First Drive: Nissan Pulsar

Thanks to the longest wheelbase in the class the Pulsar offers considerably more rear legroom and shoulder room than many rivals

Thanks to the longest wheelbase in the class the Pulsar offers excellent rear legroom and shoulder room

Nissan has returned to the hatchback world with the new Pulsar and Suzanne Keane has been driving it

What is it? The Qashqai launch back in 2007 signalled the end of the Almera for Nissan but they’re hoping to re-enter the top of the C-Segment market in 2015 with the launch of their brand new Pulsar which is being built at Nissan’s Barcelona factory.

First impressions of the new Nissan Pulsar?  The Pulsar name was last seen in Ireland with Japanese imports back in the 90s but the latest reincarnation is certainly more in keeping with 2015. The honeycomb grille and bulging bonnet resemble the new Qashqai but the Pulsar is ideal for someone who needs a family sized hatchback but doesn’t want 4×4 looks.

What about the interior? We drove the SV spec – inside the front seats are comfortable and there’s loads of legroom in the back – mostly due to the wheelbase length which is an impressive 2.7m. The boot is a spacious 385L and this extends to 1,395L with the rear seats folded down. The piano black dashboard, floating centre console and extra wide door armrests finish off the interior look although the buttons on the radio were a bit difficult to use at night time and the driver’s seat could do with a little more height adjustment in the SV model we tested.

And on the road? The Pulsar is available with 2 engines – The 1.2 petrol version has 115bhp and 190NM Torque and road tax will cost you €200/year (an automatic version is available for €200 extra). The 1.5 diesel has 110bhp and 260nm torque and costs just €180/year to tax. Both engines come with a 6 speed manual gearbox.


Nissan Pulsar and the City? Despite having more legroom in the back than your average D-Segment Saloon the Pulsar is quite compact in length making it easy to park.  If beeping parking sensors aren’t your thing the Pulsar is available with an “Around View Monitor” which uses tiny cameras mounted in the grille, tailgate and mirrors to give the driver a 360 degree view of the surrounding area from above – using image processing software to create this “birds-eye view”.

Nissan Pulsar and the open road? We drove the 1.5 dCi 4 cylinder turbo Pulsar which was more than able for motorways and back roads alike with plenty of power left for overtaking. The suspension, consisting of MacPherson struts at the front and a compact torsion beam on the rear, was a little too soft for my liking but made for a very comfortable drive no matter how bad the road surface was.

How much? The Pulsar will start at €19,995 for the base 1.2 Petrol model, 1.5 Diesels start at €21,595 and there’s a 1.2 Petrol automatic available which starts at €21,995. The model we drove (1.5 Diesel SV) comes in at €22.995 and comes with a 3 year warranty.

How safe? The Nissan Pulsar has a 5 star NCAP rating and comes with 6 airbags as standard. There is also a safety shield system available which comes with moving object detection, lane departure warning and blind spot warning.

What about my options? The base model XE comes with 16” steel wheels, Stop/Start system, Cruise Control, Air Conditioning, Tyre Pressure monitoring, Steering wheel audio controls, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth and Daytime running lights.

The SV will get you 16” Alloys, front fogs, heated mirrors, Auto Pack (Lights, Wipers etc.), Dual Zone A/C and a leather steering wheel & gear knob.

The top of the range SVE comes with 17” alloys, privacy glass, LED Headlamps, Nissan Connect 2, Around View Monitor, Safety Shield, Forward Emergency Braking and Electric Folding Mirrors.

The look pack comes in at €800 on all models, with the SV spec you can add in Nissan Connect 2 + RVM (€800), Auto Emergency Braking (€400) and LED Headlamps (€500) or with the top level SVE you can upgrade to Leather Seats for €1200.


3 words to describe the Nissan Pulsar? Spacious;  Dynamic;  Efficient.


For more information check out or the Nissan Ireland Facebook page.


Suzanne Keane

18th November, 2014


Author: Suzanne Keane

A confirmed petrol head with a penchant for Retro VW’s, Suzanne has been taking apart (and sometimes putting back together) her own cars for years! You can follow Suzanne on Twitter at @_suzannekeane

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