Nissan Pulsar (2014) first official pictures

Published: 20 May 2014

The new Nissan Pulsar is the brand’s answer to the VW Golf, Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra that are parked in millions of garages across the UK. The C-segment saloon is the overdue replacement for the Almera, with the Pulsar name used to great effect in foreign markets. Yet this is a car designed and engineered for Europe.


It looks like an old Megane met a Qashqai in a dark alley…

The looks are clearly Nissan corporate: that grille, the blistered wheel arches and the taillights that look 3D-printed from a Qashqai. It’s not quite as fresh to the eyes as we’d hoped, and that rump looks very Renault, with that flat-topped roof.
 
The wheelbase is 2700mm, longer than any other C-segment offering, with the overall length 4385mm. Nissan has played up the rear-seat space, comparing its 692mm with D-segment cars.

What’s under the bonnet?

Two engines will be offered at launch: one petrol and one diesel. The petrol 113bhp 1.2-litre turbocharged four-pot that we recently drove in the updated Juke has been confirmed for the entry-level Pulsar. It’s a stellar powerplant that’s also used in the new Qashqai as well as the Renault Megane, the latter of which the Pulsar will be battling against for sales.

The engine will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission, or the optional ‘X-Tronic’ Continuously Variable Transmission that we’ve tried in the Nissan X-Trail. A second petrol engine – the 187bhp 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder, again used in the Juke – will arrive for the Pulsar in early 2015.

The diesel?

There’s also a diesel Pulsar, with its 1.5-litre four developing 108bhp and 192lb ft of torque. On paper, that stacks up well against diesel opposition: the VW Golf 1.6-litre oiler has 104bhp/170lb ft of torque and an official 74.4mpg.

Nissan claims CO2 ‘below 95g/km’ for the Pulsar, achieved with the 1.2-litre. That sounds feasible as in Juke, the next-biggest car to use that engine, the official CO2 figure is 129g/km.

When can I get one – and how much?

The Pulsar will be made in Barcelona, Spain, where it already builds the next London taxi – the NV200 – as well as other commercial vehicles. To stand a chance against its highly accomplished opposition, Nissan will have to price the Pulsar from around £13k for the 1.2-litre, and although it’s yet to confirm pricing, it seems perfectly feasible as the Juke with the same engine starts at £13,420. The Nissan Pulsar hits UK showrooms in Autumn 2014.

>> Is the Nissan Pulsar’s mini-Qashqai styling a hit or a miss? Sound off in the comments section below
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