The new Nissan Almera/Sunny has been spotted at one of the famous mamak's place in Bukit Beruntung today, just 6km from the Tan Chong Sg Choh assembly plant. Perhaps the tester is having a hearty breakfast with coffee while his test car is being photographed.
The car is not exactly breakthrough news, as it has been launched in other market such as Singapore since last year. Basically the new Sunny/Almera sits on the V-Platform that underpinned the Nissan Micra/March, which explain it still has some of the tall-body traits of hatchback build-in the longer sedan body. In this region, the car is pitched as a competitor to the establishment of Toyota Vios and Honda City, although how it will be placed in relation to the Nissan Latio is still an unknown.
As the car has been launched elsewhere around the world, the final outlook is no longer a secret. The version spotted here is perhaps the basement spec, with no fog lights and wearing a steel wheel. The Almera measures 4,425mm long, 1,695mm wide and quite tall at 1,500mm height. The car sits on 2,600mm wheelbase. This means that the Almera is slightly bigger than the Latio which is 4,415mm long, 1,695mm wide and taller at 1,535mm tall. Wheelbase is similar at 2,600mm. This has put the Almera as a bigger model not only to Latio, but also to the Honda City and Toyota Vios. Boot volume however is smaller than the Honda's at 490L. For the table of comparison for all mid-sized sedan in Malaysia, refer to MMN posting about P3-21A HERE.
While the Thailand market received the HR12DE 3 cylinder 1,198cc with CVTC valvetrain kicking out puny 79PS and 106Nm for frills-free motoring paired to either CVT or 5 speed manual, out version is likely to be similar in specs with the Singaporean version which is powered by a bigger HR15DE engine which displaced 1,498cc and punching out 99bhp and 134Nm. The downside of this drivetrain package is is paired with the archaic 4 speed automatic transmission. However, expect no problem with this as Malaysian is known to love that transmission in the best-selling Toyota Vios!
Singapore media has concluded that the Almera is vastly spacious inside, with class-leading rear legroom and ample head room for all occupants. The interior is adorned with hard plastic all around, but none of them are flimsy and set to give out a lasting impression. On the drive, the lightweight V-platfrom offers an agile ride and the handling lies a bit on the safe side, with plenty of body roll. However the wind noise insulation is good, coupled with supple suspension setting, the occupants can expect quite a soothing ride. Engine noise, though, is a bit on the high side when pressed hard. Photos of the actual RHD car from the Singapore market can be found after the jump.