If you are bursting to get a new car, and you are like most car shoppers in this country, chances are that you are looking at a sub-compact hatchback or sedan. Quite simply, this is the biggest, most active part of the market. What Nissan is saying will set the Almera apart here is that it sells for sub-compact money, but it’s really a class up in size. The Almera’s one-size-up exterior, roomy interior and capacious boot (a class-leading 490 dm3), they’re hoping, will tip buyers away from the competition.
Built in Chennai, India, the Almera is available on most global markets. It’s punted as being particularly efficient, notably through the air: drag Co-efficient, says Nissan, is a class-leading 0,318.
The standard 1 498 cm3 petrol engine produces a decent enough output and is paired with either a five-speed manual or four-speed auto. According to Nissan, a gearbox redesign has cut 10 kg off overall weight and at the same time helped optimise layout thanks to its more compact dimensions. That drive towards a more efficient outlook also extends to new materials and design in areas such as the dashboard (3,4 kg saving) and underbody – combining better aerodynamics, more rigid underpinnings and a suspension revision (Nissan says that a 15 per cent longer front suspension stroke is particularly beneficial).
Safety equipment includes ABS with EBD and BAS, two airbags, five three-point seat belts and the usual occupant safety cell. Overall, the Almera has a substantial specification, with remote central locking, power mirrors, air conditioning with dedicated rear vents and independent fan speed control, sound system and steering wheel audio control.
Drivetrain: 1,5-litre 4-inline, fwd
Transmission: 5M or 4A
Economy: 6,3 L/100km (M)
Price: from R165 000, including 3 year/60 000 km service plan