New Pulsar shares its 2700mm wheelbase with the larger seven-seat X-Trail despite being 255mm shorter than the SUV
Nissan says it has designed the Pulsar to meet the needs of European car buyers
Nissan design hallmarks, including its V-shaped front grille and wraparound headlights, can be seen on the Pulsar
Key rivals for the Pulsar include the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus
The Pulsar will be made at Nissan's plant in Barcelona
Nissan's Pulsar will be priced from £15,995 when it goes on sale later this month. The new model, which marks a return for Nissan to the competitive hatchback segment, is intended to rival the likes of the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.
The model will come with Nissan's familiar four-tier specification range, dubbed Visia, Acenta, N-tec and Tekna. Entry-level Visia models get a five-inch infotainment screen, 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and air conditioning, cruise control and a start-stop system.
Additional spec granted by Acenta models includes dual-zone climate control and a leather steering wheel, while N-tec cars get upgraded 17-inch alloy wheels, Nissan's Connect2 system and a reversing camera. Top-spec Tekna specification also adds heated leather front seats and lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring systems.
The Pulsar will be produced at Nissan’s plant in Barcelona. It will be the first time that Nissan has been in the segment since the Almera went off sale in 2006, to be indirectly replaced by the Qashqai.
Nissan says the C-segment hatchback has been “designed to meet the specific demands of European car buyers” and will feature “the same high-quality, high-innovation approach that has come to typify Nissan models”.
The Pulsar name first appeared in 1978 and was widely used for models in Asian and Australasian markets over the course of the past four decades, returning full-time to the Australian market last year. It also appeared in certain European markets in the early 1990s on the N14 model.
Although the new model’s design is related to that of the recent Qashqai and X-Trail SUVs and sits in the same class as them, its underpinnings come from elsewhere in the Nissan family.
The five-seat, 4385mm-long Pulsar hatchback sits on a lengthened version of the Juke’s platform. The Pulsar is 115mm longer than a five-door Golf, 69mm of the extra length coming in the wheelbase. Nissan claims best-in-class rear legroom and shoulder room compared with its rivals.
The engine range will include three turbocharged units — two petrols and one diesel. From launch, there will be a base 113bhp 1.2 DIG-T petrol and a 108bhp 1.5 dCi diesel with CO2 emissions estimated to be 95g/km. A range-topping 187bhp 1.6-litre petrol unit will join the line-up next year. A CVT automatic will be optional alongside a six-speed manual transmission.
Order books for the Pulsar open on 8 July, with first deliveries expected in September. Prices start from £15,995 for an entry-level 1.2-litre model in Visia trim, and rise to £21,945 for a top-spec diesel version in Tekna specification.
Additional reporting by Darren Moss, 4 July 2014
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