Sometimes you just need a little more space. Our previous cars of the month have both been compact models, hatchbacks which score high in economy and convenience for a couple on a road trip. The Nissan Almera, most rented in Australia
this April, has a different appeal in the rental car comparisons. The “light sedan” retains some of the advantages of a small vehicle while offering more space for passengers and luggage alike.
The ample backseat means you can take the whole family along on your next car rental holiday. Depending on the model, the rear is even roomy for adults, so don’t fret about fitting in your lanky teenagers. The boot is where it really gets impressive, with a big space allowing you to stow all suitcases and bags out of the way of passengers. For rental customers, this is often a priority- and if it is one for you, then the Nissan Almera, usually classed as a “medium-sized” car, is a good vehicle to consider.
The fuel question
The other big concern for renters is fuel consumption. At around 42-43 (imperial) mpg (or 6.7 litres per 100km) for the 1.5 litre model, it is not breaking any records but is a good, fuel efficient car which will not inflate your road trip expenses by drinking gallons of petrol along the way. The manual version is a little more fuel efficient than the four-speed automatic, leaving more cash to spend on kangaroo steaks and barbecued shrimp.
Safe and sound
A highlight of the Almera as a rental vehicle is the safety aspect, very important for those driving on foreign and unfamiliar roads. Besides being bigger than your usual compact rental, the later models are equipped with vehicle stability control, ABS brakes and six airbags. Safe and reliable are the words used across many online reviews of the Almera, a promising verdict.
Many reviewers agree that the Almera is quite a smooth ride, and sits solidly on the road for a good driving feel- although the engine can become loud at high revs.
The pitfalls: style and power
Only 75kw of power are produced by the 1.5 litre models; the Almera is not a fast car. If speed and the ability to overtake is high on your list of priorities, look elsewhere. It also tends towards the frumpy end of the style scale. You won’t stand out in a crowd!
Another thing to keep in mind when thinking of an Almera to take you on your Australian road trip is that it won’t be a very late model vehicle- as of mid 2014, the sedan has been withdrawn from the Nissan Australia line-up in an attempt to streamline their offerings.
In summary, the Almera offers what most people want from a rental vehicle - reliability, safety and fuel economy. It provides space for the whole family and their baggage, especially later models. Style and speed are not lacking, whether that matters is something only you can decide. Take it for a spin at one of the many popular destinations throughout Australia including Cairns
, Adelaide Airport
or venture further south and grab one from Launceston Airport
on the island of Tasmania. For those who fancy a trip across the ditch, New Zealand
has this vehicle available - pick up from locations including Auckland Airport
, Christchurch Airport
, Queenstown Airport
amongst other locations.