Sound family choice, well specified and well priced
Styling is utterly forgettable
Billed as the car 'they don't want you to drive' and 'they' nearly got their way too, as the Almera was always an underrated and overlooked small family car. However beneath that bland exterior you'll find a well-tuned, sporty chassis and some lively engines. The Almera is inexpensive to buy, and the larger engined versions are excellent value for money.
It is a thoroughly competent all-rounder, practical and spacious enough to suit a small family with very impressive reliability, but even the GTi is hardly inspirational.