The 2020 Nissan Almera represents a significant change in direction for the brand in the country, both from the N18’s styling and equipment viewpoint. As highlighted in our preview story, the level of kit is comprehensive, and the inclusion of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) across the entire range is laudable.

The best news for Malaysian buyers is that they have more to look forward to from the brand over the next year or so. The Kicks B-segment crossover and new B18 Sylphy are set to follow in the footsteps of the Almera – the plans for their eventual introduction were revealed last year, although it is expected that the timelines for their debuts have been pushed back as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic having altered the landscape.

The Sylphy, in particular, will offer consumers looking for a size-up option plenty to consider, with the draw very much led by its looks. As shown by the Almera, dowdy is very much a thing of the past where Nissan cars are concerned, and the styling of the Sylphy is a reinforcement of that.

The eighth-gen model, which made its debut in Shanghai last year, wears a far sharper suit than its B17 predecessor, with a prominent signature V-motion radiator grille, slim LED headlights and a floating roof being notable highlights.

The North American version – in the form of the Sentra – showcases the keenly sculptured lines to even greater effect with the aid of a two-tone colour exterior and sportier wheels. Hopefully, we’ll see things along those lines for the local car when it comes around.

Based on what’s seen on the Almera, which has the highest specification level in the ASEAN region, the Sylphy – and Kicks – should also be very well kitted, with AEB coming as standard and a Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite on the range-topping version.

Aside from AEB, the package features driver assistance elements such as blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and an Intelligent Around View Monitor (360-degree bird’s eye view) with moving object detection on the Almera, so the Sylphy should be similarly equipped.

In other markets, the system also features items such as rear automatic braking (working with RCTA) and high beam assist, but it remains to be seen what else the local pack for the sedan will incorporate. Meanwhile, engine options for the C-segment offering include a HR16DE Gen3 1.6 litre and a MR20DE 2.0 litre, both naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol units, working with an Xtronic CVT.

GALLERY: 2020 Nissan Sentra, North America

GALLERY: B18 Nissan Sylphy, China