Nissan Almera – The New Kid on the Block?
The all new Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT comes with a 3 cylinder 1.0 turbocharged engine pushing out 98hp and 152NM of torque. Matched with it’s X-tronic CVT transmission, power is sent to the front wheels to pull its 1,114kg weight.
The B segment automotive class has always been a highly contested class due to the fact that it’s the most affordable entry point to car ownership in Malaysia. And amongst the large array of options offered out on the market, Nissan’s offerings have always seemed the least interesting to me, from the standpoint of looks, performance and features, I had always had a mediocre impression towards it.
Enter the new Nissan Almera which was launched September 2020, I remember scrolling through my FB feed at that time and came upon a post of its launch and was like : Wow! Great job Nissan!
The all new Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT comes with a 3 cylinder 1.0 turbocharged engine pushing out 98hp and 152NM of torque. Matched with it’s X-tronic CVT transmission, power is sent to the front wheels to pull its 1,114kg weight. Instead of having its peak power high up in the rev range which most drivers don’t reach during city driving conditions, thanks to its small responsive turbo, peak power is accessible low down between 2,400 to 4,000 rpm making it a very effortless and brisk drive. This makes for a very efficient and purposeful engine fully suited for city use. The engine note of the Almera reminds us of the Kancil, Kelisa or Kenari turbo’s of yesteryears when pushed hard albeit with more refinement, not a bad trade off since you seldom need to push it hard.
If you’ve previously driven the Sentra or older generations of Nissans’, I’m happy to share with you that it no longer feels like you’re navigating a boat. The ride of the Almera feels composed and controlled, well damped but not harsh which is a huge improvement over its predecessor. The two toned alloys that are matched with 205/55/16 tires fit the wheel arches adequately and compliment the design of the car well.
Internally, the list of standard fitment equipment includes keyless entry, telescopic steering adjustments, push start ignition, power folding mirrors, steering wheel audio & multifunction display controls, auto headlights, auto climate controls, 3 USB ports to keep your electronics charged as well as a semi digital dash display. It’s not a lot but it’s on par with market offerings, which is not bad.
The styling which has a drag coefficient of 0.28Cd together with its sleek lines, well proportioned dimensions look day and night if pitted against the previous generation Almera. Nissan’s V-motion fascia is also carried over to the new Almera for the first time and blends neatly with the overall design of the car. This ugly duckling has gotten a huge makeover and it’s now the hottest looking chick on the block! It looks sporty but also carries some essence of elegance and sophistication.
It seems as if Nissan has finally decided to pay some attention to the B segment sedan and if there is a competition to compare who has evolved the most, I would bet that the Almera would win it hands down without a fight. From the design, to the ride and handling, to that super efficient 1.0 turbo engine, almost every element that you would complain about the previous gen Almera has evolved. The question on everyone’s mind would have now changed from “is it on par with the Vios and City?” to “is the City and Vios better than the Almera?”. And I would firmly answer you : Yes! In certain aspects. However, having said that, I would think the biggest hurdle that Nissan now has to solve is how to eliminate the stigma of ‘old boring cars’ that they used to offer for the B segment from people’s minds and have more people experience the ‘New Almera’!
Watch our new episode of Car Talk on the Nissan Almera Turbo with Ray and Charlie.