Advantages Price, Handling, Build Quality, Rare
Disadvantages Strange Looks, Ride Comfort, Tyre wear
Nissan Almera Gti [Bodykit]
1999 T plate
Bought May 2003 -£5400, 42,000mls
Sold May 2005- £3200, 58,000mls
Technical StuffCC/Cyl - 1998/4
Can't be beaten on value for money
I had hit 21 and was in the market for car with a bit of go about it. I looked at the Saxo VTS - too common, Golf Gti - to boring and the golf VR6 - to hard to find a decent one that has not been thrashed. I decided to look elsewhere after seeing one too many hammered Golf's and a colleague of mine recommended an Almera GTi as he had owned one for 5 trouble free years.
A long time ago…..
I had a look around and found they were pretty cheap. After a fair bit of hunting through the Autotrader I eventually bought mine in May 2003, second hand from a nice Glaswegian fellow, it came with all the original 15" alloys and a new set of 17" Alloys which looked stunning on the car. He had tinted the windows slightly and fitted a stainless steel exhaust; not to everyone's tastes I know, but at the time I thought it looked the business.
The Almera's looks are a matter of some debate, the car is longer than most hatchbacks, which can give it slight van characteristics, I have to say that I would not have touched any of the non bodykit models, without the bodykit the Almera just looks …well…. crap! What makes the Gti look so much better is the nice aggressive front bumper and grill and the moulded side skirts, with a fantastic large back bumper, made all the nicer with a stainless steel exhaust popping out the back.Most people see the Gti and don't know what it is, I quite liked this aspect, it sets it apart from the Saxo, Corsa, Clio and Golf brigade. It was nice when people used to come and ask what kind of car it was; I wonder how many golf drivers get asked that question?
Performance/HandlingAs a Gti this is where the car should shine, and it does.
The speed won't exactly blow you away, 0-60 in 7.9secs, but it does put a smile on your face when you consider what you paid for it. The 1998cc engine will get you to around 130mph should you feel the need, and the 140bhp it put out serves you well through all the gears but is best beyond the 4000rev mark in 3rd and 4th.The car does struggle sometimes, with trying to steer and put down the power, all with the front tyres leading to some under-steer in the bends but nothing horrific and you have to be pushing pretty hard to notice. In the wet the front wheels have a tendency to loose traction on pick away especially if you've put on bigger wheels beyond the standard 15" Alloys.
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