Turbochargers often reside in the domain of expensive diesel SUVs and pricey high-performance cars. In our market at least, it isn’t found in the budget end of the spectrum. But in the interest of fuel economy and cleaner emissions, automakers are looking at turbocharged small-displacement engines to replace naturally aspirated ones. And Nissan is finally bringing that formula to the Philippines with the all-new Almera.
The 1.0-liter three-cylinder unit produces 99hp. The torque figure varies slightly depending on the transmission: 152Nm for the CVT and 160Nm for the five-speed manual gearbox (yay!). Pulling power comes in early at 2,400rpm, so the Almera should be sprightly especially on hill climbs. One would probably assume that such a high-tech engine only belongs to the range-topping model, but all four variants have turbo power.
The design of the all-new Almera takes inspiration from larger Nissan sedans like the Sentra and the Altima. The previous model’s soft curves have been replaced by lots of sharp angles that work well with the company’s signature V-motion grille. LED headlights and daytime running lights are standard on all but the base variant. The top-of-the-line VL N-Sport trim gets additional goodies like larger 16-inch wheels and dark-chrome accents.
The cabin retains the previous Almera’s spaciousness with quite a few creature comforts added on top. VE and VL trim levels get an advanced eight-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto, sorry). Features exclusive to the top-of-the-line Almera are leather upholstery and a 60:40-split rear seat.
Nissan Intelligent Mobility finally makes its way to the Almera. VL and VE models get a high-definition 360° camera, and forward-collision detection and braking—a rarity in the subcompact-sedan segment. The VL gets more goodies in the form of blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and six airbags (instead of two). Hill-start assist, antilock brakes, and stability control are standard across the range.
See below the variants and prices of the all-new Almera:
- 1.0 VL Turbo N-Sport CVT – P1,098,000
- 1.0 VE Turbo CVT – P998,000
- 1.0 VE Turbo MT – P938,000
- 1.0 EL Turbo MT – P728,000