18th Feb 2006, 09:01

I have previously owned a Mk2 Golf GTi 16V and enjoyed that car for 4 years. This is regraded as an all time classic hot hatch.

I now own a last of the line Almera GTi. The Golf felt faster and had better handling, and came with better brakes. BUT the Almera is not a bad car. I only bought the Almera after some thorough research, and this resulted in a shortlist of 2 cars: Almera GTi and 306 GTi-6. Although the GTi-6 was the first choice, I would have ended up paying double for a 306, and I did not feel that the 306 was twice the car the Almera was. In fact, Performance Car rated the Almera the 3rd best hot hatch in a group test of thirteen (306 1st, 106 Gti 2nd) and What Car? tested the Almera as faster to 100mph than a 306 Rallye in another test! Top Gear Magazine tested the Almera on a race track and said the car had excellent handling. The main criticism of the Almera is always it's looks (in and out) so the car is not for posers.

People may laugh at the Nissan badge, but the same people have respect when they hear Skyline (and yes, the same engineers that developed the Skyine helped develop the Almera GTi). Go figure.

16th Aug 2006, 22:34

I own a 306 Gti-6 and I've gotta say that I've never driven an Almera GTI before, but I'm sure a gti-6 is a lot more comfortable, nicer handling and quicker than an Almera.

That's my opinion.


6th Sep 2006, 17:32

Will, how can you comment if you've never driven one?

As for Pug ownership, I've been in plenty of 306s and myself have owned a number of 205 GTis. Very fast and fun cars, but at the end of the day French build quality is pap. I'm always wondering what is about to start rattling next or go pop, although the AA card will probably get me out of any sticky situations. I've got an Mi16 in my 205, and although it's had no problems in 6000 miles, I'm sure it will probably have a few annoying recurring mechanicals as time goes on.

I drove a 1.4 base model Almera about 2 years ago, and for its size and engine it was a very quick and nippy car. Also very comfy and with the creature comforts (PAS, aircon etc) above my 205 GTi. I am considering getting an Almera GTi and am test driving one on Friday this week, since my job now means I drive 67 miles per day and mileage like that will kill a Pug in no time.

As for the Almera, this is the first negative review I have really found, and they seem to be niggling little issues that are insignificant compared to every other review there is. Consensus is: learn to use a clutch...

Will, on paper the GTi-6 may have more horses, but run it under the exact conditions as an Almera GTi and I would almost put money on it lasting longer, less potential of it being nicked (Pugs are so easy to get into with no damage it's ridiculous) and being safer in a crash.

My mind will be made up when I test drive this potential new car of mine, but I have no doubts it will be a cracking drive based on how good the base model Almera was compared to other manufacturers' base model variants, and how 9 reviews out of 10 say how underrated it is.

29th Nov 2006, 06:21

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

If nothing went wrong with the car, I assume all the 'annoying traits' were there when you bought it. So if its that bad why did you buy it?

How can people complain/moan about their car, if it was like that when they bought it?... Its their own fault!!!

1st Mar 2007, 12:45

I quote:

"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 aposed to 14..."

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH!!! name these cars please, I am intrigued...

15th Apr 2007, 01:41

Just bought one, and what an understated car! Sure on the outside it looks very bland, but put your foot down and what a noise that engine makes! I knew the SR20 was fast, but this has a lot of torque to make it feel quicker. Mine has just hit 110k, gearbox is fine, brakes are solid, although the clutch is a bit jerky when you first start driving. Very nice handling, I absolutely love it!

22nd May 2007, 08:21

To Will, and anyone else, who made the ASSUMPTION that a 306 Gti-6 is quicker than an Almera GTi, please follow the link: http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/downloads/carmotorcycleperformancecharts1.htm

And then find the 1/4 mile time for Almera GTi and compare it with 306 GTi-6 (and a 306 Rallye if you can be bothered). This isn't the only review I've read that records an Almera GTi as faster.

Don't get me wrong, a 306 GTi/Rallye is probably a better driver's car than an Almera GTi, but it ain't worth double IMHO (the point I was clearly making), especially if you include criteria like reliability and fuel consumption. Anyhow, if you buy a 306 GTi-6, and drive it hard, prepare to spend money, because it will go wrong (it's French).

25th May 2007, 11:11

Nobody listen to that last comment; it's not true, that chart is wrong. I didn't look through it for long, just until I noticed my car, a Focus 2.0 Zetec, and it says that the 1.8 Zetec is just 0.1 seconds slower. That is just not possible; there is a full second difference in them on their 0-60 times, and don't even say that the 1.8 will catch up once you go past 60. That site is wrong; don't even waste your time looking at it.

23rd Jul 2007, 03:53

I will add one thing to this. I own an Almera GTI, and a few years ago, when it was standard, and a mate of mine had a 306 GTI-6 standard, we had a bit of a race 0-60 & 30-70mph. Both myself and my friend were surprised that my Almera with approx 20bhp less was slightly quicker. I still own my Almera 6 years later, and still love its fast reliability.

I'm not saying Almera is better than the 306, but I just thought I'd add a real life comparison.

1st Sep 2007, 13:04

I own a Almera GTi, and I must be honest with you, it's a brilliant car.I've had it for nearly three years now and it has not let me down once. Its great on fuel and very comfy on a long run. If you want a reliable and nippy two door car, with plenty of room for four people, then the Almera GTi is a good choice.

25th Sep 2007, 15:53

The Almera GTi is better than a 306 GTi, all things considered. Don't believe the hype of 306 GTi's. Peugeots glory days died with the 205 GTi's. Sad, but true.

14th Apr 2008, 15:28

I have recently bought an Almera GTI and compared to my other previous cars it's great..

Okay, it's got problems, but it's lowered etc, so I am workin on them...

As for the poor fitting of the body kit; issue 1, most factory fitted bodykits aren't great, and 2, it doesn't cost mega amounts to get it in a body shop and have it sorted.

Mines got 130k on clock and the gear change is smooth most of the time.

As I've not owned one from new, I can't say what it used to be like, but as a well used car it's in good condition.

All cars have flaws, but that's their character... if ya don't like it, don't have one and don't complain...

p.s any owners clubs in Cheshire area?