Nissan Almera Turbo VLT Kuro GT package: Dark draw

THE 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged engine in the Nissan Almera Turbo packs a potent punch, and takes the crown as the power mill with the most torque in the B-segment sedan segment, excluding hybrids.

What’s more, it makes 152Nm of torque at a lowly 2,400rpm compared to its non-turbocharged 1.5-litre rivals which achieve maximum torque at 4,000rpm and above.

Mated to Nissan’s XTRONIC CVT (continuously variable transmission) with D-Step Logic System software for improved shift feel and responsiveness, this little but punchy engine with only 100PS of maximum power gives the Almera Turbo a lively response which works very well in slow stop-and-go traffic, or on uphill climbs.

Real-world fuel economy is also impressive, as the car’s drive computer showed 13.7km per litre after a long-distance 442km drive, which included some spirited acceleration and being stuck in very slow-moving traffic for over 30 minutes on the Karak Expressway during a recent Shah Alam - Kuala Krau, Pahang - Kuala Lumpur round trip.


After refuelling the small 35-litre fuel tank, and driving nearly 250km at a more relaxed and less frantic pace over the next few days, we got a better fuel economy reading at 14.3km per litre.

Cruising at 110kph on the highway translates to a low engine speed of around 1,900rpm.

Our Almera Turbo (VLT grade with Kuro GT package) tester has a 1.1-tonne kerb weight, and with ample torque and punch on demand, we found quick acceleration as we put the pedal to the metal, when we needed to swiftly overtake slow-moving vehicles on B roads.

Also, the steeper sections of the Karak Highway posed no challenge, with the engine maintaining momentum effortlessly.

It should be noted that the 1.0-litre turbocharged engine uses technology adapted from the legendary Nissan GT-R sports car, to reduce reduce internal friction and improve both fuel economy and power.


It also uses an electronic wastegate, to reduces turbo lag and provide better acceleration.

Fitted with Continental UltraContact UC6 tyres sized 205/55 R16, the Almera Turbo handled well enough at higher speeds.

The steering is light and accurate, and we found that body roll is minimal when tackling highway bends, and the car feels decently planted and composed.

The front disc brakes and rear drums set-up provide progressive bite and good stopping power.

The suspension set-up prioritises ride comfort, and effectively absorbs road imperfections, resulting in a smooth and pleasant ride quality, even on less-than-ideal roads.



The front Zero-Gravity inspired semi-bucket sports seats (which aim to reduce fatigue via applying a neutral posture) feel solid and supportive, and provided nice cushioning for long distance driving as experienced during our day-long journey.

The cabin has a high-quality ambience with a commendable touch-and-feel factor, as it features a nice mix of smooth metallic accents, soft-touch materials and leather upholstery.

Conveniences include push-start button ignition, and tilt-and-telescopic steering adjustment.

We noted the presence of a conventional handbrake between the front seats, instead of a space-saving electronic parking brake.

Rear seats can be folded down for more storage space (expanding from the 482-litre boot), and there’s a fold-out rear arm rest with cupholders for more convenience.




However, headroom is barely adequate for our 1.7m frames when we were fully reclined on the rear seats, due to the sloping rear roof line.

As for the 3-cylinder engine vibration, Nissan says this is dampened by using a unique soft engine mounting.

When the car idled at traffic lights, we did feel very slight vibration (with our hand rested on the steering wheel) but it was barely noticeable and did not concern us at all.

Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) control is praiseworthy here, as we found minimal road, engine and wind noise intruding into the cabin, and the noise from passing trucks and motorcycles well muffled.

This translates to a decently quieter and comfortable cabin environment, for a car in this price segment.




The six-speaker audio system delivered clear and enjoyable sound, and three USB-A ports ensured our smart devices remained powered for longer trips.

There’s an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto support (late 2023 upgrade) and Apple CarPlay - both wired.

To recap, the Almera Turbo is offered in three variants namely VL (RM83,888); VLP (RM89,888) and VLT (RM95,888).

The top VLT variant gets extra kit including the 360-degree around view monitor with intelligent Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning System, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Cruise Control, boomerang-shaped LED headlamps, LED front foglamps and LED daytime running lights, and a gloss black trunk lid spoiler.

A 360-degree camera system with surround view always scores points with us, as this makes manoeuvring in tight spaces a lot easier and results in less stress when parking.

Our thoughts after a few days and nearly 700km spent in the Almera Kuro (Black) Edition?

This is a very nicely well-rounded B-segment car that grew on us with each drive.

There are no bouncy, kidney-jarring shocks on poorly maintained roads and at the same time, ample muscle when we need to move quickly at higher speeds.

The more we drove it, the more we liked its blend of a comfort-oriented suspension, punchy yet impressively fuel-efficient powertrain, solid and comfortable seating, decent suite of safety features and nice interior comforts.

To recap, the Almera Turbo is offered in three variants namely VL (RM83,888); VLP (RM89,888) and VLT (RM95,888).

The Almera Turbo is now offered with a Kuro (Black) Edition package which adds on factory-fitted styling enhancements that encompass a gloss black front grille cladding and black alloy rims - as standard equipment for all three variants.

The Kuro package builds on the aerokit developed exclusively by Tomei Japan for the Almera Turbo.

It adopts a gloss black front bumper spoiler and rear bumper spoilers, side skirts and boot lid spoiler, complemented by accessories such as ICE Cool tinting film, sport pedals, kicking plates, door handle protectors and door visors.

Our test drive unit came in a new 2024 Glacier Grey exterior, and was also fitted with the Kuro GT package consisting of a rear Tomei GT wing and Impul Racing Aura HS-06 16-inch alloy rims.

The Kuro GT package was limited to 300 vehicle sets (has been sold out), and it was only for the VLP and VLT variants as an add-on to the Kuro package.

The rear Tomei GT wing is still available (costs RM1,400), and those interested may choose to add it as an optional accessory.

Also, current promotions for the Almera Turbo include a RM1,000 add-on for the Kuro package and accessories savings of up to RM7,000 and free Diamondbrite ceramic coating (worth RM2,800).

Nissan Almera Turbo VLT grade (Kuro GT package)
Engine: 999cc in-line 3-cylinder, DOHC, 12-valves with turbocharger
Maximum power: 100PS at 5,000rpm
Maximum torque: 152Nm from 2,400rpm to 4,000rpm
Transmission: Xtronic CVT with D-Step Logic and Sport mode
Suspension: Front independent MacPherson struts with stabiliser (front); rear torsion beam with stabiliser
Kerb weight: 1,114kg
Boot capacity: 482 litres
Fuel capacity: 35 litres
Fuel consumption: 18.4km/l or 5.4l/100km (claimed)
Brakes: Front ventilated discs; rear drums
Features: Six airbags, Hill Start Assist (HSA), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control (TC), ISOFIX with Top Tether (x2), 205/55 R16 tyres, Automatic LED headlights, leather steering wheel, cruise control, Full Colour 7-inch Semi Digital Display for the Drive Assist Display (ADAD), tilt and telescopic steering, push-start ignition, semi bucket leather seats, front Zero-Gravity inspired seats, Automatic Climate Control, 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 3 USB-A ports, 6 audio speakers, 8 cup holders, 60:40 Fold-Down Rear Seats, gloss black front grille cladding and black alloy rims
Advanced safety features: Forward Collision Warning with Forward Emergency Braking, Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning System, Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Price: RM95,888 on the road without insurance
Warranty: 5-year, unlimited mileage with 5 times free maintenance service (parts & labour included)
Kuro package: Tomei Japan aerokit (Gloss Black Front Bumper Spoiler, Gloss Black Rear Bumper Spoilers, Gloss Black Side Skirts and Gloss Black Boot Lid Spoiler), ICE Cool tinting film, sport pedals, kicking plates, door handle protectors and door visors
Kuro GT package: Rear Tomei GT wing and Impul Racing Aura HS-06 16-inch alloy rims
Autos Nissan
CarSifu's Rating: 7.8