The 2020 Nissan Almera has evolved significantly from its predecessor - it is better looking, more refined, and burns less fuel.
While it had impressed us in this year's COTY mega test drive, we have to run it through our standardised WapCar rating system to see where it stands in its segment.
2020 Nissan Almera: Driving Performance - 31/50 pts, the 1.0-litre turbo packs ample power
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Facts and Figures|
|Engine||1.0L 3-cylinder turbo|
|Power||100 PS @ 5,000 rpm|
|Torque||152 Nm @ 4,000 rpm|
|0-100 km/h||12.4 seconds|
|100-0 km/h||42.8 metres|
When we talk abouut the Nissan Almera, the elephant in the room is the 1.0-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine and CVT.
So, what is our verdict on the powertrain?
Power delivery is smooth but occasionally you will feel some delay. Steering is on the lighter side and damping is good, making the Nissan Almera a comfortable runabout.
The tested unit was a VLT variant which sat on 16-inch wheels. While they are indeed stylish, they sound like unnecessary heavy weights for the 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine.
Fortunately, the Nissan Almera is capable of 152 Nm of torque.
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Driving Performances Breakdown|
|Engine||Acceleration||3 / 5|
|In-gear Acceleration||3 / 5|
|Throttle Response||3 / 5|
|Transmission||Shift Logic||3 / 3|
|Smoothness||4 / 5|
|Sport/Manual Mode||1 / 3|
|Steering||Accuracy||2 / 3|
|Response||1.5 / 3|
|Weight & Feel||1.5 / 3|
|Braking||Distance||1.5 / 3|
|Feel||2 / 3|
|Handling||Chassis Balance||1.5 / 3|
|Grip||2 / 3|
|Load Reaction||2 / 3|
|Total||31 / 50 pts|
2020 Nissan Almera: Ride Comfort - 38.5/50 pts, Impressive noise levels for a three-cylinder engine
One of the Nissan Almera's strength is comfort. We've matched it up against the Honda City and the consensus favoured the Almera.
Our only gripes with the car include the not-so-breathable leather upholstery and the short second row bench (It could use more thigh support). Otherwise, comfort of the Nissan Almera is decent for a B-segment saloon.
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Noise Level|
|60 km/h||62 dB|
|90 km/h||66 dB|
|110 km/h||68 dB|
Noise level is impressive considering the Nissan Almera's three-cylinder engine. At 110 km/h the Nissan Almera's 68 dB is comparable to a Honda Accord, and better than the Honda City's 70 dB.
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Ride Comfort Breakdown|
|Sound Proofing||9 / 10|
|Suspension||7 / 10|
|Passenger Comfort||8 / 10|
|Seat Support||4 / 5|
|Ergonomics||3.5 / 5|
|Engine Refinement||7 / 10|
|Total points||38.5 / 50 pts|
2020 Nissan Almera: Quality and Features - 30/50 pts, Decent cabin despite hard plastics
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Panel Gaps (mm)|
|Location||Driver Side||Passenger Side||Difference|
|Front to Rear Door||4||3.5||0.5|
|Rear Door to quarter panel||4||2.5||1.5|
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Paint thickness (µm)|
|Location||Driver Side||Passenger Side|
|Rear Quarter Panel||112||124|
|Average paint thickness: 104.8|
Panel gaps on the Nissan Almera are almost perfect with some gaps showing no difference on the left and right side. One big difference (left and right) was observed between the rear door and the rear quarter panel. Paint thickness deviated slighty with an average of 104.8 µm
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Exterior Material Use|
|Front Fenders||Soundproofing Material||Yes|
|Doors||Front Windows||Single Glazed|
|Rear Windows||Single Glazed|
The Nissan Almera tries to make the interior feel a bit more premium and the effort is commendable. The use of hard plastics is countered by the white leather in the cabin.
Interior finish is good with no rough edges or jarring misalignments.
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Cabin Material Use|
|Dashboard||Upper Section||Hard Plastic|
|Lower Section||Hard Plastic|
|Front Doors||Upper Section||Hard Plastic|
|Lower Section||Hard Plastic|
The infotainment screen is well-integrated into the dash and phone connectivity is seamless.
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Quality & Feature Breakdown|
|Exterior||Paint Finish||3 / 4|
|Panel Gaps||3 / 4|
|Assembly Quality||2 / 2|
|Interior||Build Quality||3 / 5|
|Materials Used||3 / 5|
|Features||Safety||6 / 10|
|ADAS||3 / 5|
|Luxury||2 / 5|
|Convenience||2 / 5|
|Infotainment||3 / 5|
|Total||30 / 50 pts|
2020 Nissan Almera: Space and Practicality - 28/50 pts, Boot space could be bigger, expected cabin space
Kneeroom and headroom at the rear are decent, although the rear bench could provide more thigh support.
Cubby space is expected of that of a B-segment saloon. No fancy storage compartments in the Nissan Almera.
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Interior Space Breakdown|
|Front Row||7 / 10|
|Middle/Back Row||6 / 10|
|Third Row||0 / 5|
|Boot Space||3 / 5|
|Practicality||3 / 5|
|Storage Space||3 / 5|
|Visibility||3 / 5|
|Storage Flexibility||3 / 5|
|Total||28 / 50 pts|
2020 Nissan Almera: Fuel Consumption – 15.5/20 pts, more fuel efficient than a Perodua Axia
After conducting the fuel consumption test several times, an average result of 5.85 l/100 km was obtained. The low fuel consumption can be mainly credited to the small displacement engine which is excellent for urban driving conditions.
The Nissan Almera does not have an "Eco" mode, but with such low fuel consumption, it isn't really needed.
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Fuel Consumption Test Breakdown|
|Fuel Consumption||14 / 15|
|Eco Mode||0 / 2|
|Indicator Accuracy||1.5 / 3|
|Total points||15.5 / 20 pts|
2020 Nissan Almera: Purchase and Cost – 24/30, good value for money
At RM 91,310 (OTR without SST), the 2020 Nissan Almera is not the cheapest of the bunch. However, over a 5-year ownership period, that initial cost might be countered by the lower fuel cost and the lower maintenance price (alternate free servicing up to 70,000 km/60 month)
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Service Costs|
|Month||Mileage (km)||Cost (RM)|
|2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Purchase & Cost|
|Purchase||Car Price||10 / 15|
|Warranty||5 / 5|
|Cost||Maintenance||4 / 5|
|Fuel Cost||5 / 5|
|Total||24 / 30 pts|
2020 Nissan Almera: Conclusion - 167/250 pts overall
To sum it up, the 2020 Nissan Almera is a decent runabout with comfort and fuel economy as its main strength. Both exterior and interior design try to impress you and the result is decent for a B-segment saloon.
Boot space is on the smaller side and the power delivery is suited for the average daily commute.
A weakness of the Nissan Almera is the boot space, which is smaller than its rivals'. The leather upholstery could also use some improvement. The Nissan Almera isn't exactly a budget B-segment saloon, but we do suggest that you give it a try if you're shopping for one. Who knows? You might just end up liking it.