The performance of a car matters, as there is nothing more annoying than having a limp engine to fuel your drives, but that may not be a priority for a large portion of us. For those who don’t drive with the mentality of a Formula 1 racer, the performance factor is often secondary.
What matters more, in our opinion, for a person who spends a couple of hours a day through some of KL’s finest tarmac to and fro from work, is the refinement of the cabin and ride which brings us to the all-new Almera. Nissan had just previewed the car last Friday and are now taking orders for the second-generation model.
Aside from revealing every possible detail of the 2nd-generation model, there was even a test drive arranged for us that day. Smooth and immediate is how we’d describe the throttle response, with most of its 152 Nm from a 1.0-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine delivered from 2,400 rpm to 4,000 rpm but that’s not the only thing that got our attention.
From what was positioned as the accessible Japanese car for the masses (1st-gen Almera) with its extremely competitive pricing (as it costs as low as RM66k), the second generation model is a clear indication of Nissan’s intention to elevate the all-new Almera’s image and this is done through various efforts but mainly by improving on its Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH).
For starters all four doors come with extra insulation and so does the A-pillars, while thicker front windows have been opted for the Almera. Even the side mirrors have been moved further way from the A-pillars for better air flow, which as a result helps reduce wind noise.
Another area which Nissan has improved on in the Almera is the back rest of the front two seats have been added with springs, unlike before, for better comfort and back support.
The result of which, from our brief test drive in the hustle and bustle of the Glenmarie area in Shah Alam, was more than noticeable. Behind the wheel of the new Almera, whether stationary or on the move, it’s hard to not notice how much of the unpleasant environment outside the car was silenced and dialled out.
However, it remains to be seen what the cabin environment would be like when the Almera is moving at higher speeds on the highway. This is as our test drive was confined to the surrounding area of Glenmarie.
Prices for the new Almera is yet to be confirmed although estimated prices start at RM8X,XXX for the lower to variants (VL, VLP) while the highest spec variant (VLT) is priced at an estimated RM9X,XXX. If you’re keen to get up close with the new Almera before you decide on a purchase, here’s a table of where the Almera will be in the coming weeks.