REVIEW: Nissan Almera Turbo in Malaysia – fr RM80k

Nissan has taken a right battering in recent years – its public image has been so shaken by scandals and poor financial results that us onlookers have every reason to worry about its future. And that’s before you take into account the situation in Malaysia, where an ageing lineup has allowed it fall even further adrift of rivals like Honda, Toyota and even Mazda.

But the carmaker is digging its heels deep, with several fresh new models that are finally starting to filter into the market. On our shores, the offensive starts with the latest Almera, which at last looks set to take the fight to the all-conquering Honda City and Toyota Vios. It’s nothing if not ambitious – at between RM79,906 to RM91,310, it’s gone from being the cheapest in the segment to one of the most expensive.

The B-segment sedan has more than a few tricks up its sleeve to tackle them head on, however. It’s got arguably the most handsome design of the lot, a completely revamped cabin and a head unit that no longer looks like it’s been pilfered from a Brothers catalogue (it’s even got Apple CarPlay).

The Almera even has a bang up-to-date engine – a 1.0 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine that is right on trend, making 100 PS and an impressive 158 Nm of torque. But the most impressive is the generational leap in safety, where the Almera goes from having a maximum of two airbags and ABS to featuring standard-fit autonomous emergency braking and stability control and up to six airbags.

But what does all this mean in the real world? Can the new Almera live up to the weight of expectations placed on its dinky shoulders, and can the three-pot really deliver the oomph expected in the segment? Our man Hafriz Shah gets behind the wheel to answer all those questions and more, and you can watch his review in the video above. As usual, let us know what you think in the comments after the jump.

Looking to sell your car? Sell it with myTukar.

Learn more:

Certified Pre-Owned - 1 Year Warranty

10% discount when you renew your car insurance

Compare prices between different insurer providers and use the promo code 'PAULTAN10' when you make your payment to save the most on your car insurance renewal compared to other competing services.

Car Insurance

Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.

 

Comments

  • Amran on Jan 18, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    A small step on the pedal, a great leap for new Almera buyer. Amazing car during this covid time,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 5
    • Civic Turbo 2018 on Jan 19, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      Very easy. We just follow Hafiz’s choice. Get the X50 over anything else around this price range and similar (i.e. Vios, City, Almera, HRV, CX3 etc)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5
      • Susukotak on Jan 19, 2021 at 3:46 pm

        Totally agreed bruh. Proton X50 or nothing.. when driving around Putrajaya, we see Honda everywere… City, BRV, Jazz, HRV, Civic, CRV you name it. Where’s the love…. sigh maruah2

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  • AZAMIRUDDIN AHMAD on Jan 19, 2021 at 8:05 am

    The torque equals to a 1.8L engine.. very impressive.. But with only 98hp on a 3 cylinder, don’t expect that much..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3
    • Mr. Tan And Chong on Jan 19, 2021 at 10:14 am

      you will get surprised at how it pick up speeds though. no more 3 speed automatics from the 80s. that torque is superior with CVT for urban and sub urban drive

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
    • Mienzz92 on Jan 19, 2021 at 10:21 am

      Honda 1.5L L15B Direct Injection Non Turbo
      130hp (97kW) / 155Nm

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
      • Max torque for turbo comes earlier and longer range than NA, but beneficial only if no turbo lag

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Celup King on Jan 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

      Jepunis fanboys says 3cyl engine is vibrating, harsh running, noisy, and won’t last long with bad RV.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  • jojos on Jan 19, 2021 at 8:34 am

    Kudos on the new look

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • X70 Buyer on Jan 19, 2021 at 8:36 am

    Unimpressed if Im a buyer. Still lose to almighty X50

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 21
  • GenY AEB on Jan 19, 2021 at 8:48 am

    Ada AEB rm80k

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • The headunit is positively dinky and judging from button placement is still LHD biased (ie feels aftermarket). Honda City headunit has a more modern feel with no knobs and lesser buttons that is crucially RHD biased, giving it an OEM built feel compared to those on this Almera. Similarly Toyota Vios too has RHD bias headunit fitted so if your competitors are doing something right, how did you screw that up ETCM Nissan?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 22
    • PEJUANG on Jan 19, 2021 at 2:26 pm

      ETCM is very bad compared to UMW and DRB. what a shame because nissan cars are fantastic.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • Rakyat Malaysia on Jan 19, 2021 at 11:23 pm

        Should have let our abams manage ETCM like how they made UMW & DRB a success.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Joe Ooi on Jan 19, 2021 at 9:03 am

    Hey Hafiz, buy this car too!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Gallivanter on Jan 19, 2021 at 9:41 am

    I test drove the car 2 weeks ago, very smooth and good ride, but some parts of the interior still feels a little “Uncle” vs my 2014 Cerato. Nissan may have come a long way but they still need to up the game for something that cost RM94k in Sabah.

    The seat color sides are shoddy, the dashboard and side finishing feels tacky, small parts of the interior here and there could’ve been finished better as I don’t think they can last very long.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
  • 4G63T DSM on Jan 19, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Well done Hafriz and Paultan.org.

    This is by far the most comprehensive review of a car of late.

    Pity it doesn’t support Android Auto though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
    • Ongtk on Jan 19, 2021 at 11:50 am

      If the head unit is compatible with Apple Car Play, you can also use Android Auto. This was my experience from my CX-5. I had Apple Car Play retrofitted at Mazda when it became available much later. I have no problem running Android Auto all this time. The dongle supports both Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Besides, all Android phones running Android Version 10 will have the Android Auto app. Earlier Android versions can install the APK and it will work just as well.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • ex VGM staff on Jan 19, 2021 at 10:16 am

    saw the car several weeks back. shocked to see the tyre size 205/55 R16. Man! thats what perdana v6 use as OEM size 20 years ago.

    time changes everything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • Silthice on Jan 19, 2021 at 12:39 pm

      If it’s using thin Tyre… It will be more fuel ⛽ efficient?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Jascha on Jan 19, 2021 at 10:33 am

    I suggest to have a shoot out between the B Segment sedans top spec consist of City, Vios, Mazda 2 and this Almera in order for potential buyers to have a clearer picture of the pros and cons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  • madmoz on Jan 19, 2021 at 10:53 am

    That engine bay :(
    Plastic cover expensive meh Nissan?
    .
    .
    .
    Says the guy who doesn’t even know where to pop the hood on his current car :P

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  • Psyduck on Jan 19, 2021 at 11:30 am

    I am not a car expert but Almera definitely looks sleek and stylish to me. I am living in Penang and am a bit surprised that I am yet to come across any live Almera on the road till today……….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
    • Brandon c. on Jan 19, 2021 at 3:37 pm

      I am right in the centre of Klang Valley and i have only seen 2 on the road.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • En. Jurutera Mekanik on Jan 19, 2021 at 11:40 am

    I am not expecting dressed-up beauty….but the engine and engine bay look untidy. Hoses and wires criss-crossing all over and rubbing. Can be pretty dangerous, esp when the turbo heats up the bay space. I pity the person who will work on this car later.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • seancorr (Member) on Jan 19, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Haha like the fact they mentioned Apple Car Play (a punch in the gut to BMW Malaysia)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • the driver on Jan 19, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    This car is truly a game changer. imagine 158Nm, that is as good as some 1.8l engines. My only concern is what rev does the above torque kick in and I hope turbo lag is minimal. One more concern is I hope that Nissan has programmed the fuelling system so that the power delivery is smooth for better fuel consumption and engine longevity, too often you hear small turbo cars failing due to over zealous driving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • dong gor on Jan 19, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    To answer Hafriz, yes this model is late to the party.
    SUV is the trend now. And with Proton’s pricing on both X50 and X70, the whole auto industry landscape in Malaysia (with high taxes) has changed. The only pie left is those that are significantly cheaper below 50k and at the other premium end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • turborider on Jan 19, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Mordern turbo engine with 7,000km service interval is totally unacceptable, industry standards should be at least 10,000km or 6 months, which ever come first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • Littlefire on Jan 26, 2021 at 12:25 pm

      Tell that to Honda 1.5T engine owners also. Most owners are reporting similar service intervals at around 7-8k. If you driven Turbo cars from Japan, in the past is 50% shorter service interval (Around 5k only) compare to N/A even using the best fully synthetic. With the hot & humid weather here, 7-8k service intervals already consider good for small turbo engines from Japan.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Leonardo on Jan 19, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    The styling is not bad, and the features quite competitive. Cheap road tax and good fuel consumption makes it very attractive.
    But it’s a little too late. The B segment market in Malaysia for sedans is owned by Honda City and Toyota Vios.
    But what ETCM is overlooking is the fact that the trend for vehicles in Malaysia and worldwide is towards SUVs. The sedan market especially in the upper price segment is shrinking. It overlaps the SUV B segment and it loses out when a choice must be made. Good luck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Ben Yap on Jan 20, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    what’s the 0-100? i think it’s slower than the honda city.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
 

Add a comment

required

required