What's it like to drive the 2022 Nissan Almera all the way to Boracay?

Updated Dec 02, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

The new turbocharged powertrain was taken to the ultimate test.

With a huge update made on the recently launched all-new 2022 Nissan Almera, many are eager to find out what the new model is capable of. This is further emphasized now that the subcompact sedan is powered by a smaller turbocharged engine. Can it deliver the good capabilities built by its predecessor in the small car market?

Nissan Almera with Nissan Terra and Nissan Navara

Nissan Almera enjoying Philippine roads alongside its bigger siblings

Nissan Philippines, in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DoT), put the new Almera to the test as it joined the media drive from Metro Manila to Boracay under the renewed Safe Trips campaign. We at Philkotse.com were invited to drive out the top-spec Nissan Almera VL N-Sport in over 350 km travel distance, or about an 18-hour drive. 

Metro Manila to Batangas Port

Right off the bat, the Nissan Almera was driven on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) where it demonstrated to us its cruising capabilities. We can say that thanks to its turbocharger, the Almera is fast, but not sports car fast. Rolling from 60 to 100 km/h was fun especially with the sound of the turbocharged powertrain echoing our ears.

Nissan Almera front view

All met up at Petron KM 75 Star Tollway

If we were to describe the power delivery, the sedan doesn’t pick up speed as fast as most would expect, but the torque is never lacking. The sound of the powertrain could make occupants feel like it is going too fast which is a good touch for those who are looking for a spirited driving experience.

Numbers-wise, the new 1.0-liter engine makes 98 hp and 152 Nm of torque. It sends power to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) which is the go-to for VE and top-of-the-line VL N-Sport variant. For the 5-speed manual variant available in the base EL and VE variants, it boasts more torque at 160 Nm.

Nissan Almera interior view

The interior layout is well executed

The fact that the Almera is competing in a market where performance isn’t that much relevant impresses us. But what’s more remarkable is the model’s fuel efficiency. In our previous test run, the small sedan was able to give us a 23.4 km/l fuel economy rating on highway driving.

Another new feature that the 2022 model offers is the Nissan Intelligent Mobility. This system consists of Intelligent Around View Monitor (AVM), Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (IFCW), Intelligent Emergency Braking (IEB), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and Hill Start Assist (HSA).

Nissan Almera instrument cluster

The new instrument gauge cluster enhances the sporty driving feel

There were multiple occasions in the media drive where the IFCW and IEB assisted us in avoiding road incidents. It responds well to the surrounding vehicles even when we were driving at an average speed of 90 km/h. The system provides visual and audible warnings which were important for tired drivers considering that we got off at 9 p.m.

The only drawback out of all the good stuff that we noticed is the tire noise. It almost sounded like we were driving on a flat tire whenever the Almera is cruising at a high speed and overtaking. But at lower speeds, the tire noise is barely heard. This part of the drive is something Nissan can improve for the following updates.

Batangas Port to Calapan Port (Roro)

As said earlier, the 2022 Nissan Almera can deliver both good performance and fuel efficiency. But the fuel efficiency aspect is emphasized when we were lining up for the RoRo going to Calapan Port. With an idling stop system, the vehicle automatically shuts the engine off whenever it is idling to save fuel.

Nissan Almera rear view

The Japanese subcompact sedan managed to make it on a RoRo

The Nissan Almera is so fuel-efficient that we managed to get from Metro Manila to Boracay without filling up at a gas station. Part of this is the use of a smaller engine displacement as compared to the outgoing model’s 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine. Thanks to the turbocharger, the Almera doesn’t compromise on power.

But on long trips like this media drive, the relatively low ground clearance at 135 mm will take a toll when boarding a RoRo. Carrying heavy loads can damage the Almera’s undercarriage. With that being said, we recommend that the vehicle should unload passengers first before moving forward. But at least, it comes with an around-view monitor that we used in boarding the vehicle-packed RoRo.

Calapan Port to Bulalacao Port

If the Metro Manila to Batangas Port drive showed the high-speed capabilities of the 2022 Nissan Almera, the Calapan Port to Bulalacao Port tested the subcompact sedan’s handling, braking, and suspension at a slower pace. This portion of the media drive consists of twisties and pedestrians crossing roads.

Nissan x DOT Safe Trips Boracay

26 Nissan vehicles went on a road trip

All that we can say is that the Nissan Almera managed to seamlessly keep up with its larger siblings in the drive including the Nissan Navara and Nissan Terra. It even goes side-by-side with the Nissan LEAF despite the electric vehicle (EV)’s advantage of benefiting from an instant torque delivery.

The MacPherson strut with stabilizer front and torsion beam at the rear kept the wheels of the subcompact sedan planted on the ground. With this, the possibility of understeer was never felt even when we were cornering a bit hard at some points of the drive. Also, the low gear displayed as ‘L’ on the shifter was handy in tackling downhills.

Nissan Almera front view

Arrived in style

Moreover, the braking performance of this subcompact sedan is impressive. The brake system is paired with the new IEB for a safer driving experience. Thanks to the Almera’s good torque delivery, it helped us keep up to speed with the bigger and more powerful models after braking due to traffic.

Upon reaching Bulalacao Port, the drive is pretty much over as the vehicles were left at Caticlan Port. Only white cars are allowed to be driven in Boracay so the Nissan LEAF was our go-to mobility in the Crown Jewel of the Philippines.

Verdict

The all-new Nissan Almera is more capable than ever in delivering good and efficient road performance thanks to its new features such as the smaller turbocharged engine and Nissan Intelligent Mobility. It overcame road challenges such as an 18-hour drive (including stopovers) and over 350 km of travel.

Nissan x DOT Safe Trips Boracay

With this, the Almera should promote the fun of land travel in the Philippines. If a small sedan managed to do so without running into issues on the road, then nothing should stop Filipinos from enjoying road trips. This is the main objective of Nissan Philippines through its Safe Trips campaign with DOT.

Discover more driving impressions by visiting Philkotse’s Car Review section.

Know more about Nissan Almera 2022

Nissan Almera

The Nissan Almera is the Japanese marque's entry to the local subcompact sedan segment. Nissan Almera 2022 Philippines starts at ₱728,000 for the entry-level EL 1.0 Turbo MT, while the top-of-the-line Nissan Almera VL 1.0 Turbo N-Sport CVT is priced at ₱1,098,000. Under the hood, the fourth-gen Almera uses a 1.0-liter inline-3 turbocharged gasoline engine that is capable of generating 98 hp. As for the torque values, the variants with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) offer 152 Nm of torque, while the manual transmission (MT) variants deliver more at 160 Nm of torque.

In terms of dimensions, the Almera Philippines is 4,530 mm long, 1,740 mm wide, and 1,460 mm tall. In the local market, this Japanese subcompact sedan is competing against the likes of the Toyota Vios, Honda City, and Mitsubishi Mirage G4.

 

₱ 728,000 - ₱ 1,098,000

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Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez

Author

Rex Sanchez grew up in Saudi Arabia where he saw and got into the automotive scene. He started his career for an aviation company in the said region, writing about turbines and rotors which are later distributed for educational purposes. And now, he joined Philkotse.com as a staff writer. Currently, he is the youngest on the team and is more than ready to grow in the field.

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