More than just another car
Nissan says the Almera derives its name from ‘Almendra’, a Spanish word that supposedly means ‘large diamond’.
Will this ‘diamond’ bring the luster back to Nissan, one that’s been a long time in the making?
Our drive started from Nissan North EDSA through the North Luzon Expressway for a quick stop at Total NLEX for a fueling stop. We then set forth to Subic through SCTEX for our fuel efficiency run. After the economy part, we then cruised comfortably to Morong, Bataan through Subic weaving through the winding roads that led to Anvaya Cove.
A bit nutty
Now Nissan may have told us the Almera’s namesake was a shiny gem, but upon a quick visit to Spanish dictionaries online, we found another meaning. It is also Spanish for almond, something that actually makes more sense as the car does resemble an almond. Not to say that it takes away from the Almera right away, as the almond is highly revered in some cultures and texts, including the Bible.
Like the nutritiously beneficial nut hidden in a hard shell, we were given a chance to try out the many characteristics of the new Almera, beginning with the powertrain. Its efficient all-aluminum 1.5-liter CVTC engine paired with an equally efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) was tested internally by NMPI to deliver a fuel consumption figure of 23.26 km/li for the automatic transmission variant, while a 23.81 km/li consumption was recorded for the manual transmission variant. Both figures were recorded on a pure highway travel at 80 km/h with airconditioning turned on. Our test garnered a 21.9 km/li as we got quite bored on the journey from the Total service station on NLEX until Tipo in Subic. We decided to set a more spirited pace just to see how much it will affect mileage, while also trying out the handling capabilities of the car. It proved to be quite an interesting drive with a good combination of both while having safety features like dual airbags and brakes with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist. In contrast, the winning team for the contest logged in 25.70 km/li.
On to Anvaya
The final destination was set at Anvaya Cove, an aptly selected location which properly represents the car. A hidden gem within Morong, Bataan; the scenic private nature club offered an experience with the environment in mind. Two activities awaited us at Anvaya, an ‘Almera Squeeze’ where the challenge was to fit as many people and items in the Almera. I was fortunate enough to be part of the winning team which managed to squeeze in 12 people in the passenger compartment with some space to spare. Lastly, we were tasked to produce our own version of the Almera TVC via a short video. Our team won the Best Almera TVC title with team members Ira Panganiban, Angel Rivero, Walter Villa, Anthony de Guzman, and Jerry Rivera.
The drive proves the success of the subcompact sedan as the brand’s current best-selling global car. Nissan hopes to continue the trend locally. The Almera is being assembled at Nissan’s plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna alongside the X-trail and Grand Livina.