The launch of the pint-sized Nissan Almera sedan represents the beginning of a passenger car renaissance for Nissan Australia, with four new city-sized, small and medium models set to re-energise the local line-up before the end of 2013.
The all-new Nissan Pulsar sedan will join the Micra-based Almera in early 2013, a few months ahead of the Pulsar hatchback’s mid-2013 launch and the introduction of the mid-sized Nissan Altima sedan in the second half of next year.
Nissan Australia CEO Bill Peffer says the Nissan Almera represents a new segment opportunity for the Japanese manufacturer in the local market.
“More people are looking to small cars, but their lifestyle still requires a car that can accommodate good cabin and boot space,” Peffer said.
“The exceptional design and packaging of the Almera answers that call.”
The Nissan Almera is priced between $16,990 and $20,990 before on-road costs, making it a direct competitor for other mainstream low-cost sedans including the Holden Barina ($16,490-$18,490), Hyundai Accent ($16,990-$22,990), Toyota Yaris ($18,190-$21,790), Ford Fiesta ($18,990-$21,490), Honda City ($18,990-$23,490) and the Kia Rio ($19,690-$21,690).
The modestly equipped entry-level Almera ST comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, trip computer, manual air conditioning, tilt-adjustable steering wheel with Bluetooth and audio controls, and a four-speaker audio system with an AUX input jack. A five-speed manual transmission is standard while a four-speed automatic is a $2000 option.
For an extra $2000 over the ST auto, the high-grade Almera Ti auto adds 15-inch alloy wheels, front foglights, rear spoiler, reverse parking sensors, variable intermittent wipers, smart key with push-button start, climate control, adjustable rear-seat headrests and rear centre armrest with cup holders.
The Almera also boasts a 490-litre boot, which is just six litres shy of the Holden Commodore sedan’s rear cargo capacity.
Safety remains a priority despite the low prices, with all Almeras fitted with six airbags (dual front, side and curtains), electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and brake assist.
The Nissan Almera is powered by a familiar 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 75kW and 139Nm – 3Nm more than in the Micra. The manual variant uses 6.3 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle while the autos are slightly less efficient at 6.7L/100km.
CarAdvice is currently at the local launch of the Nissan Almera in Victoria. Stay tuned for our full first-drive review, coming soon.
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Nissan Almera manufacturer’s list prices: