, I have to say, my car has served me 'very well'. But, 3 of my windows don't work anymore. But I can live with that. Those aren't the parts that matter anyway. Very satisfied with my car. Oh, love the stereo.
I purchased this car when it was 5 years old, that was 8 years ago. I have had only one major issue with it. The drivers side window regulator has gone out and cost too much to replace. Never had issue one with the motor, struts, electronics (other than the regulator) If you treat this car right it will not let you down. Keep up with all regular maintenance and it will last years. Handles really well and an easy ride for long trips. Before you buy any new car make sure it was taken good care of. If it wasn't, walk away.
Bought the car this year, 2014. Had 144k miles on the car at purchase. Fuel pump went out at 146k and found it had been replaced before. Now, the anti-theft system is kicking in when going down the hwy and killing the engine. Ignition switch is jamming up and have to wiggle key to turn and start the car. Being told now that the ignition lock cylinder can fail causing anti-theft system fault and no start conditions. Have towed car home twice in last month because of this problem. GM won't issue a recall on this because they claim it isn't a safety issue. What is safe about your engine cutting off, going 70 mph on the interstate?
I bought a new 2003 Alero back in June 2003. I definitely got my money's worth as I just passed the 183,000 mile mark. Sad to say the time has now come to get a new car as there are issues with the cylinder heads under the gasket not responding and long story short Pep boys wants to charge $3,000 to replace. The car itself is probably worth 1k with as many miles on it. After 9.5yrs and 183,000 miles it definitely has done it's job. Looking for either a new Sonata Turbo or used 2012 Buick Lacrosse. I don't think I can go wrong either way as I take these cars to the grave so I really dont care much about resale value.