The subcompact sedan market is heating up for the next decade. Toyota heavily updated the Vios about a year ago, while it's only a matter of time before Honda comes up with the next-generation City. Nissan isn't taking any of these sitting down because, in a week's time, the 2020 Almera will be revealed.
The car will make its ASEAN debut next week, and could possibly make an appearance during this year's Thailand International Motor Expo as well. While it could largely look like the US-Spec Versa which we saw earlier this year, expect a couple of changes in equipment and spec. To create some buzz, Nissan has released a teaser video in preparation for its launch in six days.
Nissan is still tight-lipped regarding the details of their upcoming subcompact sedan, but their preview video suggests that we'll get a visually similar version as the US-spec model. From the LED daytime running light signature, V-Motion grill, and tail light design, what we're likely to get is simply an ASEAN version of the Versa that's already being sold in the North American markets.
With that in mind, we're not expecting the 1.6-liter engine from the ones sold in the West. What we are anticipating is either a 1.2-liter, three cylinder mill or a 1.5-liter, inline-four. The 1.2-liter mill complies with Thailand's Eco Car program while a 1.5-liter is typical of cars in its class. Whether these engines will be carried over from the current Almera or not is still up for debate. It is also rumored that the new Almera may come with a turbocharged 1.0-liter inline-three that wiil supposedly put out 100 PS with 144 Nm of torque. Transmissions on the other hand are also unknown, but we're hoping it will be a CVT (continuously variable transmission) replacing the rather antiquated four-speed automatic.
The 2020 Almera's interior design could be the same as the Versa, although some features might be removed for ASEAN. Some of these could include heated seats, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot monitoring. However, the inclusion of stability control is a big possibility, given that the technology has trickled down in this segment.
Mark your calendars on November 13. On that day, we'll all be able to find out what the next-generation Almera has to offer in the subcompact sedan class. Stay tuned.