The Nissan Almera we see on our roads are nigh on 8 years old now and its replacement is coming to Malaysia. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, plans have been understandably affected.
We've been up close and personal with the all-new Nissan Almera, so here are our impressions of the Almera and everything we know about it up to this point.
1. When will the Nissan Almera arrive?
Changes in government policy towards vehicle pricing and the Covid-19 pandemic have put things on hold for the Nissan Almera. It was slated to be launched sometime this year but given the current situation, it isn’t likely anymore.
A 2021 launch is more probable, though we’re not ruling out a late 2020 launch completely.
2. Will we get the turbo engine?
Unlikely. The engine is tuned for low CO2 emissions to qualify for lower excise duties under Thailand’s EcoCar II policy, which requires cars to emit no more than 100 g/km of CO2 to qualify.
Like the engine in the Thailand-spec Honda City, these engines don't come cheap by developing market standards so without tax incentives, prices will go well beyond what’s locally acceptable for a B-segment sedan.
3. What engine will we get then?
The outgoing Nissan Almera’s 1.5-litre engine making 102 PS and 139 Nm that is mated to a 4-speed automatic is the most likely outcome.
The plus side of having this engine is the refinement over the turbocharged 3-cylinder engine. While we haven’t tested it ourselves, reviews from Thailand have mentioned that the 3-cylinder engine exhibits excessive vibration.
4. How efficient is the outgoing 1.5-litre engine?
Owners of the current generation Almera have been reporting an average between 7.0-7.5L/100 km. Should it arrive with the same engine as expected, it would likely return similar figures.
5. How much will it be priced in Malaysia?
At this point, we can only speculate. In Thailand, the 2020 Nissan Almera is priced between 499k Baht (around RM 67k) and 639k Baht (around RM 85k).
The previous Almera was sold in Thailand at prices between 433k Baht and 608k Baht back in 2014. But with the tax incentives for the 2020 model, it’s difficult to make a comparison and the 1.0-litre engine is unlikely to appear here. Our best guess is the price range of typical B-segment sedans – RM 70k to RM 90k.
6. Is it finally fitted with stability control?
Yes. In Thailand, all variants receive Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Hill Start Assist (HAS), and at least 2 airbags. The range-topper Almera VL gets a total of 6 airbags.
7. Does it feature Advanced Driver Assistance Systems?
Indeed it does, which puts it ahead of even the all-new 2020 Honda City. The Almera gets Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (IFCW), Intelligent Emergency Braking (IEB), Intelligent Around View Monitor (IAVM), Moving Object Detection (MOD), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
8. How big is it over the outgoing model?
Dimension wise, the upcoming Nissan Almera’s length measures at 4,495 mm (+70 mm over predecessor model), while the width is 1,740 mm (+45 mm), and height is 1,460 mm (-40 mm). The wheelbase is 20 mm longer than the model it replaces, coming in at 2,620 mm. All these point to a more aesthetically pleasing exterior.
9. How does the interior feel?
From our initial impressions, very good for its segment. There are soft materials on the middle part of the dashboard and door panels, it’s still hard plastics for other parts but commendable nonetheless.
Driving position is great, the steering wheel has telescopic adjustment and the driver’s seat can be adjusted to quite a low position, which should please driving enthusiasts.
10. Is legroom in the rear still as spacious as before?
First impressions would suggest yes, though not quite as spacious as the 2020 Honda City. Compared to its predecessor, there is less foot space since the front seats are mounted lower and the rear passengers won’t be able to slot their feet underneath the seats. The rear headrests are also non-adjustable.