After probably the longest pre-launch hype in our market, Tan Chong Motor has officially launched its B Segment sedan, the Almera. Set to take the baton from the legendary Sunny model, the car will take the battle to the Toyota Vios and Honda City, just to name its fellow Japanese nemesis. In the Malaysian market at least, the Almera is also out to wrestle it out with local establishment in the shape of Proton Preve and Naza Forte.
In the market segment where asthetic take a back seat, Nissan Almera has a big opportunity to succeed. For one, it is the largest and has the lowest entry price compared to its fellow Japs rival. Measuring 4,425mm long, 1,695mm wide and 1,500mm tall and wheelbase is 2,600mm, Almera is vastly larger that Toyota Vios which is 4,300mm long, 1,700mm wide and 1,460 tall while it rides on a shorter 2,550mm wheelbase. Honda stylish City meanwhile is 4,395mm long, 1,695mm wide and 1,475mm tall while the wheel distance stretched 2,550mm too.
There are 3 trims level to choose from. The entry level "E" model comes in manual and automatic option, which the former is priced at a surprise RM66,800, while the latter weights in at RM69,800. The next two trims level comes only with automatic gearbox (with a total of 4 ratios). The "V" spec is priced at RM76,800 while the range topper "VL" is priced at RM79,800.
There's only solely one engine option, i,e the HR15DE 1.5L mill, producing 99PS@6,000rpm and 134Nm@4,000rpm. The fuel tank is 41L in size and according to Nissan, it is good for 14.9km/L for the manual version. All version sits in 185/65 R15 tyres.
The entry level "E" model comes with 15" steel wheel with plastic cover and equipped with driver's airbag, ABS+EBD and manual airconditioning. Opting further up for the "V" spec will gain you an alloy wheel, chromed door inside handle, Fine Vision Meter and trunk illumination. The range-topper "VL" is further equipped with keyless entry, starter button, audio control on steering wheel, automatic airconditioning and temperature display.
For the gadget geek, there are 3 accessories package to choose from. Luxury Package (RM3,500) will buy you LED side mirror indicator, LED-illuminated stainless steel kick plate, door visor, trunk tray, sport pedal, leather upholstery on seats and door trim and Solar Gard Armorcoat. The Navi Package (also RM3,500) is almost the same as the Luxury Package, but here the leather upholstery is replaced by the 6" multimedia navigation unit with rear view camera, DVD player and comes compatible with iPOD. The Premium Navi Package is essentially both of the previous package combined where you'll get both the sat-nav unit together with the leather. The price however is RM6,000.
There's also an IMPUL package, priced at RM9,500. The package consists of the front grille, all around skirting, rear spoiler, exhaust muffler, sports suspension with 25mm lower ride height and an option of either 16" or 17" alloys.
MMN already snapped some photos during the Star Motor Carnival so head to our previous post for the details of engine and chassis. The photos can be found after the jump.
|The front end of the car, with high and short hood|
|This is the rear end that is hanging post the wheel, the plunging roof line does not help asthetics|
|Note the dashboard design on the left, which apart from being storage-friendly, it is also front legroom friendly|
|All the rear legroom you'll ever want, but headroom is a bit on a tight side|
|Short hood means no need to intricate hood inner panel design, just a stiff surrounding reinforced panel|
|The engine bay with HR15DE inside|
|The front end design with plenty of cushion to absorb crash forces|