Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) has officially launched the Nissan Almera into our market at an event held at One World Hotel. With four variants competitively priced between RM64,887 and RM77,549 (OTR without insurance), we were more than pleasantly surprised as we’d expected the B-segment sedan to cost somewhat more.
The four variants of the Nissan Almera come in three grades: E (five-speed manual RM64,887, four-speed auto RM67,809), V (RM74,627) and the full-spec VL (RM77,549). All are powered by Nissan’s HR15DE 1.5 litre four-cylinder that pushes out 102 PS and 139 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.
The Nissan Almera’s engine features Continuously Variable-valve Timing Control (CVTC), which helps the Almera claim fuel efficiency figures of 14.9 km per litre for the auto and 15.9 for the manual. The four-speed automatic is in fact a new unit – it’s 11% more compact, 15% lighter, has 32% lower friction and 12% fewer components than before.
Assembled at Tan Chong Motor Assemblies’ Serendah facility, the Nissan Almera is based on Nissan’s V platform, which also underpins the March hatchback, and as such has MacPherson struts and ventilated disc brakes up front and a torsion beam and drum brakes at the back. What is interesting is 50% of its components are locally-made. Standard tyres are 185/65 R15, while kerb weight is around the one-tonne mark.
How do the variants differ? The higher V and VL grades get front fog lamps, black door pillar garnish, variable intermittent wipers, twin airbags, seven-spoke alloys and remote boot release. The E grade gets steel wheels with wheel covers and a single airbag for the driver. Additional features on the top-spec car include Intelligent Key with push-start, automatic climate control and an illuminated Fine Vision Meter with multi information display.
A sea of optional accessories awaits the customer, ranging from door visors and leather seats to LED stainless steel kickplates and a six-inch screen multimedia navigation system with rear view camera display, DVD, iPod, USB and Bluetooth. These can be specified via three option packages – Luxury, Navi and Premium Navi.
The RM6,000 Premium Navi package comprises the accessories mentioned above as well as LED turn signal light wing mirrors, boot tray, sport pedals (auto only) and Solar Gard Armorcoat. An upgrade to V-Kool Elite is available for an extra RM1,200.
For those who want to stand out even further, there’s the Nissan Almera Impul package, available on all grades for an additional RM9,500. The complete package comprises a front grille, Impul Aerokit (including rear spoiler), exhaust muffler, sports suspension (which lowers ride height by 25 mm) and a choice of 16- or 17-inch alloys.
Standard features across the Nissan Almera range include electric power steering, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, and ISOFIX seat mounting points. Cabin space is touted as the best in its class, with 636 mm of legroom at the back. Boot volume is a generous 490 litres.
Five colours are available for the Nissan Almera, namely Brilliant White, Tungsten Silver, Twilight Grey, Sapphire Black and Bronze Gold.
The Nissan Almera has been a strong seller particularly in the US, Thailand and China, and more than half a million have found homes worldwide. With the new car, ETCM hopes to revive its position as leader in the non-national affordable vehicle segment, and carry on the legacy shared by models such as the Sunny and Sentra.