Almera sparkles in comeback

Bobby Cheetham

THE new Nissan Almera is back on the roads in South Africa.The Almera is available in one model only, the 1.5 Acenta manual or automatic, and is built in Chennai, India and fully imported. The South African market forms part of the 170 global markets where the vehicle is marketed.

And after spending a few days with the car, we would like to say that it’s like finding a diamond in the rough!

The car is now bigger and more luxurious than before and is the ideal car for a young, growing family. Interior space has been maximised thanks to a long wheelbase – 2600mm – which makes its boldest statement in rear legroom.

Very good all-round visibility for both driver and passengers also contributes to the spacious feeling, as well as generous 636mm of total rear knee space.

Upholstery is a durable black and grey cloth combination, with interior panels finished in black as well for a classy, practical look and feel. The car has also been designed with practicality in mind, the interior featuring no less than three major storage cubby holes. There are also a total of four cup or bottle holders.

Of course, the boot is its biggest feature, the new Almera featuring a massive 490 litres of luggage space. With a deep loading area, a low loading sill and smooth surfacing inside, the boot appeals on all levels. We also like the power plant which ticks all the right boxes.

The car is available with a 1.5-litre petrol engine. The 1498cc unit produces a healthy 73kW of power at 6000rpm and 134Nm of torque at 4000rpm.

The low-emission and efficient engine allows the five-speed manual version to achieve average combined cycle fuel economy of 6.3-litres per 100km, the four-speed automatic variant achieving 7.2. Carbon emissions for both models are 149g/km and 171g/km respectively.

For any family, safety is a major factor in choosing the right vehicle and the Almera does not fall short in that department!

Safety equipment comprises ABS with EBD and BAS, with backup in the form of two airbags, five three-point seatbelts and a zoned body structure whereby the passenger compartment features high-strength construction.

Specific attention has been paid to the seatbelts, which now feature a reduction in pull-out force of approximately 10% and softer webbing for increased comfort during use. Other safety equipment includes ISOFIX child seat anchor points, a third brake light and an immobiliser.

We also like the look of the Almera.

While it’s not going to win any awards for good looks, the car is practical and modern. The rear of the car features distinctively large tail lights which wrap around into the flanks. The smooth-edged rear bumper is neat and fuss-free, framing the rear with a smart look.

All design elements have been implemented with aerodynamic efficiency built in as well – from body panels to door mirrors, the boot lid with integrated spoiler and even under-chassis elements like the fuel tank and rear suspension – to ensure the car is geared to reducing fuel consumption (of 6.3-litres per 100km) in every aspect. Its drag coefficient is class-leading at 0.318.

The 1.5 Acenta manual and automatic models feature remote central locking, full colour coding, chrome exterior detailing, 15-inch alloy wheels, electric door mirrors, manual air conditioning with dedicated rear vents and independent fan speed control, a radio/CD/MP3 audio system with aux input port, four speakers, steering wheel audio controls, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, tilt adjustment for the steering wheel, remote central locking with speed-sensitive auto-locking doors and a comprehensive trip computer with two trip meters, instant and average fuel economy readouts, tank range and service information.

The Almera is available as standard with a three-year/60000km service plan and Nissan’s three-year/100000km warranty. Service intervals are 15000km.

Have a look at the new Almera, you will be pleasantly surprised at the value for money package this car gives.

Big on car, small on price:

The brand is derived from the Spanish term for a large diamond – “almendra” – Almera is a global car for Nissan which exudes a youthful image and Mediterranean atmosphere.

A smartly-packaged, brand new sedan which boasts affordability, top-class comfort and space with eco-friendliness and clever engineering.

With its roots stretching back to 1995, the Nissan Almera found favour with South Africans initially in its second generation both as a hatchback and sedan in 2001.

Already on sale in key markets like the United States, Thailand and China, the new Almera has racked up global sales in excess of 500000 units to date. “The all-new Nissan Almera is an extremely important new car for Nissan in South Africa, where the B-segment is the largest and fastest-growing segment in the market,” says Janico Dannhauser, product manager for passenger vehicles at Nissan South Africa.

“With its bold new design, ultimately efficient packaging, extremely spacious interior, large boot and sound powertrain we expect the new Almera to prove even more popular than before, where in South Africa, the Almera name had a strong following at the beginning of this century. With the new Almera, Nissan will certainly continue its reputation for providing an affordable, reliable vehicle with the brand’s ethos of ‘Innovation that Excites’ coming through strongly.”

Keeping with the tradition of offering a global vehicle with C-segment sedan proportions at an affordable, sub-compact or B-segment price also forms part of the Almera philosophy and with this new model, Nissan again offers exceptional value to South African consumers.

1.5 Acenta Manual R165000

1.5 Acenta Automatic R175500

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