Used Nissan Almera Hatchback 2000 - 2006 review

Category: Family car

The Nissan Almera is solid, reliable and cheap, but with a staid image

Nissan Almera Hatchback (00 - 06)
  • Nissan Almera Hatchback (00 - 06)
  • Nissan Almera Hatchback (00 - 06)
Used Nissan Almera Hatchback 2000 - 2006 review
Star rating

What's the used Nissan Almera hatchback like?

The idea of a Nissan Almera trying to compete on equal terms with a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf is a bit like Stirling Moss pitching up at Silverstone, hoping to have a crack at the current Formula One hotshots. However, if you can live with all the pensioner jokes, the Almera doesn't make a bad second-hand buy.

First, the downsides. It's cramped by class standards and rear room is particularly poor, although the boot is a decent size. Refinement is lousy, too, with lots of road, wind and engine noise making its way into the cabin. The handling is reasonable, but while the ride can cope with smooth roads, its composure soon disappears on rough surfaces.


The Nissan Almera is solid, reliable and cheap, but with a staid image

  • It's well priced and reliable with a good safety record
  • Space is poor and it's slow, uncomfortable and disappointing to drive

On the other hand, security is impressive and safety is good, with a Euro NCAP four-star rating. The build quality is sound, even on the original cars introduced in 2000, and all post-autumn 2002 face-lift models come with decent kit.

Ownership cost

What used Nissan Almera hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Nissan Almera hatchback?

If you see a large queue snaking around the corner, you can be pretty sure it's not made up of punters eager to snap up second-hand Nissan Almeras. Still, low desirability means low prices - there are bargains to be had.

The biggest engine, the 134bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel, promises 47.9mpg, whereas at the other end of the scale the small 97bhp 1.5-litre should be good for 42.8mpg.

Having work carried out by a Nissan main dealer need not be too dear because their hourly rates are about as cheap as they come. The work will be cheaper still at an independent garage, where the rates are very competitive for the class.

Our recommendations

Which used Nissan Almera hatchback should I buy?

Later models came with only one engine, a 97bhp 1.5-litre petrol. However, there's plenty of choice if you go for an older model. With fuel economy of 42.8mpg, the 1.5 is particularly attractive if you spend most or your motoring life in town, but the 1.8-litre petrol pulls better in the lower gears - although a long fifth gear means it's not all that flexible on the motorway.

The diesel is a 2.3-litre direct-injection turbo and it comes in two versions, with 110bhp or 134bhp. The more powerful unit has noticeably better low-down performance, yet the weaker engine is perfectly okay.

There was a face-lift in late 2002, with all models getting air-con, remote central locking, electric front windows and a CD player. Stretch to an SVE and you get a leather-trimmed steering wheel, alloy wheels and an electric sunroof. But an SE, with parking sensors, electric rear windows and climate control is all you really need.

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