One could say that Nissan has a solid range of commercial vehicles. The Terra, Navara, and NV350 are strong sellers for the brand. But what about the passenger cars? After all, it's still a vital market that covered nearly 31 percent of vehicle sales last year.
At the moment, there's the Almera and Sylphy for the mass market, along with the 370Z and GT-R for select niches. The Almera is the sales-topper for Nissan's passenger cars, but we reckon they could do with another one in the local range. Most of its rivals offer an entry-level hatchback, so what can Nissan bring in here?
What about the Micra, then?
The subcompact hatchback recently got a facelift, and we think it's a good fit for the country. At a hair under four meters long (3,999 mm), should make it easy to maneuver. It's also a rather stylish alternative to the Toyota Yaris and Honda Jazz. Since its launch in 1993, the Micra is still seeing a lot of success in Europe, and one of the most popular Nissan models over there.
It has a couple of things going for it. The look is an aggressive interpretation of Nissan's V-Motion design language, giving it a bit of a sporty flair. As for the interior, it has a funky vibe that features a two-layer dashboard, a D-shaped steering wheel, and a large, mostly digital, instrument cluster. It's even available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Micra is available with a lot of safety tech as well. It benefits from the Nissan Intelligent Mobility safety package, which includes Intelligent Around View Monitor, Moving Object Detection, and Blind Spot Warning. All variants come with Hill Start Assistance, Intelligent Ride Control, Intelligent Trace Control, and stability control. The optional safety pack has features that were previously reserved for luxury cars, namely High Beam Assist; Intelligent Lane Intervention; Traffic Sign Recognition, and Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition.
Should Nissan Philippines bring it in, it gives local consumers more variety in the competitive subcompact hatchback class. But if not, there's another hatchback worth considering, the Note, and an all-new model is set to debut next year.
Then again, there's the second-generation Almera that debuted over a year ago. It's been available in Thailand since late-2019, but we're still waiting for it to land locally. Sure, it's not a hatchback, but now is a good time to bring it in as the Toyota Vios gets (another) facelift and Honda brought in the all-new City.
But still, we reckon a hatchback would be a nice addition to the local Nissan line-up.