Manufacturers are fond of saying that a new model has “redefined” this or that. But nowhere has the definition of “small family car” been so thoroughly turned on its head as by the new Nissan Almera. The Almera is that rare thing: a collection of seemingly modest parts, melded together with art and purpose to create something truly spectacular.
How spectacular? Let’s start with the descriptor “small”. The Nissan Almera sports 490 litres of boot space. That’s between 30 and 90 litres more (give or take) than most other four-door-sedans, a goodly portion of which are classed as executive sedans. With a boot like that, you’d expect the interior space to be cramped to compensate. You’d be wrong. The Almera provides abundant head- and legroom for the driver, with enough shoulder room left over to provide for a centre console and door pockets. Does it sacrifice rear passenger legroom to accomplish this? Not in the least. Even the largest family will travel in comfort.
Is it a small engine then? Only in the sense that it is the little engine that could. The 1.5 litre petrol engine generates a respectable 134Nm of torque at 4000rmps and 73kW at 6000rmps. Unless you’re an aspiring formula one driver, you’ll appreciate the forgiving fuel economy (6.3 litres per 100km for the manual version) much more than the jack-rabbit start that will put you in the hot seat with your family as well as the metro police.
How about all those things that normally fall in the category of “optional extras”? Has the manufacturer sacrificed those in order to bring you this “small” car at a large bargain? No, not even a little bit. The Nissan Almera comes standard with 15” alloy rims paired with front disc brakes for that sporty look. Body coloured bumpers and mirrors, with chrome plated door handles, plainly say that there is nothing plain about the Almera. A full sized spare tyre ensures you’ll get where you’re going without having to stop off. Electric operated mirrors and front windows, speed sensitive auto-lock doors, auto-off headlamps, air conditioner with rear fan and steering-mounted controls for the audio system won’t let you forget you’re driving a quality car. And remote central locking ensures you’ll feel safe leaving all of that in the parking lot.
And how about safety? Truth to tell, the Almera is a “small” (wink-wink) bit safer than almost anything else in its price range. Driver- and passenger side airbags come standard. So does ABS and Brake Assist along with Electronic Brake-force Distribution features. Apart from the driver seatbelt reminder, there is also the patented ISOFIX child seat anchors to brag about. A high mounted brake lamp rounds out the ensemble.
All in all, it’s a “small” act of insanity not to consider the Almera as your first choice for a “small” family car. Test drive one today.