It's been a busy year for the B-segment sedan class with the facelifted Suzuki Ciaz and the all-new Vios. To keep up with the times, Nissan has given their subcompact sedan a bit of a refresh before the year ends, and it gets new kit inside, along with more features, at least in the Thai market.
On the outside at least, there isn't much new visually aside from a new variant in Thailand. Dubbed the Sportech, it gets a unique front bumper along with new corner air intakes and a pair of LED daytime running lights. Also included in the package are side skirts, a rear bumper kit, a spoiler, and machine-finished alloy wheels. The rest of the range however carries over unchanged aside from the addition of new colors. Locally, blue has been added to the color options, and can now be seen in some dealerships.
Changes are more prominent on the inside. Most noticeable is the new steering wheel which now sports the D-shaped look of other Nissan models, along with a new three-spoke design. It also gets new trimmings and paddings on the door panels. There's now a larger touchscreen monitor in the small sedan, and, depending on the variant, the rest of the cabin is finished in black. New Almeras in the Philippines meanwhile also get an upgraded touchscreen and can be made available even in the mid-spec variants. However, we don't get the new steering wheel and door inserts.
As for engines, things are a little bit different in Thailand. As the Almera competes in their Eco Car class, it doesn't get a 1.5-liter engine option. Instead, the Thai-spec Almera, regardless of variant, uses a 1.2-liter mill with 79 PS and 106 Nm of torque, which is the base engine in the Philippines. The 1.5-liter engine available here meanwhile makes 99 PS and 134 Nm of torque, which is paired to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Thai Almeras meanwhile have the option of having a continuously variable transmission.
For now, it is yet to be determined if the changes made to the Thai-spec Almera will trickle its way to the Philippines. If so, it is possible that Nissan will be adding updates to the small sedan as 2019 progresses. Also, news regarding an all-new Almera have yet to surface, suggesting that it could still have a few more years in its current life cycle.