Spec-sheet brawl: Nissan Almera N-Sport vs. Toyota Vios GR-S vs. Honda City RS

How does Nissan’s new subcompact sedan fare against its rivals?
by Leandre Grecia | Oct 15, 2021
ILLUSTRATION: Echo Antonio
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Nissan Philippines recently revitalized its subcompact sedan offering, the Almera, by bringing in the all-new model to our market.

The next-gen Almera arrives with improved looks, a new powertrain, and a reasonable price tag. It’s got its work cut out for it, however, as it enters a segment that’s dominated by the Toyota Vios and the Honda City—both of which are still relatively new models themselves. So now, we’re going to put this new Nissan up against its two primary competitors in a spec-sheet comparo.

We’ve chosen the top-spec variants for this three-way brawl: the Almera 1.0 VL Turbo N-Sport CVT, the Vios 1.5 GR-S CVT, and the City 1.5 RS CVT. These three are the sportier-looking variants in their respective stables.

The Vios GR-S and the City RS both have 1.5-liter naturally aspirated four-pots, but the Honda’s unit produces more power at 119hp and 145Nm compared to the Toyota’s 106hp and 140Nm. The Almera N-Sport’s 1.0-liter engine is much smaller but is the only turbocharged mill among the bunch, so it doesn’t lag that much behind. In fact, it only produces 99hp but it has the highest torque output at 152Nm.

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All three vehicles come with continuously variable transmissions and a front-wheel-drive layout.  They all sit on 16-inch alloy wheels with varying tire sizes and feature identical suspension setups with MacPherson struts up front and torsion beams out back. In addition, they all have ventilated disc brakes up front, but only the Vios gets discs out back while the others get drum brakes.

The differences become more apparent when it comes to extra features. Both the Vios and the City get paddle shifters, but only the latter has cruise control and a remote-start function. And while the Almera lacks all of these, it’s also the only subcompact sedan here that has added safety features courtesy of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility Suite. It has blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision alert with automatic emergency braking, rear-cross traffic alert, and a 360-degree-view camera with moving-object detection.

All the extra niceties come at a premium. The Almera is the priciest here, selling for P1,098,000. This is followed by the City at P1,058,000, and the Vios is the most affordable at P1,020,000.

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We seem to have a tight one over here. Will you go with the Nissan, the Toyota, or the Honda? You can check out more specs below, then tell us your pick through the survey afterwards.

Nissan Almera 1.0 VL Turbo N-Sport CVT

Toyota Vios 1.5 GR-S CVT

Honda City 1.5 RS CVT

Price (Philippine Peso) P1,098,000 P1,020,000 P1,058,000
Drive FWD FWD FWD
Seating capacity 5 5 5
Engine setup 1.0-liter turbocharged gasoline I3 1.5-liter gasoline I4 1.5-liter gasoline I4
Power (hp) 99 106 119
Torque (Nm) 152 140 145
Transmission CVT CVT CVT
Fuel tank capacity (L) 35 42 40
Brakes (front/rear) ventilated discs/drum ventilated discs/solid discs ventilated discs/drum
Wheels 16-inch alloys 16-inch alloys 16-inch alloys
Tires 205/55 R16 195/50 R16 185/55 R16
Front suspension MacPherson strut MacPherson strut MacPherson strut
Rear suspension torsion beam torsion beam torsion beam
Seat material leather leather leather and suede
Tilt/Telescopic steering wheel adjustment yes/yes yes/no yes/yes
Paddle shifters no yes yes
Infotainment system 8-inch touchscreen, 6-speaker setup 6.75-inch touchscreen, 6-speaker steup 8-inch touchscreen, 8-speaker setup
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto yes/yes yes/yes yes/yes
Smart keyless entry yes yes yes
Push-start ignition yes yes yes
Remote start no no yes
Parking brake mechanical mechanical mechanical
Automatic climate control yes yes yes
ABS w/ electronic brakeforce distribution yes yes yes
Hill-start assist yes yes yes
Electronic stability control yes yes yes
Cruise control no no yes
Blind-spot monitoring yes no no
Forward-collision alert yes no no
Automatic emergency braking yes no no
Rear cross-traffic alert yes no no
Parking assist 360-degree-view monitor with moving-object detection reversing camera with clearance sonars multi-view reversing camera
Airbags 6 7 6
Dimensions (mm) 4,530 x 1,740 x 1,460 4,467 x 1,730 x 1,475 4,553 x 1,748 x 1,467
Wheelbase (mm) 2,620 2,550 2,600

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ILLUSTRATION: Echo Antonio
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