Basic information about my car
2013 Nissan Almera 1.5 VL
Reasons why I bought this car
I was in search of an affordable automatic gear, as I was driving a manual Proton Saga at that time. This was basically due to my health, as I was diagnosed with Rheumatism Arthritis and it affects the small joints, mainly in my fingers and toes, and I observed that this model suits me personally, especially for my condition. And the cost of this car was reasonable for me and within my budget, which I considered to be quite a deal considering the space and features that it had. Among other options that I had at that time were Proton Persona, Honda City and Toyota Vios, but found them to be unsuitable as their features could not meet my personal comfort.
Car Selection Process
I had a budget of RM 70,000
Model(s) that I have considered include: Honda City & Toyota Vios
There were many huge differences between the Proton Saga and Nissan Almera which were very notable to me.
1. The first and main reason for buying this car was the fact that I could actually drive the car by myself. The design of the inside door handle actually helps me to open all the doors easily without hurting my fingers. Furthermore, the boot space can fit two standard-sized wheelchairs at one time with room for an additional normal-sized luggage.
2. Secondly, the leg room is very spacious for someone like me who truly needed the extra space for my legs to adjust when I enter into the cabin. The driver's car seat can be adjusted much further than the car that I had at the moment, which allows me the freedom to accommodate my fingers and toes comfortably before preparing to drive. It was a smooth transition from 2 different positions for me, and the struggle to stretch and adjust myself was practically non-existent. And now that I am wheelchair bound, I am extremely glad that this model was my main choice and was made available when I bought it, as I never expected to deteriorate in health. After a couple of years of not driving, I had intensive therapy and just started driving again two years ago. Nothing has made me happier to learn that I could adapt easily to the make of this car, only adding a knob to the steering wheel for easier and lighter maneuver and wearing a custom sandal to help with the stepping on pedals. Though wheelchair bound, I am able to transfer myself with ease as the height of the car is parallel to that of my motorized wheelchair.
3. Next, I wanted to give my family the comfort that they needed, especially for my wife and son, who was a toddler still at that time. And the space in the back seat is an absolute relief for them especially when we had to travel far. Among the activities that took place for them in the back seat include feeding him in the car, helping him change, having room to play and napping during those long rides. It was the total lack of discomfort for my family that attracted me to this model.
I have already done 220,000 km
Truth be told, I was not really concerned about the design or even the engine performance. My main concern was to get me from point A to point B with my wheelchair. As an OKU driver, functionality defeats other purposes. As for its maintenance, I would say it is in the normal range, since I followed the recommended service intervals fairly strictly.
Pros & Cons
First of all, the space is the biggest advantage, with spacious leg room and boot space that can fit two wheelchairs. I personally feel Nissan Almera met my personal requirements, especially because I could open the door on my own. For me, it is without a doubt function over style. Its practicality made me desire no other new models, even though there were temptations, but then again, it still serves my family well.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. People have asked me time and again, why did I chose Nissan Almera. I admit that while it lacks that sleek design and modern structure of other models of its time, it is still the most practical car for me.
Total Score: 4
Quality & Features: 4
Ride Comfort: 4
Fuel Economy: 4
Price & Cost: 4
Nissan Almera truly deserves recognition for its carefully thought-out design that boasts spacious interior at an affordable price. I was walking when I first bought it, only to fall sick and be wheelchair bound after a few years. With this car, bouncing back to driving has never been easier and more comfortable, as pain management is something I need to be constantly mindful of. Nissan Almera never gave me that worry. Family oriented and OKU friendly, I can safely say it is one of the best investments I have ever made in my life.