Ratings: 2020 Nissan Almera 1.0L Turbo VLT - More fuel efficient than an Axia?

Arif · Dec 26, 2020 09:59 AM

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.

Let's begin.

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
Transmission CVT
Power 100 PS @  5,000 rpm
Torque 152 Nm @  4,000 rpm
Weight 1,114 kg
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?

Well, it is not the fastest in its class. For context, The Nissan Almera completed the century sprint in 12.4 seconds, while the Proton Persona managed 11.7 seconds.

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.

VLP and VLT variant get 16-inch wheels. VL variant gets 15-inch wheels

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.

The rear bench could offer more support
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
Bonnet 3.5 4 0.5
Front Fender 3.5 3.5 0
Front to Rear Door 4 3.5 0.5
Rear Door to quarter panel 4 2.5 1.5
Tailgate 4 4 0

 

2020 Nissan Almera 1.0 Turbo VLT - Paint thickness (µm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side
Front Bonnet 99.5
Front Fender 103.4 114
Front Door 90.7 106
Rear Door 94.2 96.7
Rear Quarter Panel 112 124
Tailgate 116
Roof 97.3
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
Bonnet Soundproofing Material Thin
Struts Manual
Front Fenders Soundproofing Material Yes
Doors Front Windows Single Glazed
Rear Windows Single Glazed
Construction Single piece
Tailgate/Boot Opening Manual

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
Seat Seat Cover Fabric/Leather
Armrest Armrest Cover N/A
Dashboard Upper Section Hard Plastic
  Lower Section Hard Plastic
Front Doors Upper Section Hard Plastic
  Middle Section Leather
  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.

Boot space is not the largest in class, as the Nissan Almera only offers 482 litres. The Toyota Vios offers 506 litres, the Proton Persona offers 510 litres, and the Honda City offers 520 litres. 

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.

Fuel consumption result from one test. After several tests, a figure of 5.85 l/100km was obtained.

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)
1 1,000 0
6 7,000 0
12 14,000 257.24
18 21,000 0
24 28,000 448.28
30 35,000 0
36 42,000 355.68
42 49,000 0
48 56,000 448.28
54 63,000 0
60 70,000 257.24
Total 1,766.72

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.

 

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