GoAutoLogo
MENU

Car reviews - Nissan - Almera - range

Launch Story

Nissan logo27 Aug 2012

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

NISSAN expects its new Micra-based Almera sedan will boost its share of the light-car market in Australia by about 30 per cent over the next year, even though demand could exceed supply.

Available now as an adjunct to the two-year old K13-series Micra hatchback on which it is based, the Thai-built N17 four-door sedan should add around 3000 sales annually to the 9000 units projected for the hatchback.

Nissan Australia CEO Bill Peffer considers the projection of 3000 units is “undercalling it a bit”.



“We think there’s probably more demand than there is supply in this small part of the B-segment market,” he said at last week’s national media launch.

In the first seven months of this year, Nissan’s market share of the sub-$25K light segment slipped from 6.8 to 6.2 per cent over the same period in 2011.

An additional 250 units a month on top of Micra would boost the company’s share to 8.0 per cent, leapfrogging Honda’s Jazz/City duo and equalling the Ford Fiesta, but would still leave it behind Hyundai (Accent and i20), Toyota (Yaris and Prius C), Mazda (2), Suzuki (Swift and Alto), and Holden (Barina and Barina Spark).

Known elsewhere as the Versa and initially unveiled nearly 18 months ago at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, the Almera together with the upcoming Pulsar replaces the unloved Tiida sedan in Australia, imports of which have now ceased.

The Almera is only 25mm shorter than the Tiida sedan, but its 2590mm wheelbase is just 10mm less, and is 155mm longer than the Micra’s.

Nissan figures also show best-in-segment rear-seat legroom (940mm) against sedan versions of the Yaris (904mm), Barina (881mm) and Accent (846mm).

The Almera’s boot capacity of 490 litres is beaten only by the Barina’s 502 litres.

Nissan says the extra cabin length helps justify the $1500 premium the base $16,990 (plus on-road costs) Almera ST manual commands over the equivalent $15,490 Micra ST-L – a gap that widens to $2000 on the Ti flagships.

In addition to having completely different sheetmetal and some dashboard alterations, the sedan differs from the Micra by being 645mm longer at 4425mm, 30mm wider at 1695mm and 20mm lower at 1505mm.

Both share the Renault-Nissan alliance ‘V’ platform that also underpins the upcoming new-generation Clio and Note, among a host of other future vehicles.

Skipping the base Micra 56kW/100Nm 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine, the Almera comes with the same 1.5-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder petrol engine found in the Micra ST-L and Ti.

Driving the front wheels via either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission, it delivers 75kW of power at 6000rpm and 139Nm of torque at 4000rpm.

Average combined fuel consumption is 6.3 litres per 100km for the manual – 0.2L/100km better than the Micra despite a 46kg weight penalty – while the combined carbon dioxide emissions rating is 149 grams per kilometre.

Cars fitted with the auto return 6.7L/100km and 159g/km.

As with the hatch, the suspension has the usual MacPherson struts at the front and class-norm torsion beam design at the rear, steering is by an electric-powered rack and pinion system, and drum brakes are used at the rear.

Almera comes with electronic stability control, ABS brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and dual front, side and curtain airbags, but has yet to be rated for crash safety by ANCAP.

Standard equipment includes air-conditioning, an auxiliary input, Bluetooth telephony, a tilt-only adjustable steering wheel with remote audio controls, trip computer and electric mirrors. It rides on 15-inch steel wheels.

The auto-only Ti from $20,990 gains climate-control, rear parking sensors, keyless entry, push-button start, variable intermittent wipers, a rear centre armrest with built-in cupholders, adjustable rear head restraints in place of the lower integrated items, 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and a rear spoiler.

Curiously, the Almera lacks a folding rear seatback, putting it at a distinct disadvantage against competing light sedans.

Nissan says it is angling for private rather than fleet buyers, with the base ST expected to snare up to 75 per cent of volume and automatics also accounting for about three-quarters of sales.

Of its rivals, only the $16,480 Barina is cheaper, by $510.

Almera matches the Hyundai Accent’s $16,990, Ford does not offer a manual Fiesta while the $18,990 CL auto does not have curtain airbags, the base Toyota Yaris and Honda City cost $1200 and $1500 more respectively, and the cheapest Kia Rio sedan is an auto at $21,690.

Only the ageing Proton Persona at $16,990 driveaway is significantly cheaper, and it also sits on a longer wheelbase, but the Malaysian sedan lacks crucial safety equipment such as ESC and side and curtain airbag availability.

Share with your friends

Enquire on or Test Drive a New Almera

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.