Nissan’s current Almera subcompact sedan is one good car. As good as it is, however, it trails its rivals in the sales department, and we think we know why. It looks too damn plain, and even econobox buyers want their ride to stand out a bit. Thankfully, some ray of hope may now be shining down upon the Philippine-market runabout presently sporting a love-it-or-hate-it exterior design. That’s if the just-unveiled all-new, third-generation Versa in the US market will also do duty as the next Almera on our shores.
You see, the outgoing second-gen Versa in America is basically the same car as our Almera, both based on the Latio. So if Nissan maintains the status quo, then this new Versa is bound to be our new Almera (fingers crossed).
Without giving too many details, Nissan says that the new car is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor. Taking cues from the Japanese automaker’s “emotional geometry” design language, the front flaunts the brand’s trademark V-motion grille and boomerang-shaped headlamps. The profile highlights curvy character lines, a floating roof and “kick-up C-pillars.” At the back, the rear lamps resemble those of the new Altima, giving the car an upscale vibe.
The transformation continues inside, where a “Gliding Wing” instrument panel (also lifted from the Altima) can be found. The instrumentation, the vents, the switches, the infotainment display, the carbon-pattern texture, the orange contrast stitching and the D-shaped steering wheel all look very sporty yet very classy.
Propulsion is courtesy of a 1.6-liter four-pot engine that delivers 122hp and 155Nm, and is paired with either a five-speed manual shifter or an ‘enhanced’ Xtronic CVT.
Naturally, the all-new Versa is brimming with technology as it offers standard features previously only found in higher-end models: remote keyless entry, push-start button, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and high-beam assist.
Judging from these photos, we can definitely say that the car is a fine-looking subcompact sedan. Let it be our upcoming Almera. Please.