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Nowhere to hide! 2024 Nissan Almera's new tech lets you know your car's every move

VJ Bacungan · Jul 29, 2023 11:30 AM

2024 nissan almera nissanconnect services


Can you imagine a day without using your smartphone?

I find the mere prospect absolutely tantalizing – no social media, no emails, no instant messaging. It will feel like 1998 all over again!

But the stress that we get from our smartphones is actually a consequence of how immensely capable mobile technology has become.

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Instead of having to carry a cellphone, a camera and a laptop for work (as we did in the olden days), the smartphone has integrated all essential functions into one handy unit.

2024 nissan almera exterior


And the smartphone’s utility has extended even further, with new apps that allow you to control and monitor your car at the touch of the screen. Ford and Toyota have already rolled out this technology, primarily for their vans and pick-up trucks.

But Nissan is stepping into the game, too, with the introduction of NissanConnect Services. The carmaker debuted this at the launch of the refreshed 2024 Nissan Almera subcompact sedan.

Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) invited AutoFun Philippines, along with members of the media and NPI employees, to an exclusive and comprehensive look at how smartphone integration makes the Almera more clever than ever.

Never lose it

2024 nissan almera my car finder

My Car Finder lets you locate your car and even plot a route to it using Google Maps. PHOTO BY VJ BACUNGAN (AUTOFUN PHILIPPINES).

The briefing at The Filinvest Tent in Alabang was pretty clear-cut.

We would get the chance to examine all of the Almera’s new tech features in four “studios.” And then, we could try it for ourselves in two separate test courses.

NissanConnect Services is only available in the top-spec, ₱1,149,000 Almera VL. After the first three years, owners must pay a subscription fee to continue using its features.

And boy there are plenty of things you can do with the Almera, all through your phone. First is My Car Finder, which allows you to track where your car is and even draw a route on Google Maps to get to it. 

And if you’ve managed to lose your two-tone Almera VL, with its more striking styling, in a sea of parked cars, using the Remote Horn and Light function will let you see and hear exactly where it is. 

2024 nissan almera sos emergency call button

The SOS Emergency Call Button directs you to a 24/7 helpline. PHOTO BY VJ BACUNGAN (AUTOFUN PHILIPPINES).

In addition, the Remote Engine Stop/Start means you can make use of Nissan’s legendary air-conditioning system on a hot day to make sure that the Almera’s attractive, two-tone leather seats don’t sear your butt.

Meanwhile, the Remote Lock/Unlock means you can ask someone to get something from your Almera, all from the comfort of wherever you are at that moment.

Finally, the Almera VL has an SOS Emergency Call Button on the roof. NPI said it has staff on standby 24/7 to assist you.

360-view, day or night

2024 nissan almera blind spot camera

The 2024 Nissan Almera's Intelligent Around View Monitoring uses cameras placed all around the car. PHOTO BY VJ BACUNGAN (AUTOFUN PHILIPPINES).

The first test course reunited me with some old friends in motorsports.

Legendary racer Georges Ramirez was the instructor in an oddly slow-paced course. Apart from discussing the various features of NissanConnect Services, he showed us the routine obstacles that we would try out with the updated Almera.

georges ramirez nissan almera

Racing legend Georges Ramirez explains the various NissanConnect Services features of the 2024 Almera. PHOTO BY VJ BACUNGAN (AUTOFUN PHILIPPINES).

Riding shotgun with me was the equally legendary rally co-driver and race official Sonny Oliveros, who you would normally find keeping a watchful eye on drivers at rallycross events. 

He showed me the benefits of the Almera’s Intelligent Around View Monitoring, which complements the little Nissan’s small turning radius and Rear Cross Traffic Alert to make parallel and perpendicular parking a breeze.

And when we drove into an enclosed tent, Sir Sonny showed how effective the 360-degree cameras were even in low-light conditions. Each camera screen lights up when it detects an object within its field of vision.

Safe turbo power

2024 nissan almera 1.0 engine

The 2024 Nissan Almera is powered by a turbocharged 1.0-liter inline-3 gasoline engine producing 100 PS and 152 Nm of torque. PHOTO BY VJ BACUNGAN (AUTOFUN PHILIPPINES).

Moving to the second test course near The Filinvest Tent and I find a closed-off and empty stretch of road, along with two Almeras at the ready.

Georges’ brother Louis, also a racing legend, discussed the simple exercise – take the Almera VL to at least 70 km/h and weave gently within the lane. That wasn’t too tough given that the Almera’s turbocharged 1.0-liter inline-3 motor offered plenty of pep with a throaty growl.

2024 nissan almera front radar

The 2024 Nissan Almera's front radar helps the Lane Departure Warning system determine if you've strayed out of your lane. PHOTO BY VJ BACUNGAN (AUTOFUN PHILiPPINES).

My passenger this time was young touring car champion Andre Tan, who pointed out how the Nissan Almera’s Lane Departure Warning system gives an audiovisual prompt on the digital gauge cluster when I step out of the lane without using my turn signals. 

At the end of the 1 km stretch, we turned back and waited for the second Almera. Andre told me to hold my Almera steady at 40 km/h in one lane while the other Almera drove at the same speed in the other lane.

This caused another audiovisual prompt when I used my turn signal, with the Nissan telling me that another vehicle was in my blind spot.

No escape

2024 nissan almera nissanconnect services

"Dead" would likely be an understatement of your predicament if your parents received all these alerts. PHOTO BY VJ BACUNGAN (AUTOFUN PHILIPPINES).

As I parked the Almera, Andre showed me three interesting features of NissanConnect Services.

First was Speed Alert, which sends a prompt to your smartphone if the driver of your Almera exceeds a set speed. Although the driver will get caught if or she turns your car into a Nissan GT-R, it will not limit the vehicle's speed.

Second was Zone Alert, which also sends a prompt to your smartphone if your Almera suddenly leaves a set radius. This means if you tell your Mom that you’re going to Makati City, but you actually go to Tagaytay, you’re definitely gonna get it when you get home (or receive an earful on the drive back).

The last feature is Curfew Alert, which sends you a prompt when someone uses your Almera outside of specified hours. This means you’ll need to use a different set of wheels if you plan to sneak out in the middle of the night.

With the preset settings for the test car, Andre showed that prompts were sent for all three alerts.

Awesome or Orwellian?

2024 nissan almera exterior


Although many (particularly the “sneak out at night” crowd) contend that these features are akin to “Big Brother” in George Orwell’s famous novel 1984, NissanConnect Services does ensure that you are fully aware of where and how your Almera is being used.

It certainly adds to the value of the Almera VL, especially since it’s the only subcompact sedan to have this sort of smartphone integration as of press time. In other words, the trusty (and stressful) smartphone has entered yet another aspect of our lives.

Whatever your view on tech like NissanConnect Services may be, it offers an undeniable level of convenience and safety that will definitely flourish in the coming years.

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VJ Bacungan

Senior Writer

An award-winning multimedia journalist, editor, and host for online and TV who has written in-depth stories on road safety and the Philippine elections. Outside of the media, VJ is an accomplished motorsports champion, English teacher, and dancer.

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