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Nissan Almera 2012 review

The Almera shares a new Nissan global design direction with the forthcoming Pulsar and Altima models

It seems as though everyone is a critic, especially when it comes to the Nissan Almera. Trawling the internet for early word on the Japanese automobile manufacturer’s new light sedan unearthed on-liners wading in, at times quite ferociously, to the car which has just come to Australia.

Value

The Nissan Almera 1.5 ST four-door sedan starts at $16,990 for the manual and $18,990 for the automatic. The Almera 1.5 Ti four-door sedan is also available for $20,990 in automatic only. There’s a multifunction computer putting info at the driver’s beck and call with displays of fuel consumption, driving range and service reminders.

Also included are Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, four-speaker sound with MP3 player and auxiliary plug. Rear park assist is on hand, as well as climate control air conditioning, keyless entry and push-button engine start.

Technology 

On offer in two specification levels – Almera ST and Almera Ti – the former with five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, the latter in auto only. Up front there’s a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 75 kW of power at 6000 rpm and 139 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm, driving through the front wheels.

The manual goes through 6.3 litres of 91 RON fuel per 100 kilometres on the combined urban/highway cycle, the automatic 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres, putting out 149 grams per km and 159 g/km of carbon dioxide respectively.

Design

Having spent time with the Almera on its media launch Down Under, I beg to differ. Based on the same platform as the Nissan Micra hatch, Almera’s strength lies in its passenger cabin with, literally, class-leading space.

Almera’s rear seat legroom of 940 mm is 94 mm greater than Hyundai Accent, 59 mm greater than Holden Barina and 36 mm greater than Toyota Yaris. Headroom in front is similarly generous; in the back not so. The outstanding volume extends to the boot with 490 litres, 25 litres more than the Accent and 15 litres more than the Yaris.

And so to the exterior, which seems to have stirred the online pot. The Almera shares a new Nissan global design direction with the forthcoming Pulsar and Altima models, its signature grille and large wraparound halogen headlights, fog lamps and rear spoiler together producing a fuel saving aerodynamic package.

It rolls on 15-inch steel wheels with covers, or the same size alloys, while the spare is a full-size steel wheel. Much negativity has been focused on the exterior with many comments using the word ‘ugly’, others harking back to the less-than-exotic, but nevertheless, cheap-and-cheerful Datsun 120Y.

Safety

Safety matches that of other vehicles in the class with vehicle stability control, ABS anti-skid brakes with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist. There are six airbags across the model range, including dual front, side and curtain airbags.

Driving

On a short drive in the country (the wintry Dandenongs) the Nissan Almera manual ran true to form, finding the flat to its liking but running out of breath in higher gears hitting the hills – no excessive chore for the accomplished driver.

However, the stubby gear lever suffered from having a long, loose throw with clutch travel likewise. The aforementioned spacious cabin provided a relatively comfortable and especially quiet travelling environment.

Verdict

Made in Thailand, I’m sure the Almera will garner followers. It is what it is, an inexpensive little runabout with class-leading cabin space; and does what it does, doing it without complaint. So, to coin a phrase, social media ‘nut jobs’, stuff that in your (exhaust) pipe and smoke it.

Pricing Guides

$7,990
Based on 17 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$5,990
Highest Price
$11,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
ST 1.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $5,990 – 9,990 2012 Nissan Almera 2012 ST Pricing and Specs
Ti 1.5L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $7,990 – 11,990 2012 Nissan Almera 2012 Ti Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$5,990

Lowest price, based on 15 car listings in the last 6 months

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