1997 Nissan Almera GTi 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland


The worst car I have owned...??



General Comments:

Wow, the first bad review of the Almera GTI.

This was possibly the worst car I've ever owned.

Nothing major went wrong with the car in the time I owned it, in fact the only thing I ever bought for it was a new tyre because a previous owner had put a dodgy remould on.

However, the annoying traits of this car made it such a pain to own.

The gearbox was very stiff, especially from cold, making it a pain to engage a gear. Fifth gear was hard to select no matter how long the car had been running.

The clutch was far too sensitive, leading to the 'kangarooing' effect as I call it whenever changing gear.

There was an annoying 'click' every time the clutch was dipped.

In the short time I owned the car, the front tyre wear was ballistic.

Insurance is too high for a car of its appearance and ability. I've driven cars that look / handle and perform better than this car that are in group 7 as opposed to 14...

The seating position is absolutely rubbish as there is not enough control over the driver's seat position.

Absolutely unbelievable fuel consumption: the worst I got was 190 miles on 30 pounds' worth of petrol.

Unless you were driving fast, it felt like it was knackered...

Disastrous fitting of the original Nissan bodykit.

Other road users looking at you with pity; you can imagine them saying "poor b*****d, he's got an Almera"

I seemed to be forever defending my Almera among people who laugh at them and think they're crap...!!! But they didn't listen, and though they were rubbish.

All of the above are common Almera traits according to the Almera Owners' Club.

Terrible secondhand values. These are rare cars' because they actually go for under book because no one wants them. It took me ages to sell mine. And it was a two owner, FSH, 49K mint example..

Apart from that it was a reliable car and reasonably quick, but don't let people fool you, this is not the quickest 2.0 16v out there by a long, long way, and it's also not the best handling despite the strut braces...

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not an Almera-hater. When I see a GTI on the road I still have fond memories... but I'm glad you're driving it and not me!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th September, 2003

24th Dec 2003, 07:42

You obviously need driving lessons mate.

How can you not use the clutch properly.

12th Jan 2004, 10:00

All respect to this comment.

These traits could annoy an owner. The car is an acquired taste although I'm Very happy with mine.

One thing to bare in mind is to get tire tracking checked.

I would do this on any second hand car.

My almera had initial tyre wear, tracking re-aligned and three years later tyre wear is fine.

1997 Nissan Almera GTi 2.0 16v injection from UK and Ireland


Reliable quick economical hot hatch


Very reliable.

If you buy a Nissan, you will not need any breakdown cover because it won't happen.

I have had to replace the exhaust. I feel this was due to short journeys in winter months.

A hose connecting to the power steering motor came loose and it leaked fluid. This was fixed in five minutes and cost me nothing.

General Comments:

I bought this car after one owner who had looked after it well. I have likewise done the same in the 4 years I have owned and loved it.

The car is quite a subtle Hot hatch to look at. It does not look over the top, but the alloys, rear wing, and front valence give it quite a sporty look. You can see that it comes from the same creators of the Skyline. The GTI after 'R' registration come with a sport pack which does make it look sportier.

The interior, again, is not a work of art, but it is functional and everything is well positioned. The standard stereo and 6 speakers are really good quality for standards as well. Seats are very comfortable and hold you in well and you only get a slight sore after a few hours of driving.

The engine is one of the best 2.0 injections out there. This can be driven in the low revs and economically. Under 5000 revs, the car feels quite slow, but keep you foot down and whoosh, you get a search of acceleration right up to the red line. The standard exhaust has a sporty note to it and at 8000 revs the car is quite noisy and the engine definitely sounds like it is working. I have upgraded the exhaust to a scorpion full system and it makes the car growl.

Handling is excellent thanks to its suspension setup and added strut braces. Cornering is confidence inspiring, but not to be overdone as the rear of the car is light and will oversteer. This is where choice of tyres is important. I replaced the pirelli's with some cheaper versions and the car lost a lot of grip. I then invested in some high performance Avon tyres and got the grip back. Due to the rigid setup of the suspension and braces, you have to go slowly over speed bumps as the car does thud as it goes over them. This car is made for handling not comfort. The rear strut brace goes right across the rear boot, meaning fitting something like a bicycle when the rear seats are down is not gonna happen.

All in all a great car made better if you get good tyres and do a few mods to it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st August, 2003

2nd Oct 2003, 07:57

Good review. Nice car (i`ve got one!). Just one thing the car redlines at 7500 rpm not 8000...picky or what!

13th Jan 2006, 08:18

I have now had the Almera GTi for nigh on two years. I must admit that I could treat it better, but the car seems to enjoy some rough treatment. It is not the best looking of cars, inside or out, but where else can you get the package that the car provides in terms of cheapness, reliability and ride?

I have had a couple of cars in the past, but coming up to two years and 76,000 miles on the clock I am still in love with the car and will not be getting rid at any time soon! At the end of the day the only thing that has been replaced are tyres, (breaks - but only because the first owner had not replaced them so who knows how long they had been on there for?) and windscreen wipers!

Lovely car.