We know the all-new Nissan Almera is coming soon, but as to when was still unconfirmed.

Now it seems we can answer that question: the launch may be sooner than we think. 

A few weeks ago, we spotted several new generation Almera units being tested along the Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road last month, but were heavily disguised with grey decals. The conduction plate started with “F4”, a designation for Nissan Philippines. Having been behind the wheel myself, it would have been irresponsible (and illegal) to take photos at that time.

2021 Nissan Almera spotted testing on PH roads image

The 2021 Nissan Almera subcompact sedan has recently been spotted again by eagle-eyed reader Russel Rahaman. This time, the same pair were seen along the national highway in Tarlac.

2021 Nissan Almera spotted testing on PH roads image

The successor to Nissan's subcompact segment challenger, the (N17) Almera has been long overdue for replacement as it has been in the market since 2013. The N18 Almera made its global debut in April 2019 as the Versa for the North American market, followed with a debut in Thailand as the Almera, and as the Sunny in Dubai for the Middle East.

2021 Nissan Almera spotted testing on PH roads image

We first encountered the all-new Almera in the metal at the 2019 Thailand International Motor Expo. With Nissan announcing that it will cease local production of the Almera in the Philippines in their Santa Rosa facility, the all-new Almera will likely be sourced from Thailand where it is being produced in Nissan's Samut Prakan factory for domestic and export consumption.

2021 Nissan Almera spotted testing on PH roads image

So far, the Almera that has been launched in ASEAN markets is powered by a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine. In Thailand, this qualifies it under their "eco-car program"; Malaysia and Brunei also exclusively offer the Almera with the 1.0-liter turbo engine. Will the Philippine version be fitted with the same powertrain, or will it be offered with the 1.5-liter HR15DE as with the outgoing model?

The Almera, as with several new Nissan models, should have made its debut last year had it not been delayed by the global pandemic. The timing is further made difficult by the new safeguard bonds that will be levied on imported vehicles in the Philippines. When it will finally be revealed is a guessing game, but by the looks of things, it won't be too long.

The 2021 Nissan Almera is expected to be a serious challenger against segment stalwarts Honda City and Toyota Vios.