The Almera is an all-new car based on the Latio platform. As much as styling is concerned, the Almera is not a bad looking car but somehow it's not really a good looking car either. On the inside you will find a bulbous dashboard design, circular climate control and the cabin is very airy with lots of glass area and comfortable seats. With height adjust for the seat and tilt adjusts for the steering, finding a good driving position is very easy and visibility is always good. Although the interior of the Almera is a very simple layout, what actually stands out is the quality compared to its competitors.
For most cheap cars, they will be an absence of tech and gizmos, but to our surprise, the top-of-the-line Almera is available with keyless entry, six inch navigation system with rear view camera, DVD player, iPod connectivity, USB and Bluetooth that will keep you company whilst driving.
What actually surprise me the most is the amount of space that this car has managed to provide on the backseat. You will find a huge amount of legroom whilst sat at the back. The good part is that all the extra room in the rear seats doesn't mean there is lack of boot space as there is plenty of room that can swallow up to 490 litres of luggage.
The Almera is powered by Nissan's 1.5 litre four-cylinder engine featuring Continuously Variable-valve Timing Control (CVTC) that makes a modest 100bhp and 139Nm of torque. Even though it doesn't sound too much but the engineers have worked well to keep this car to be lightweight. With its lightweight body, the Almera turns out with a great fuel figures. Nissan says the Almera is very much capable of providing you with excellent fuel efficiency of 14.9 kilometres per litre for the automatic transmission and 15.9 kilometres per litre for the manual transmission.
The Almera is a great machine for urban commute. The ride is very pleasant and the handling is pretty decent. The steering wheel is very light hence it is very easy to drive around town and park your car. When you started to build up speed, you'll notice that the car started to feel a little bit disconnected, but the Almera is built for leisure travel not for hustling around.
The Almera has MacPherson struts and ventilated disc brakes up front and a torsion beam and drum brakes at the rear. The suspension has been tuned well to the Malaysian condition so the ride is plush and comfortable.
If you're a bargain hunter, then you should definitely get the Almera because it offers tremendous value for under RM70k. The Almera is a well-engineered car with a really nice engine, light and easy to drive in the city and it is extremely spacious. Although it's not a good looking car, but at the prices Nissan is offering, good looks aren't even part of the equation.
The important bits:
- From RM 66,980, depending on version
- 4 cyls
- 1498 cc
- 100bhp at 6000 rpm
- 139 Nm at 4000 rpm
- 4 speed automatic /5-speed manual transmissions