----Nissan Almera 1.4i 16v Si---- ==Completely Re-wrote (06/06/2010)==
Okay, lets start with some basic spec:
Engine size - Under 1 1/2 Litres
BHP - 86
Valves - 16
Top speed - 107 mph
MPG - 40
0-60mph - 12.2 secs
Driving the Almera is a pleasure with its well tuned chassis and sporty suspension. The steering is light and responsive, and the car has a tight turning circle. The engine is lively and responsive and does not need to be pushed hard in order to get the power. Not only is it powerful but also it is economical returning 40 MPG.
Comfort is excellent in the Almera as it has a fair amount to give. The back seats are spacious enough for two adults and if you look up you will notice the roofline gets higher enabling more headroom for back seat passengers. While in the front, you still get a large amount of room to freely move around in. The boot is not overly spacious but enough for a person's day to day needs, also there is the option of the 60/40 split folding rears seats if you need more space. The seats are comfortable and will keep you satisfied on long journeys.
Equipment list is quite impressive - even for todays standards. It features Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Electric Sunroof and a Vent Shutting Switch. The control's on the dashboard are layed out simply so that they are easy to understand.
We purchased a six month old Nissan Almera SI with a twin cam back in 1998. At the time we thought we were making an informed decision. Wrong!! Having spent £10,000 on the car we expected to receive value for money. Yes it look's good, nice and sleek and it handled like a dream. Other than that though it had nothing going for it. For starter's the car guzzled petrol like it was going out of fashion, faster infact than in the recent petrol crisis!! Round town driving ate up the most. As for motorway driving, forget it. Unless you are going to stick to 70mph all the way (yes I know that's the speed limit but come on you seasoned traveller's how many of us actually stick to it??) it cost an absolute fortune to get from a to b. The car we had was a 1.4 with a twin cam, plenty of kick? Accelaration? You might think so, but you would be wrong and like we were, sorely disappointed!! This car struggled to get up a steep hill whilst maintaining a decent speed. Put it this way don't try overtaking on a hill, you will only end up embarrassed! (I know I tried to!!!) The car's gear box was a major problem too. Changing up from 1st being a stumbling point as was putting the car in reverse!! However to be fair here, I think this is a Nissan design fault as we now have a Primera which does the same (though not as bad). The car might be a good buy if you only wanted it for round town driving but certainly NOT for continious motorway useage. I would not recomend the 1.4 twin cam either stick with just a 1.4 as I think this is where we went wrong. Overall I was disappointed with the car's performance and could'nt wait to trade it in, which we did and having lost money I would say I am slighlty disgruntled. Maybe we bought our Almera too soon, as the design was still very new and had a number of minor problem's and quirk's which may by now have been ironed out. On the whole I would NOT recomen
d the Almera, now the Primera... That's a different story....
I've had the pleasure to drive one of these for 2 weeks now, and I love it. It handles superbly, has wonderful acceleration and decent economy - perfect as a town car. It looks great too, especially the special editions. The handling is probably the main selling point, and as it's a Nissan you know it'll be reliable and easy to get fixed if anything does go wrong! There's not a huge amount of space in the boot though, but the back seats fold down. If you are after a small-ish car, then give this one a test drive, I can't see you doing much better than an Almera.