Nissan has launched its second eco-car in Thailand after the March, which is also the first sedan bodied eco-car in the market. Named Almera, it revives a name used by Nissan in Europe for its family cars. If it looks familiar, the Thai Almera is what we know as the new Sunny, the big B-segment sedan that made its world debut in Guangzhou last year.
Built on the V-platform also used by the March hatchback, the Almera is big bodied for a car aimed at the Vios/City segment, a similar approach chosen for the Latio sedan, although the Almera/Sunny is sleeker in shape (0.29 Cd). It is 4,425 mm long, 1,695 mm wide and 1,500 mm tall, while wheelbase is a class leading 2,600 mm. Nissan says that rear knee room is at D-segment levels, and having sat in it before, I agree. Boot space is a large 490 litres.
The Almera comes with a rear spoiler (with LED brake light), fog lamps and chrome on the grille and door handles. Available kit includes Fine Vision instruments, MID, steering buttons, climate control and Intelligent Key with push start button.
The Almera, like the March, is powered by the HR12DE 1.2-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine. This 12-valve CVTC equipped unit makes 79 PS and 106 Nm at 4,400 rpm, and is mated to Nissan’s Xtronic CVT gearbox or a five-speed manual in basic grades. This efficient and lightweight (Almera weighs between 962 and 1,027 kg) package is boosted by Start-Stop tech to deliver claimed fuel consumption of 20 km/l and low CO2 emissions of 120 g/km.
Note that this drivetrain is different from the China spec Sunny, which comes with a larger HR15DE engine. A more efficient package is needed to comply with Thai eco-car rules. The Almera also sports a black cabin, instead of beige.
The Almera/Sunny is part of Tan Chong’s future plans, although no one knows what it will be called here. Click here to read our world debut coverage from Guangzhou, and to view a comprehensive hi res gallery.