The 2013 Nissan Almera is expected to make its debut on the Australian market sometime this month. The Almera, which is built in Thailand, is expected to be just one of the large numbers of new Nissan models that will be making their way into Australian Nissan dealers in the next year and a half. Expect to see the Pulsar and Altima join the Almera and new versions of the X-Trail, Patrol, Pathfinder and Navara to join them as well. The addition of the Almera and its counterparts are the key to helping Nissan become the number one full-range importer in the Australian car market directly competing with Mazda and Hyundai.

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Expect to see the Almera make its debut with two trims, the ST and the Ti. Both are expected to be equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 75kW. This same engine equips the Micra currently. The ST will feature a manual transmission and the Ti will be available as an automatic only. The 1.5-liter is quite impressive as far as it comes to fuel economy at 6.6L/100km.

While the Almera will share an engine with the Micra, it will overtake it in size by 715mm in length allowing more room for both passengers and cargo. It is also expected to be quite impressive on the list of features, even though it is priced among some of the least expensive vehicles available. Both the ST and Ti will feature six airbags, stability control, ABS, Bluetooth capability, MP3 capable audio systems, a trip computer and convenient steering wheel mounted audio controls. In addition to the standard features, the Ti will feature alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, keyless entry, rear spoiler and upgraded climate control.

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Pricing is one of the most attractive features as the ST manual will start at around $18,000 and the better-equipped automatic Ti will start at around $23,000. With the pricing placing the Almera at the lower end of its class, it beats the Rio and Yaris while only being around $1,500 more than the basic Barina sedan and Accent sedan.

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Overall, the Nissan Almera is expected to be a contender for those looking for a fuel-efficient inexpensive vehicle. While they may not be a sports car, they are well equipped for their price range offering many features that only larger, higher-end models offer. The Almera is expected to give even the first-place Yaris a run for the money, continuing to increase Nissanโ€™s presence in Australia.