Head to Head

Nissan Almera vs Volkswagen Polo Notch

Thanks to globalization, we are now seeing an even wider variety of cars in the country today. That includes the humble subcompact sedan. Tonight, we pit two cars from the east and west with the Nissan Almera and the Volkswagen Polo Notch. They may be similar in size but they are different in so many ways. How different are they? Let's see with this week's Head to Head.

How do the East and West do their subcompact sedans? We find out as we turn the spotlight on the Nissan Almera and the Volkswagen Polo Notch. Let's first take a look at what drives these cars.

Starting with the Nissan, the Almera has a choice of two engines. It starts with a 1.2 liter, inline three engine with an output of 80 PS and 108 Nm of torque. The rest get a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine standard with 99 PS and 134 Nm of torque. Moving to the Volkswagen, the Polo Notch only has one engine option. It is a 1.6-liter, inline four engine with Multi-Point Injection and puts out 105 PS and 153 Nm of torque. In the Volkswagen, you get a six-speed dual-clutch transmission as standard whereas the Nissan gives you the choice of a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

Moving inside, the Volkswagen Polo Notch is mostly black with silver highlights on the center console, air con surrounds and door panels. Also, the dash is comprised of soft-touch materials, as well as the top half of the door panel. Giving the car a sporting flair is a steering wheel with a flat bottom and gets black accents on the spokes. Also, the steering column is adjustable for both reach and rake. Seats are trimmed in fabric and the driver's side gets height adjustments as well. As for its instrument panel, it gets two large round dials and in between is the multi-information display.

Meanwhile, the Nissan Almera takes a different approach for its interior theme and design. For starters, the dashboard design follows a circular theme. This can be seen in the air-con vents, center console, climate control interface and even its gear selector. Whereas the Polo Notch goes for a sporty look, the Almera gives more emphasis on space. Giving the Almera a more spacious feeling is its color, trimmed in beige instead of the usual gray. The Almera prides itself in offering legroom that can rival that of larger sedans. A novelty in the Almera is its rear blower, allowing rear passengers to stay cool on hot days.

The two are similar when it comes to their respective audio systems. Both are equipped with a 2-DIN stereo that includes CD, MP3, USB, SD Card, Bluetooth functions. For added convenience, both also get steering wheel mounted controls.

On to their exteriors, the Almera sports a new front fascia following its minor model change. It gets bigger, upswpt headlights with a unique treatment along with new grill which Nissan dubs 'V-Motion'. The front bumper gets restyled as well and a new set of 15-inch alloy wheels. The rest of the exterior carries over unchanged from the pre-facelift models. The round shape of the body, as well as the unique tail light treatment, complement the round theme of this car's interior.

Volkswagen Polo Notch's exterior follows a more angular shape with its long hood and upright design. The Polo Hatch's front fascia is defined by large wraparound headlights, slim grill and rounded off bumper. A bold character line defines the sides of the Polo Notch and a pair of trapezoidal tail lights sums up the car's rear end. Finishing off the Polo Notch's exterior is a set of 15-inch alloy wheels.

Back to their similarities, both the Nissan Almera and Volkswagen Polo Notch get a host of airbags for a total of six. Each also gets anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution. Rear parking sensors are standard on the Polo and exclusive to the mid and range-topping Almeras.

The Nissan Almera is available in five variants. Range starts with the 1.2 M/T, followed by the 1.5 E M/T, 1.5 E A/T, 1.5 V A/T to the top-spec 1.5 VL A/T. As for the Polo Notch, it only comes in one model which is the 1.6 MPI Trendline A/T. Prices for the Almera starts at Php 630,000, all the way to Php 880,000. The Volkswagen Notch 1.6 MPI Trendline A/T starts at Php 840,000.

These cars may come from two different continents but one thing is constant. The Nissan Almera and Volkswagen Polo Notch are two highly competent subcompact sedans. Choose between the two and you get a different take on the segment but you'll drive home with winners either way.

See video below:

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