Well, that’s a thing of the past as the new fourth-generation Almera Turbo has come packing heat in terms of design, powertrain and safety technology.
The new Almera Turbo is offered in three variants - VL (RM79,906) , VLP ( RM85,715) and VLT (RM91,310). All prices are on-the-road price without insurance, with sales tax exemption.
All three variants come standard with the all-new HR10DET 1.0-litre turbo engine that produces 100PS and 152Nm mated to the X-tronic CVT transmission with D-Step Logic.
On top of it, all variants comes standard with Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking (AEB), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and traction control, ABS, EBD, brake assist, and hill start assist.
The review unit was the top of the range VLT variant which has extras such as LED headlamps, two-tone 16-inch wheels, gloss-black trunk lid spoiler, leather seats, six-speaker Nissan Connect Infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen display and Apple CarPlay support, a seven-inch digital display on the instrument panel, cruise control, Intelligent Around View Monitor (360-degree bird’s eye view) with Moving Object Detection, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and six airbags.
Regardless of the extra kit, the Almera Turbo has emerged from the flames like the mythical phoenix in its new incarnation which makes you stand up and pay attention.
The front is all business with its wide U-shaped design and big headlamps defined by the imposingly sharp-browed Daytime Running Lights (DRL).
Gone are the flat, almost boring lines as the Almera Turbo’s body now slopes down from the rear creating an athletic stance and flexing its muscular creases along the body and hood.
The arrow-shaped taillights make it look sleek and stylish and with the VLT variant, the black spoiler on the boot and the two-toned wheels gives a nice touch of sportiness without being too aggressive.
That sportiness is followed inside the cabin with the flat-bottomed steering wheel and the two-toned leather upholstery and trim lightens the otherwise all black interior.
The push-start button is found on the centre console right next to the gear lever and there is a minimal layout aesthetic overall with the clearly defined space for the infotainment touchscreen panel followed below by the dials and buttons for the automatic climate control.
The only thing that feels out of place in the cabin is the traditional handbrake lever which, for the top-specced Almera Turbo, should have been fitted with an electronic parking brake switch instead. It’s not a major issue in any case.
Space is plentiful for rear passengers with ample head and leg room as well as boot space with a 482-litre capacity.
If you want more cargo room, the rear seats can be folded in a 60:40 configuration.
The new 1.0-litre turbocharged engine was smooth and the car pulled away energetically without any hesitation which was pleasantly surprising for such a small engine.
Stepping on the accelerator did not seem to stress the engine much and turbo lag was hardly noticeable.
The Almera Turbo also handled turns and bends well which translates into a lot of fun.
The engine produces a rather subdued exhaust note which I appreciate as noise levels in the cabin is kept to a minimum.
Also noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels are very low and a pliant suspension to absorb the rough surfaces makes for a calming space in the cabin.
Testing the car during the conditional movement order meant that I could only drive it around the city but it was a good enough indication of what the Almera Turbo is capable of.
With its abundance of space, comfort, safety features, drive and sporty looks, the new Almera Turbo is sure to heat up the competition in the B-segment sedan market.
Nissan Almera Turbo VLT
Engine: HR10DET, 999cc, turbocharged
Maximum power: 100PS at 5,000rpm
Maximum torque: 152Nm from 2,400 to 4,000rpm
Transmission: X-TRONIC CVT with D-Step Logic
Features: Six airbags, Intelligent Key (i-Key) with Push Start Ignition, flat bottom leather steering wheel with audio, Bluetooth connectivity and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) switches, automatic climate control, 7-inch digital and analogue instrument cluster, 8-inch advance touchscreen display audio with Apple CarPlay and six speakers, 16-inch two tone alloy wheels (205/55 R16), Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (IFCW) & Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking (IFEB) Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS), anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Hill Start Assist, ISOFIX with top tether (x2), rear view camera, LED headlamps with auto on/off, LED front fog lamp & LED daytime running lights, trunk lid spoiler, cruise control, Intelligent Around View Monitor (IAVM), Intelligent Moving Object Detection (IMOD), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
Price: RM91,310 (on-the-road price without insurance, with sales tax exemption)