Why The 2023 Nissan Almera Is The Perfect First Car: Daily Driven

Why The 2023 Nissan Almera Is The Perfect First Car: Daily Driven

We spent some time with the all-new Nissan Almera subcompact sedan. It immediately left quite an impression on us despite its common use as an everyday fleet vehicle. Enough so, to the point that we’d recommend it as the perfect first car for beginner drivers of all ages. Here’s why.

Easy to Use, Drive, And Park

The first and most important trait for a beginner’s vehicle is its ease of use. The Nissan Almera is a plug-and-play vehicle – not in the sense that it’s an EV, but in a way that you can just hop in and start driving it without much of a learning curve (if any). The dials on the interior are simple and easily read, everything is where it needs to be within the driver’s reach. The steering wheel is a good size and feels easy to grip. The gear selector and A/C controls are straightforward. The same can be said about the lights, turn signals, and everything else. Novice drivers don’t need distractions that take their attention away from the road.

There are also not many blind spots outside. Due to the excellent placement and size of the windows, drivers gain a good feel of the car from their sense of sight. It makes it much easier to estimate the vehicle’s dimensions and how to keep distance from traffic as well as pedestrians nearby. This comes useful also for those narrow alleyways with a lot of parked tricycles and jeepneys, since taking the Nissan Almera through doesn’t require nearly as much skill as other vehicles. As a result, parking in whatever kind of spot is effortless as well. We can imagine a lot of newbies training their parallel parking skills with this car.

Lively and Fun

Some people may write off the Nissan Almera as slow due to its 1-liter turbocharged engine that comes in all models. It is by no means boring to drive. The CVT found here is one of the better options in the market, and this is a lot coming from someone that prefers conventional automatics over CVTs. It doesn’t disappoint, showcasing that 100PS (99 HP) is more than enough for some rapid enjoyment. Once again, we know that’s barely in the triple-digits, but the stat sheet and driving feel in real life don’t always have to agree.

We were surprised by the power delivery here – while there is some turbo lag, the boost kicks in quite early so that the car doesn’t feel anemic in the low revs. It propels the car to highway speeds quite easily and we believe it would just keep going if we were to completely ignore traffic rules. For high-speed expressway driving and overtaking, we see no issues with this whatsoever.

Take the Nissan Almera to the twisties and it reveals another part of its personality yet again. We’d say it has the cornering prowess of the Toyota Vios, which is high praise considering that the latter participates in a one-make racing series. It takes corners in stride, providing confidence every step of the way.


The Nissan Almera model we have here is the range-topping VL TURBO N-SPORT CVT. This comes with some special goodies including 16-inch alloy wheels, silver finish door mirrors, and an N-Sport rear bumper for some extra sporty aggression. Patterns and small details also add a bit of spice to this subcompact sedan’s personality, such as a blacked-out Nissan logo up front.

At night or in darker conditions, the Nissan Almera’s LED Reflector front lights also emit a modern, menacing aura. Its stance reminds us of hot hatches and sedans in the past like the SRT-4 Dodge Neon.

Regardless of the spec you get, the Almera is a handsome vehicle from all angles and does well to stand out amongst the competition. Nissan did away with the usual safe styling cues in this segment for some bold choices. It has a peppy, youthful look that will reinvigorate a boring parking lot and also the image of its driver.

Tons of Space

While it does feel tight and compact on the outside, the opposite can be said about the interior. The limited space is efficiently utilized to provide a decent amount of room for the passengers sitting within. Problems with headroom are more or less nonexistent.

The vehicle can comfortably seat 4 adults, while the middle rear seat can be occupied by someone on the shorter side due to the presence of a transmission tunnel. However, this aforementioned tunnel isn’t as high as you’d expect in other vehicles.

The two-tone leather seats don’t just liven up the interior but are also comfortable to sit on. Most people would be fine with this for long journeys, never mind city driving, and errands around town. Cubbies are aplenty inside the cabin for little trinkets and items the passengers might want to bring along.

For luggage and larger items, a 474-liter trunk makes itself available for storage. The opening is generous for items to easily be placed inside and taken out.

Practical for Daily Use

As said a while ago, the vehicle is fun to drive and push around. The Nissan Almera suffered the wrath of our heavy right feet but still managed to eke out a respectable economy of around 9 km/l. With some conservative highway driving, on the other hand, numbers of around 15-16 km/l became the norm. That’s a breath of fresh air considering skyrocketing fuel prices in recent months.

We also didn’t have to worry much about space. We made a visit to the supermarket on a busy Saturday afternoon, opting for the Nissan Almera instead of our SUVs at home. All our groceries for the next weeks fit snugly into the rear trunk space, and we didn’t have to wait for a parking space to open up as we left the car in the “Low Headroom” parking.

The Nissan Almera is a stellar choice for zipping through the congested streets of Metro Manila in style and comfort.

Modernity Meets Safety

This VL N-Sport variant, specifically, is embedded with the latest tech you’d find in more expensive vehicles.

That includes the 8-inch Advanced Touchscreen Display which we presume is shared with the famed Kicks e-POWER and other models, much like the A/C control panel. It’s a shame that the unit doesn’t have Android Auto onboard, but Apple CarPlay and the good old Bluetooth connection make themselves available to port audio and navigation instructions over. The sound coming out of the six-speaker system here is more than passable and bopping along to the beat should be perfectly fine.

On the left side of the speedometer is a digital display, flashing a digital rev counter as well as range, proximity to other vehicles, and fuel levels. It’s not digital for the same reasons as the Lexus LFA, but drivers can scroll along to find vital information regarding the car’s systems and setting configurations. Younger, tech-savvy individuals will find that this is just like using their smartphones. It’s an easy-to-learn interface that covers the basics.

An outlet, USB port, and.. a 3.5mm jack can all be found in the cubby underneath the A/C controls. Rear occupants, on the other hand, are equipped with two USB Type-A ports to nurse their devices back to health. It’s ideal for younger, on-the-go individuals who need to be connected to the web 24/7.

Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite features available on the top-trim Almera include Intelligent Around View Monitor, Forward Collision Warning, Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, ABS, and Hill Start Assist. Drivers starting out will find all of these to be a great help in everyday driving conditions, lessening the risk of emergencies and accidents. If contact has reached a point wherein it is unavoidable, then a six-airbag setup should keep the occupants out of harm’s way.

The company provides a five-year warranty with this trim, ensuring customers of prolonged support for the years to come.

2023 Nissan Almera Price Philippines

The Nissan Almera we’ve tested is the top-spec model that starts at PHP 1,098,000. There are three other trims that start off at PHP 779,000, PHP 938,000, and PHP 998,000 respectively. Check them out here on the official site.



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