2021 Nissan Almera VE CVT
Contents

The sedan has taken at least in the Philippine market has taken a back seat to much taller vehicles such as a crossover. While this vehicle type has taken the local market by storm with more and more entries coming in each year. There are still a few people who want to have a sedan. They handle a little bit better and are a little bit sportier too. That is the case with the Nissan Almera. It’s the Japanese automaker’s entry into the subcompact sedan segment that brings with it a little more spice thanks to a turbocharged engine.

With that said, we take a closer look at what the newest sedan to enter the Nissan Philippines lineup has to offer as well as how it feels to drive and how its stacks up the likes of the Toyota Vios and Honda City as well as to the rest of its competition. This is our in-depth and honest review of the 2021 Nissan Almera in its VE CVT trim.

3.9 / 5
2022 Nissan Almera VE CVT Review
Performance
Engine Output (HP), Acceleration, Transmission, Handling
3.5/5
Design
Exterior & Interior Design, Quality, Fit and Finish, Ergonomics
3.5/5
Ride Comfort
Cabin Comfort, Suspension, NVH Insulation
4.0/5
Safety and Technology
Convenience Technologies, Active and Passive Safety Features
4.5/5
Value for Money
Amount of the vehicle you get for the price, Fuel Efficiency
4.0/5
What You Will Like
  • Frugal engine
  • Smooth CVT
  • A great number of features for its price
What You Won't Like
  • Small gas tank
  • Road noise can be annoying
  • No speed sensing door locks
How We Do Our Reviews

While the VL trim level gives the sedan a sportier look and feel, thanks to a body kit and bigger wheels, the VE model which is the mid-trim is more subdued in what it offers. It comes with the same LED reflector headlights and LED daytime running lights as the top-of-the-line model but comes with a much smaller set of wheels and a chunkier set of tires and no foglights. Its side mirrors are also body-colored compared to the N-Sport VE which are painted with a silver finish, however, these are still power-adjustable and have a power-folding function.

Aside from these differences and lack of a body kit, the Almera VE still retains the same shape and characteristics as its N-Sport variant. You still get the LED tail lamps and mirror-mounted signal lights. Overall, the VE Almera still delivers on the basic design of the vehicle that blends the angles and curves into one great-looking package. 

Moving onto the inside of the Nissan Almera and you are greeted with a no-frills dashboard that is broken up in the middle with a cream-colored accent piece that is paired with soft-touch material. At the center, the sedan gets an 8-inch infotainment system that comes with Apple Carplay. Sorry Android users, there is no Android Auto, but there is Bluetooth connectivity available in case you want to stream your music. Below the head unit, you get your knobs for your automatic climate controls, a 12-volt socket, a USB port, and an auxiliary port as well. 

Nissan Almera rear seats Philippines

At the back, space is great even with a taller driver’s driving position set at the front. You still get a decent amount of legroom, but headroom can be a little bit tight especially for taller passengers. Nevertheless, the headliner is still soft enough that you won’t be hurting yourself should your head touch the ceiling. There are some toys to be found in the second row such as cup holders in the center and bottle holders on either side. There are also two USB charging ports found in the middle which is great for the passengers at the back.

Nissan Almera trunk space

In the trunk department, the Nissan Almera comes with plenty of space to spare. The sedan has 474-liters of space at the back which is already pretty big and is on par with the rest of its competitors. This allows you to load in much longer objects with the width only being limited to the trunk open. Sadly, the second row does not fold down like in the VL model but as mentioned earlier space is still great. Loading groceries and other items is a breeze as the trunk lip is just low enough for average Filipinos to load their items into the back.

Nissan Almera comfort

The fabric seats of the Nissan Almera lean more towards the firm side, however, they are nowhere near uncomfortable. They help absorb the road imperfections well and help keep you in place thanks to the bolsters found on either side. These might be a bit much for other people especially with the light gray accents but it does its job well. 

The same can be said for the back as the seats are in a slightly more upright position. You can still sink into them pretty well and are just as comfortable as the front seats. Regardless, you are still in for a comfortable ride thanks to the soft suspension that the sedan offers.

While ride comfort is great, the NVH insulation leans more on the average side. The sedan rides on 195/65/R15 tires which are chunky as the wheels are much smaller in width compared to the tire. This aids with ride comfort but the tire compound of choice was on the noisy side. While testing the vehicle, tire noise crept in at around 70 km/h which got louder at higher speeds. We even thought that the vehicle had a flat only to find out that everything was fine. With that said, shifting to a quieter tire compound will do wonders with tire noise as aside from that the Almera still gives you a very pliant ride.

Nissan Almera infotainment system Philippines

The Nissan Almera comes with a lot of technology at your disposal. Even this mid-range variant comes with some of the best features that are present in the higher VL trim. An example of this would be its 8-inch infotainment system that doubles as your reverse camera that also comes with an around-view camera. This can be controlled with the steering wheel buttons which also grant you access to audio controls. 

The sedan also comes with a 7-inch TFT meter which comes with an integrated Driver-Assist Display. This shows you a plethora of information that you need to know and also gives you control of its driver-assist features. 

Nissan Almera safety

In terms of safety features, the Nissan Almera comes with a great set of safety features. As standard the sedan comes with driver and front passenger airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist, and vehicle dynamic control. This is on top of other standard features such as 3-point ELR seatbelts for all occupants, a pretension, a load limiter, and height adjustment.

Nissan Almera around view monitor

The icing of the cake for the Almera in terms of safety is its Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite of features. The VE variant comes with an intelligent around-view monitor, intelligent forward collision warning, intelligent emergency braking, and hill start assist. All together these features give the sedan an edge over its competitors.

Nissan Almera handling

The biggest change for this generation of the Nissan Almera is its new engine. Under the hood beats a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine that pushes out 99 hp and 152 Nm of torque. This is mated to a CVT that sends power to the front wheels. Steering is fairly light yet and is very responsive, the sedan will head in the direction you want it to the moment you turn the wheel. This gives it great handling while still being able to maintain a pliant ride.

The CVT is a little anticlimactic as it feels like it saps away the power that the turbocharged engine offers. It tends to keep the revs within the mid-range to give you the power you want and be fuel-efficient at the same time. There isn’t much push but you can still tell that there is a lot of torque at the ready, but it’s still comparable in performance to a 1.5-liter that’s naturally aspirated. The downside is that you don’t get up to speed as quickly as you would expect it, but this isn’t what the Almera was designed for. It was designed to be a fuel-efficient, tech-packed, and spacious sedan that is built for the city. If you don’t drive it like a bat out of hell and drive it normally this is where the Almera truly shines as it gives you a smooth and comfortable ride. 

Nissan Almera fuel economy

When it comes to fuel economy, this is where the Nissan Almera is in its element. If you drive it normally and aren’t tempted by the turbo under the hood you will get around 12.5 km/L in the city with the start-stop function off. With the feature turned on you can expect a little more fuel savings as we were able to get 14 km/L. On the highway, the sedan also produced great fuel economy numbers as it was able to push out 21.5 km/L.

One thing to note is that the Nissan Almera comes with a smaller gas tank compared to its other competitors. It carries with it only 35-liters worth of fuel which is around 5-liters less compared to its other rivals in the subcompact sedan segment. This makes it seem like it’s a thirstier car as you will end up going to the gas station a little more frequently but rest assured that is on par or even better than its competitors when it comes to its fuel consumption. 

Nissan Almera verdict

The Nissan Almera VE CVT is priced at P998,000 which puts it within striking distance of the top-spec MG 5 Alpha, the Honda City V CVT, and Toyota Vios 1.5 CVT. This puts the Japanese sedan right in the middle of the competition based on what it can offer and the power that it has. However, it does come with the advantage of being the only model available with a turbocharged engine and a great suite of safety features as standard.

While the 3-cylinder turbo motor can be an acquired taste for some especially as the competition comes with 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engines, the 1.0-liter engine paired with the turbo does well to give you the torque that you need when you want it. At the end of the day, the Nissan Almera is still a great daily driver option for those who want a frugal city vehicle with torque on demand despite its minor quirks. It’s a well-equipped sedan for under P1 million that gives you a great number of features for its price tag. This sedan is worthy of your consideration especially if a city vehicle is what you are after. 


Specifications

Engine

1.0 L

Fuel Type

Gasoline

Performance

99 hp @ 5,000 rpm

Transmission

CVT

Summary

Name Nissan Almera 1.0 VE Turbo CVT
Body Type Sedan
Price ₱998,000
Transmission Type CVT

Engine

Performance

Economy & Environment

Dimensions

Safety & Security

Features

Technology


Colors

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