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Introducing the Nissan PulsarBack

NissanPulsar Nissan has returned to the family hatchback market with the introduction of its latest car, the new Pulsar.

Since production of the Nissan Almera came to a close, Nissan has steered clear of the highly competitive UK family hatchback market, and instead focussed on the growing popularity of crossovers and 4×4 cars, enjoying huge success with the Nissan Qashqai.

So, what does the new Nissan Pulsar offer in comparison to the major players in this sector such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf? For starters, it offers a longer wheelbase. At approximately 2.7 metres long, the Pulsar has a longer distance between its front and rear wheels than any other rivals. The great advantage of this is that interior space can be maximised with rear passenger knee room now the best in its class.


Pulsar buyers will be able to choose from two turbocharged four-cylinder engines, a 113bhp 1.2-litre petrol averaging 56.5mpg and 117g/km of CO2 and a 108bhp 1.5-litre diesel with 78.5mpg and 94g/km. A six speed manual gearbox comes as standard with a variable auto transmission available with the petrol engine.


The Pulsar is not the most fun car to drive and its quite heavy so the petrol engine has to work hard to gather momentum, and it struggles with speed on hilly A roads. The diesel is stronger when pushed, but with a full car of people, both engines do struggle. Despite this, refinement on the motorway is impressive with little wind noise intruding into the cabin. Ride quality is also good with the long wheelbase adding stability to corners. Once in the bend the grip is impressive and body lean, while present, is well controlled.


Inside the cabin, the dashboard has many similarities to the Nissan Qashqai but the overall look and feel of the interior is much plainer, with cheap looking plastics and far less comfort. The front seat occupants benefit from plenty of space and there is vast amounts of space for rear passengers with space to seat three adults comfortably. The boot is also large but the wheel arches are high so they do intrude into the space offered.


The Nissan Pulsar comes with four specification levels, the entry level Visia which includes 16 inch alloy wheels, cruise control, electrically adjustable wing mirrors and air conditioning. The Acenta which adds auto headlamps and wipers, heated mirrors, dual-zone climate control and a low-speed auto braking system. The n-tec, with 17inch alloy wheels and satellite navigation, and the range-topping Tekna, which features everything from leather seats to an all-round-view camera system.

NissanPulsar1Should I buy one?

There are many more exciting family hatchbacks on the market which are more fun to drive, so with this in mind we think the Pulsar may struggle to appeal to anyone who knows a bit about cars and actually like driving them. Prices are higher than we’d expect too – despite the standard Visia starting at £15,995, the Acenta model (which is predicted to be the most popular) will cost £17,645 and is therefore no cheaper than rivals. Nissan is keen to sell the Pulsar based on its increased space, price and technology, but we just don’t think that any of these credentials are enough for it to thrive in an already over-crowded market containing many more superior hatchbacks.





Posted by Leana Kell on 08/09/2014