Thursday, January 17, 2013

Nissan Launches Almera; Ready for Sub-Compact Segment Assault

Nissan Motor Philippines, Inc. rolled out the red carpet as it seeks a market resurgence with the arrival of their all-new Almera sub-compact sedan at a star-studded launch event at the Makati Shangri-La last night.

Specifically designed as a global B-segment car, the Almera is the company’s best-selling sedan, with worldwide sales reaching more than 500,000 units. It’s already enjoyed success in several countries including Thailand, the US, China, India, Singapore, and most recently, Malaysia. The Philippines will soon join that list given the three design pillars that help raise the Almera above the B-segment crowd: new generation style, class-leading space, and affordability.

“Almera”, derived from the Spanish word, “Almendra” which means a large diamond, has been a Nissan nameplate since 1995 and has been through five design generations; though this is the first time the Philippines will be officially getting an Almera. The Almera is a classic four-door sedan with a timeless design incorporating Nissan’s design DNA. The front area is dominated by, literally, eye-catching headlamps which is echoed at the back by equally large tail lamps. The large trapezoidal-shaped grille incorporates a chrome finish and is enlarged for better engine cooling efficiency. At the back, the Almera is fitted with a rear spoiler (top-of-the-line A/T) to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. The Almera rides on standard 185/65 R 15 tires with 7-spoke alloy wheels.

Underpinning the Almera is Nissan’s new global “V” or Versatile platform which utilizes a rigid, lightweight body. Together with the rigid body, a long-travel MacPherson Struts upfront and a Torsion Beam Axle at the back, the Almera promises the best ride in its segment while ample control is provided by an electric power steering system. At the heart of the Almera is a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (HR15DE) available in both manual or XTRONIC CVT. This all-aluminum engine employs Continuously Variable Valve Timing or CVTC which brings the maximum output to 99 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 134 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.

Upon opening the wide doors, the Almera’s huge space is immediately noticeable. With a wheelbase stretching out to 2,600 mm, it measures 100 mm longer than its rivals and features an interior space that rival some C- and even D-segment cars. And with an overall width of 1,695 mm, the Almera can squeeze five adults in excellent comfort. Hiding behind the sweeping roofline and rear quarter window is a generous trunk which can swallow 490 liters. The trunk area too has been designed to make it free of the obstructions of trunk lid hinges, tools, jacks, and spare tire (which is full-sized one).

One of the biggest highlights of the Almera is a class-exclusive rear comfort fan. Designed to speed up the cooling of the cabin, this unique feature completes the comfortable and enjoyable ride for everyone in the Almera.

The top-of-the-line Almera separates itself from its base sibling by offering front fog lamps outside and a steering wheel audio switch, variable intermittent wipers, height adjustable driver’s seat, rear arm rest with cup holders, adjustable rear headrests, Fine Vision gauges with multi-information display, and a silver interior color scheme.

Ensuring the safety of all occupants, the Nissan Almera comes with a multitude of standard safety equipment. Dual SRS airbags are standard across the Almera’s range and so are anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and a brake assist system. The Almera also boasts of a world-class Protective Zone Body Structure which reduces injuries to occupants in the event of an accident.

The Nissan Almera is proudly assembled by Nissan Motor Philippines, Inc. at its Sta. Rosa, Laguna assembly plant together with the X-TRAIL, Grand Livina, and Sentra. Backed by a three-year/100,000 kilometer warranty, the Almera is available in a base price of P 710,000 for the M/T while the base A/T costs just P 760,000. The top-of-the-line A/T costs P 830,000. The Almera is available in four colors: Alpine White, Bluish Black, Titanium Gray, and Brilliant Silver and is available at all Nissan dealerships nationwide.

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