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Almera's back: Check the prices!

2013-08-14 14:35

FRESH FROM NISSAN: The 2013 Almera is a far call from the one we knew back in the 1990's - its bigger, smarter and way more spacious - and then look at its price! Image: Qucipic

Les Stephenson

It's a mid-size car with a huge boot and giant rear legroom, comes from Nissan, and it's called Almera. Best of all, it's the price of a minicar.

Nissan dealers were only told the price yesterday (Aug 13), we're bringing it to you now - the 1.5 Nissan Almera Acenta sedan will be in showrooms at R165 000 for the manual and R175 000 for the four-speed auto and, frankly, it has to be one of the best deals around.

The price will include a three-year or 60 000km service plan.

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Nissan SA's product manager for passenger vehicles, Janico Dannhauser, told me at the launch presentation for the first half-dozen motoring journos in the country to drive the cars: "The Almera will be in one grade only - the only choice the manual or auto gearbox - as a C segment-sized car selling for the price of a B-segment sedan.

"It's built on a global platform that will service 170 countries and Nissan will use that platform to assemble a million cars a year through plants in Mexico, China, India and Thailand. The one engine for SA is a 1.5 delivering 73kW at 6000rpm and 134Nm at 4000rpm, which is close to that of many 1.6 engines, and its selling points will be the huge boot, class-leading rear legroom - and price."

SEATS BLACK - THAT'S IT

Fuel consumption is listed as a reasonable 6.3 litres/100km (auto 7.2) and initial reaction to the rather dated four-speed auto box in the car Wheels24 will drive for a week was positive - its been engineered, I was told, to minimise shift-shock. The cars are being built in Chennai, India, and are fully imported.

The Almera is replacing the SA-built Grand Livina and Tiida - both of which are nearing the end of their build life - and Nissan SA says the new car has class-lowest CPK (cents per km) service parts pricing. There's one interior colour for the cloth seats - black. Why? Because the target market is young families, SA is a dusty country, small kids mess on car seats, get real.

The lines used by the outgoing cars will, in part, be used to increase production of the best-selling Nissan NP200 bakkies - at present running off the lines at a rate of 1700 a month - and, in due course, a global bakkie.

It is, of course, the second time around the for the Almera brand in South Africa.

Dannhauser added: “The all-new Almera is an extremely important new car for Nissan in South Africa, where the B-segment is the largest and fastest-growing segment in the market. It's a well-designed vehicle inside and out, with class-leading rear legroom and luggage capacity in particular, as well as a functional cabin – all at an exceptionally affordable price."

15" ALLOYS, CHUNKY RUBBER

It runs on 15" alloy rims shod with chunky 185/65 tyres and has a coupe-like profile. Careful design has achieved a drag co-efficient of 0.318. Standard equipment includes four-speaker audio/CD/MP3 with a aux-in socket, aircon with two flow-adjustable rear vents, an LCD info screen, power for four windows and external mirrors, 490 litres of luggage volume, 636mm of rear legroom on a 2.6m wheelbase (I've been in luxury cars with less legroom than that) and a large rear centre drop-down armrest with two cupholders.

Also standard are height/reach adjustment for the driver/s seat, remote-controlled central locking, height-adjustable power steering with audio controls on the steering wheel boss, auto-locking doors, two trip-distance meters, fuel-consumption read-outs including tank range, and service information.

The cars will be sold with a three-years or 100 000km warranty. Service intervals 15 000km.
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