Why the all-new 2020 Nissan Almera will be a turning point for ETCM

Eric · Aug 04, 2020 12:02 AM

Before we get started, let’s get this out of the way – the current-generation Nissan Almera is anything but desirable.

Not only the current model lacks any modern safety equipment (no stability control and only two airbags), its quirky looks won’t be winning any beauty contests as well.

Enter the all-new, fourth-generation Nissan Almera – the model that will hopefully lift Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM)’s earnings.

It made its global debut in New York back in April 2019 before arriving in this region in late 2019 - more specifically in Thailand.

Compared to the previous-generation model, the all-new Nissan Almera ups the ante in practically every aspect.

Starting with the design, the all-new Nissan Almera is quite the looker. Thanks to its updated V-Motion front-end, the all-new Almera looks pretty much like a shrunken-down Nissan Sylphy or Nissan Teana.

Depending on who you ask, some actually prefer the looks of the all-new Nissan Almera over the equally-new Honda City, as the Almera gets better body proportions and sharper looks than the City.

Then there’s the safety equipment of the all-new Nissan Almera.

The Thai-spec car offers up to six airbags, stability control, as well as ADAS features – the latter isn’t even offered on the Thai-spec all-new Honda City. Quite a massive leap considering how spartan the current-generation model is.

The revamped interior is also worth a mention, as we sat inside both the Thai-spec versions all-new Nissan Almera and all-new Honda City.

We found that the all-new Nissan Almera’s interior actually feels more upmarket than the all-new Honda City, offering better quality plastics and soft-touch materials on the middle of the dashboard and door panels. 

Unlike the Thai-spec Honda City, the Almera does not get a centre armrest for the rear passengers and the head rests are integrated. Some taller folks might find the all-new Almera a tad bit less comfortable than the current model, as one cannot put their feet under the driver's seat, which is possible in the current model.

Never mind the current-generation models’ rather abysmal interior, if the Thai-spec Almera’s interior can beat the all-new City in terms of quality, then we have rather high hopes for the all-new model here in Malaysia.

Closer to home, the all-new Nissan Almera has been spied numerous times, hinting that Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) is gearing up to introduce the all-new model here soon.

Considering that the turbocharged engine has been earmarked for Malaysia, it should give the all-new Almera an edge over the competition, as both Toyota and Honda are gearing up to introduce refreshed versions of their respective B-segment sedans.

Credit to where credit is due, ETCM has done a decent job speccing the C27 Nissan Serena and facelifted Nissan X-Trail - both cars now offer up to 6 airbags, a massive upgrade over the 2-airbag affair of the previous models.

With all said and done, the all-new Nissan Almera has a lot going for it – good looks, nice interior, decent equipment list, as well as a sophisticated powertrain.

If ETCM can maintain this momentum with the all-new Nissan Almera, then potential buyers will be spoilt by choices when shopping for a B-segment sedan, as opposed to looking at the Almera as a just a cheap point A to point B car.