Nissan’s about to drop its ace in the hole

First, the Navara pickup truck. Then recently, the Terra midsize SUV.

It seems like Nissan Philippines has been playing its cards in a strategic manner, but the Japanese automaker isn’t just done yet.

Teased on its social media channels, the company has confirmed that the all-new Nissan Almera is coming soon. Even better, the subcompact sedan will be arriving with a feature that most fans have been clamoring about – a turbo variant.

Launched in Thailand in 2019, the all-new Almera has been around for a while. But ever since news about it broke out locally, there’s always a single consensus: to bring the turbocharged Almera here. I’ve spent a lot of time online to notice this and sure, it’s something worth writing home about.

The string of teaser videos (there were three) starts with a tight profile shot of the car, with an on-screen text that says “A compact sedan known for its style?” The clip ended with the DRL.

While some of you might argue that this might be the all-new Sylphy instead of the Almera because of the word “compact,” there’s one indicating factor from the videos that made me sure that it’s the Almera – the side mirrors are attached to the door panels.

Interestingly, the Almera and the Sylphy that are yet to arrive locally share a lot of design cues, such as a black accent that break the C-pillar, sleek shape, plus narrow headlights with sharp DRLs. In one way or another, this might fool the uninitiated, but good thing those side mirrors were definitive.

More importantly, one of the teaser videos shows the VL Turbo badge, supposed found at the rear. This is a confirmation that we’ve all been waiting for.

So what gives? The Toyota Vios reigns supreme right now as a top choice for small sedan buyers. However, one might argue that even with its top-spec 1.5L trim, the Vios isn’t a standout in terms of power (it’s greater in terms of handling). 

With the Almera coming with the 1.0-liter turbocharged engine, Nissan wants to inch out the king with its torque figures, rated at exactly 152Nm. In contrast, the 1.5L 2NR-FE mill of the Vios makes 140 Nm. The difference isn’t exactly phenomenal but for cars of this size and weight, it’s a notable gap. In an ideal setting, 152Nm would feel faster than 140Nm but of course, that would be better put to a test in an unideal real-world setting.

It’s also worth noting that Nissan is employing its venerable Intelligent Around View Monitor on the Almera based on the teasers. If that happens, the Almera would be the first small Japanese sedan that will arrive with such a nifty feature.

Will the Nissan Almera be the company’s ace in the hole? At the end of the day, the deciding factor would be the price. If Nissan Philippines will be able to position the Almera correctly in the market, it has a good fighting chance given its esteemed trait as a spacious and comfortable subcompact sedan. Adding that turbo is just a bonus but a great addition, nonetheless.

No specific date has been announced for the launch just yet, but we won’t be surprised if the all-new Almera arrives as early as October of this year.

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