Nissan has introduced a new engine to its ever-increasing line up of common rail diesel engines – a 2.2-litre 112PS dCi unit. It’s got more torque and power than the 110PS Di engine it replaces yet costs no more to buy and still returns 47.9 mpg on the combined cycle. The new engine is available in both Almera SE and SVE models plus a new version called the Flare.
Torque or pulling power is a diesel strength. And the Almera’s got even stronger in this respect. The outgoing 110PS Di engine produced 238Nm at 2000 rpm. The new 112PS dCi unit gives 10Nm more at the same engine speed. Acceleration to 62 mph is in 11.4 seconds with a CO2 mass emissions figure of 161g/km. Company car drivers will be pleased to hear that the BIK banding remains at 18% (including 3% diesel penalty), rising to a mere 19% for the 2003/4 tax year.
Prices for the Almera diesel range start at £12,300 as before. All have electronic air conditioning, a CD player, anti-lock brakes, electric windows, active front headrests, side airbags and steering wheel mounted audio controls. For another £600, the new Flare adds 16" alloy wheels, front fog lamps, a leather steering wheel, as well as seat trim and a body styling kit borrowed from the Almera SXE. The only thing the Flare loses is the SE’s ultrasonic rear parking system.
Because Nissan realises that not everybody is yet switched onto diesel, the company also offers the Flare with petrol engines. In fact six Flares are available with three or five-doors and with three engine choices, including the new dCi option. Prices start from £11,250 for the 1.5 three-door or £12,000 for the five-door; the 1.8 three and five-doors are £11,900 and £12,650 respectively while the three-door 112 dCi is £12,900 and the five-door is £13,650. If you’ve been keeping up with your Almeras, you’ll know that the recently launched SXE is also available with the 1.8 engine, looks the same as the 1.8 Flare yet at £13,650 with three-doors, it costs £1350 more. Why? Because the SXE also has DVD satnav and electronic stability programme. Or for another £1250 you can have your SXE, and the SXE alone, powered by the stomping 2.2dCi 136PS unit.Published 1 May 2003