It’s been nearly a decade since Nissan has sold a compact hatchback in the UK. It was 2006 when they pulled the plug on the Nissan Almera and officially stopped pursuing compact hatchback drivers in Europe, stating that it took a strong, recognizable brand name to succeed in that kind of highly competitive segment.
Well, it’s 2014 now and Nissan is the world’s second-largest Japanese automaker. If that’s not recognizable enough, then we don’t know what is. Fortunately, Nissan feels the same way and so they’re bringing back the Nissan Pulsar to pick up where the Almera left off.
Basically, the Pulsar is a Tiida-based, C-segment car that Nissan will use to transition Qashqai drivers into a hatchback without leaving the Nissan family. The strongest competitors in this segment are the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Hyundai i30, each of which offers their own unique appeal. With the Nissan Pulsar’s 1.2L turbocharged DIG-T or 1.5L dCi engines, this car isn’t trying to be the most powerful, it’s intended to be reliable and efficient. Although Nissan does plan to launch a more powerful Pulsar NISMO next year, that car isn’t meant to embody the normal Pulsar’s main selling points.
You may recall that we’ve actually already talked about the new Nissan Pulsar. It was a couple months ago when we heard the first round of stats from the Japanese automaker. That blog post goes over all the detailed specs and trims that’ll be available with the production Pulsar in October. Although, it looks like Nissan has pruned one of the four trims away – now they’re only offering Visia, Acenta and Tekna… No more n-Tec.
Now that we’re at the brink of the revived Pulsar’s release, Nissan says that there are a few key elements that separate their new hatchback from the competition:
First, the compact car is one of the most spacious in its segment with the longest wheelbase, the most rear seat room and the highest trunk capacity. When you consider that it also has very little road noise, those two facts alone make for a very comfortable ride.
Second, the Pulsar offers some of the best tech. amenities in its class. Every trim is fitted with air-conditioning, a center Advanced Driver-Assist Display and power windows, along with an integrated Stop/Start system and automatic Tire Pressure Monitoring. As you move up the range, you’ll get even more advanced technology like Around View Monitor, Forward Emergency Braking, Moving Object Detection and the newest NissanConnect infotainment.
Third, the Nissan Pulsar offers incredible fuel economy for both powertrains. While its longer and heavier body won’t be quite as fun to drive on a wide open highway, this fuel-sipping hatchback will give you 47mpg with the 1.2L petrol and an astounding 65mpg with the 1.5L diesel.
As you can see, Nissan has taken a very wise approach with their new compact hatchback. The Nissan Pulsar wasn’t designed to be the best at everything. Instead, it’s a reliable and fuel-efficient vehicle that’ll give you a quiet, safe ride wherever you need to go. For many drivers, that’s more than enough.