First look: 2022 Nissan Almera VL N-Sport

First look: 2022 Nissan Almera VL N-Sport

The all-new Nissan Almera has finally been released after what seems like a lifetime in car years. In case anyone has forgotten, the previous generation was released way back in 2013 to much fanfare.

Nissan has always been known to give its subcompact sedans the best in car technology and features, but after eight years in the market, it has since been overtaken by even more advanced models from other brands.

2022 Nissan Almera Featured

Fans were aching for the return of the brand in the subcompact sedan segment after back-to-back releases in the Navara and Terra this year. Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) did not disappoint.

The 2022 Nissan Almera features the one thing that many car enthusiasts are looking for in the segment: a small-displacement turbocharged engine. It’s not just about the engine, though. Apart from the stunning good looks it also has safety features that we thought we would never find at this price range.

2022 Nissan Almera Nissan Left Rear Left Quarter

In an age when the subcompact sedan is beginning to get overtaken by the subcompact crossover segment, does Nissan have what it takes to revitalize the segment with a little pocket rocket?

Sedan gentrification

Subcompact sedans used to come in two flavors: bland and blander. A few decades ago, if customers were in the market for a small sedan, companies didn’t bother to give their models any features on the spec guide that can reach out to car buyers’ emotions. The selling point was simple: Design a cost-effective car, and sell a ton of them.

2022 Nissan Almera Nissan VL TUrbo

There was always going to be a top-of-the-line model which is usually an automatic transmission and an entry-level variant that may or may not come with wind-up windows. Customers lapped them up anyway and in time, the Corollas, Civics and Sentras that used to dominate the car sales charts went upmarket and were overtaken by these smaller four-doors.

For years that was the Almera’s selling point, to be the most affordable sedan out there, looks and features be damned. 

2022 Nissan Almera Side Chin

Fast forward to today and the demand for more features at entry points skyrocketed. Companies stumbled to design their subcompacts to become more upmarket. The 2022 Nissan Almera now features even more toys and technology that will make even the most discerning customers blush.

Turbo power

The most distinctive feature of the 2022 Nissan Almera is right under the hood. Under it lies a turbocharged one-liter, straight-three DOHC engine that makes a respectable 99hp and up to 160Nm of torque. 

2022 Nissan Almera Nissan ENgine Bay

While more traditional naturally aspirated engines have always been around in this segment, thus easier to predict, the availability of a small turbo sets the 2022 Nissan Almera apart from the rest. The power isn’t much but thanks to the Nissan’s Xtronic CVT system, front-wheel power and propulsion comes in at a more linear pace, giving drivers a smooth and stable ride and providing impeccable fuel economy owing to the small displacement.

2022 Nissan Almera SHifter

Nissan understands that the market is looking for something new apart from the usual 1.3- or 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engines and while some companies are hesitant to bring their own small, turbo engines locally, the brand was brave enough to dip its toes into the forced-induction pool.

Looks to thrill

As much as I loved how the previous-generation Almera looked on the outside, I can’t fight the overwhelming public opinion that disagrees with that notion. There was a joke that one wouldn’t know if the Almera was coming or going because of its dimensions and tail light design. But it seems the Almera has hit puberty with a vengeance.

2022 Nissan Almera Front Close

Everything about the design just speaks to the buyer. The 2022 Nissan Almera has an updated V-motion grille that integrates seamlessly into the character lines sweeping across the hood and a  distinct floating roof design thanks to a signature black strip on the C-pillar. Don’t forget about full LED headlights and tail lamps as well as a menacing daytime running lights and, for the N-Sport package, 16-inch wheels, blacked-out chrome, and special bodykits. 

2022 Nissan Almera Rear Quarter

Looks are still a subjective topic for any design but the 2022 Nissan Almera is out to make sure that it can compete in this loaded segment. I definitely won’t be kicking this off of bed.

The inside that counts

I first experienced Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats in the Navara Pro-4X and I still believe that they are one of the most comfortable interior amenities I’ve been in. They’re called Zero Gravity seats because they are designed to mimic those used by NASA astronauts to provide the best possible seating position and support during harsh takeoffs. 

2022 Nissan Almera Dashboard

The 2022 Nissan Almera has them, and I believe that this is an unprecedented move in the segment. The last thing that I would ever nitpick on a subcompact sedan would be the seating position because I knew that wouldn’t be a priority in mass-produced cars. For me, I’d be happy if the seats had leather material and that’s it. With this innovation, Nissan might start a trend with other companies starting to give more attention to people’s spine and lumbar area.

2022 Nissan Almera 8 inch touch screen

Nissan’s interior game is also leaps and bounds from its previous models, and the 2022 Nissan Almera is no exception. With a chunky steering wheel, sporty gauges and dashboard as well as an eight-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and absolutely no lag to it on all trims, customers will appreciate the level of thought Nissan placed in designing the Almera. 

Safety is paramount

In the Philippines, the now legendary Nissan Sentras of the '90s were one of the first cars I knew of that had two airbags and anti-lock brakes as standard. While most cars were content with having bare-bones specifications, Nissan was never afraid to add a little bit more peace of mind for buyers.

2022 Nissan Almera Interior

Today, ABS and airbags also come as standard with almost every car but Nissan being itself was determined to up the ante. The 2022 Nissan Almera comes with up to six airbags and a slew of other standard features, and along with that comes the Nissan Intelligent Mobility system. This is an advanced safety feature that utilizes both passive and active components to make sure drivers and passengers are kept safe. 

2022 Nissan Almera Side Mirror Camera

Nissan Intelligent Mobility includes Forward Collision Warning, Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert Hill Start Assist as well as Nissan’s Intelligent Around View Monitor giving the 2022 Nissan Almera a 360-degree view of the surroundings, making an already easy car to park even easier.  This is unprecedented as these features are usually found in more expensive segments.

Value-packed 

Pricing for the all-new 2022 Nissan Almera starts at P728,000 for the entry-level EL trim, P938,000 for the VE with a manual, and P998,000 for the CVT variant. The top-of-the-line N-Sport can be had for P1,098,000. 

2022 Nissan Almera N-Sport Badge

While it might not undercut some of its more established rivals, buyers must consider the extra safety features included in the package as well as the amazing all-new turbocharged engine.

2022 Nissan Almera Rear Profile

Dealerships should have units available in their showroom at this time but stay tuned to Zigwheels Philippines for more information, as well as reviews.

Photos by Roy Robles

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