1999 Nissan Almera Ambition 1.4 16v from UK and Ireland

Summary:

If you want a cheap car to get you from A to B with the minimum of fuss, look no further

Faults:

Brake Pads replaced at 89,000 miles.

Apart from that nothing!

General Comments:

This car has been in my family since new. My father ran it for 3 years and I have for the remaining 4 years.

The car was pre-registered with 5 miles on and cost £10,500 new and is probably worth about £1000 now with 100,000 miles.

The 1.4 litre engine is quite perky around town and adequate for the car. It is certainly better than the 1.6 8v engine in the equivalent VW Golf. Most of the power is at the high end of the rev range, but it is easy to access as the engine revs freely. On the motorway it is fine up to the legal limit. Exceed that however, and it starts to get quite noisy. There also seems to be a 'flat spot' between 70 and 80mph where the car doesn't really want to accelerate. The car also doesn't like to be loaded with people, which to be honest is nothing different to any other car with the same size engine.

The gear box is very 'precise.' My previous Vauxhall Corsa's gearbox was very slow and forgiving, whereas you can easily be selecting 5th when you want 3rd in the Almera. The clutch is very light, and again more 'precise' than the one in the Corsa.

Fuel economy isn't great considering it is mostly only me in the car and mainly motorway trips. A mix of about 70% motorway (at about 85mph) and 30% town and dual carriageway driving I get an average of 35mpg.

The seats and quite firm and on a long journey you sometime end up with numb behind, although this isn't really a problem in daily driving. The ride is quite firm, but in no way uncomfortable.

The interior is an expanse of boring black plastic; however, it is well laid out and after 100k miles, has no rattles and squeaks. Despite looking much better my mothers Golf of the same year has an abundance of rattles after 68,000 miles.

It is unbelievably reliable. Touch wood, nothing has gone wrong with it - it's still on it's original battery, although with the cold weather we're having now it may need replacing.

I didn't choose this car. I had a Vauxhall Corsa for 2 months before it was written off (someone elses fault I should add) and was given this by my father. To be honest, I would have never have chosen it. As a 21 year old it is not the kind of car a young person would have. I would like a Golf, but after my mothers experience with hers, I will look elsewhere.

However, if all you are after a no nonsense car that will get you from A to B with the minimum of fuss then I would recommend it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th February, 2007

4th Jul 2009, 05:22

Have to agree with this review on all points.

I bought a 1999 Almera Ambition in 2002 with 12000 miles on it.

Ran it for 3 years, sold it to my dad with 28000 miles on it.

July 2009 & still going strong with 100000 miles showing. Only money spent on it over this period annual service, mot test (never failed yet), tyres, brakes & clutch.

If you need a cheap reliable car for under £1000, find one of these with a service history & no rot on the sills and you won't go far wrong.

1999 Nissan Almera GX 1.4 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

If you want to be seen to be boring or safe and sensible get yourself an Almera!

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

The external look of the car reminds me of the cars I drew when I was 5 years old. It looks bland and utterly non-descript.

The interior fares slightly better, bit is spoilt by the lack of colour. It seems you can choose any colour, so long as its grey.

The interior of the car is comfortable, even for a 6 footer like myself. The seats are supportive and firm. Having air-conditioning and front electric windows improves the comfort.

The driver position is a boon. The controls are all ergonomically placed and reading the gauges on the dash-board is relatively straight-forward. The light-stalk is easy to control, although I find the rear wiper control on the other stalk more tricky.

Passenger space and storage are adequate for this size car. I had purchased it as a family car.

I found the performance of the car to be adequate. It is not particularly responsive, but it cruises on motorways without difficulty. Certainly not a car for a boy-racer.

Given the performance and engine size the fuel economy is a little disappointing. However, the overall cost of keeping it is quite reasonable. Helped by the fact it is so reliable.

The handling of the car is imprecise and having previously driven Fiats, I found the steering to be less responsive, suffering from under-steer. However, it does seem to hold the road well.

The gear and clutch controls are very smooth, although less forgiving than the Fiats, which means I am prone to stalling it more frequently.

Overall, I'm happy with the car, it does what it says on the tin, but that's about it. It lacks any personality or quirkiness. Maybe it was designed by accountants for accountants.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2006