Nissan Pulsar marks Nissan’s comeback into the highly competitive compact hatchback segment, following Tiida’s withdrawal from the market in 2011. The car uses a name introduced for the first time back in 1978. The current model, launched in 2014, came to Singapore at the beginning of 2017, promoting Singapore as the first country in South East Asia to have this model.
AT A GLANCE
- Spacious cabin
- Fuel economy
- Above average equipment
- Interior materials
Instantly recognizable thanks to its trademark Nissan V-motion grille, boomerang signature headlamp characteristics and bold, muscular curves, the Pulsar was designed and engineered for Europe and comes out from Nissan’s Barcelona factory. But, European-centered design suits well to all markets. At the rear of the car, the boomerang-shaped rear light clusters are neatly integrated into both the rear panels and the tailgate, while a deep cutaway in the rear bumper provides a low loading lip.
Engine, drivetrain and performance: 4/5
Nissan Pulsar is originally developed with two engines (1.2 DIG-T and 1.5 dCi) plus one additional engine since 2015 (1.6 DIG-T). In Singapore, only the engine with the smallest displacement is available, connected to Xtronic CVT automatic gearbox with manual mode. Helped by a turbocharger, a small engine produces 114 hp and 165 Nm of torque, which was quite enough for a 1,265kg car to provide performance that’s even sporty. The average fuel consumption, according to official data, in slightly over 5 liters. The Idling Stop System as a part of standard equipment is responsible for engine management which saves fuel.
Trim levels: 4/5
In Singapore, the Pulsar is available in two trims. The Lite version is an entry-level model while the Premium comes with full leather upholstery and integrated GPS navigation. The standard equipment are Intelligent Key, LED headlights with accented lights, side mirrors with LED indicators, round bumper-integrated fog lamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, Dual zone climate control, reverse camera, Bluetooth with smartphone integration, Advanced Drive Assist Display, ignition start button at the central console, rain sensor wipers, drink holders for driver and front passengers, leather with fabric seat upholstery, 60:40 rear seats, etc.
Under Nissan’s Safety Shield concept, the Pulsar has a total of six SRS airbags (dual front, side and curtain), which come standard in a cheaper package. It also comes with Forward Emergency Braking, which senses possible obstacles in front and helps in avoiding frontal collisions with pedestrians and vehicles. There are also other standard safety features, such as active head restraints, zone body protection, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Vehicle Dynamic Control and an Anti-lock Braking System with Brake Assist. The car received a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating after being put through important real-life accident scenarios.
Pulsar satisfies with a spacious cabin, even for taller people. The capacity of the boot is average (385 liters), which means that is bigger than in many other rival models. Together with rich equipment, those two things are the main recommendations which can prevail when considering whether you should buy the Pulsar or some of the rival compact hatches. Small but potent engine with acceptable fuel consumption is also a big plus.