Sunny side up

Nissan Almera 1.5 Premium Review

Stiry by Justin Lee Photos by Raymond Lai - 18 Dec 2011

The new Nissan Almera has quite big shoes to fill as it replaces two of Nissan’s most popular models – the Sunny and the Latio sedan. But far from being a staid and conventional family car, the Almera, like the crossover Juke and with a little technical help from the March, sets be a family sedan with a difference.

Unconventional Appearance

The Nissan Sunny, like the Toyota Corolla, has been a ‘bread and butter’ family sedan since the mid-60s – at least two generations of Singaporeans have grown up with memories of having one of these vehicles around, if not learning how to drive in one, or at least having an uncle or aunt that had one.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or have been in deep hibernation for the last decade or so, you’ll know that things just can’t remain the same – things are more complicated now, and a basic family sedan just does not exist anymore, at least one from Japan. And would you really want to be driving a model that your father or uncle was driving? If your answer is ‘no’, then Nissan have played their cards right with the new Almera.

This accounts for Nissan brushing off the Almera badge for their latest 1.5-litre family car, and also helps us to understand the car’s unusual lines and proportions.

The first Almera was in the 90s, a 5-door hatchback model that Nissan produced in the United Kingdom. It looked like a tidied-up Fiat Tipo, but its mechanicals were largely borrowed from the Sunny 1.6. It was only sold in limited numbers in Singapore, as back then most Singaporeans preferred sedans such as the Sunny.

As for the new Almera’s styling, it is definitely a case of ‘form follows function’. This means that you will only appreciate the Almera’s funky, unconventional lines only after you take a look at the amount of legroom the rear passengers get, and into the huge, almost 500 litre boot. To put things into perspective, the Almera has probably more rear legroom and a larger boot than a full-sized executive saloon such as a Mercedes-Benz E-class!

In order to achieve this remarkable feat of space-efficiency, the designers have had to alter the proportions of the Almera from that of a conventional mid-sized family sedan. Firstly, the Almera shares its platform with the new Nissan March, albeit with its wheelbase stretched by 110mm. While this is not the first time Nissan has done this - the Latio and previous March also shared a platform - but this time it is more obvious. Park the Almera next to another sedan, for example, you will notice that the entire passenger cabin assumes a tall, hatchback-like profile, which draws attention to steeply raked bonnet and windscreen.

At the rear, aft of the sloping roofline, the Almera stretches its boot further back than other cars in its class - allowing it to have such a commodious almost 500 litre boot. Stylistically, the cues are taken from the Nissan Teana, but this does little to disguise the Almera’s unusual proportions.

 
Index
Have your say
  I have an Almera Nissan.

It is 4 months now and I like driving it to the shops and work but not for long distance. Wish I knew this shortcoming before getting this.

Another caution is the seats all looking worn out! It don't feel as quiet when I first got it!!
- Anonymous Singapore. 12 Mar 2013 2:46PM
  We found the new Almera a very basic car. Comfortable it may be with room for 4 grown adults, but it feel unsafe when going over 100kph. It has one of the most mediocre cornering ability in the price range. Many cars will rattle at one time or later. At the workshop, they usually tightened things up or insert bits of foam to stop rattles.
- Anonymous Singapore. 18 Jan 2013 3:44PM
 This new Almera is really a very pleasant car to drive and be in. I wish I never bought my awful Proton Preve which is now a noisy rattler after just 4 months of driving. With my bonus year end, I might trade in this for Almera instead. Only if the Almera was nicer looking.......sigh.
- Anonymous , Singapore. 20 Nov 2012 9:44AM
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Engine
Engine Capacity 1498cc
Engine Type Straight 4
Compression Ratio 10.1:1
Bore x Stroke (78 x 78.4)mm
Power 99bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 134Nm @ 4000rpm
Power to Weight 95.2 bhp per ton
Performance
Acceleration 13.1s (0-100 km/h)
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.9 km/L
Misc Technical Data
Transmission 4 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF
Steering Hydraulic
Measurements
Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4425 x 1695 x 1515) mm
Wheelbase 2590 mm
Turning Circle 5.2 metres
Kerb Weight 1040 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 41 L
Brakes
Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Drums
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