The wraps came off today for Nissan's new Pulsar compact with which the Japanese firm returns to the C-segment to go up against some of the finest hatchbacks Europe has to offer, including the Ford Focus, Opel / Vauxhall Astra, Renault Megane and of course, the VW Golf.
While it replaces the Almera that ceased production in 2006, the Pulsar gets an old name that's still in use in some countries, including Australia. In fact, the new European market Pulsar and the Australian Pulsar as well as its siblings, the Sylphy and Tiida (North America gets the Sentra sedan) seem to come from a similar mold.
They even share the same 2,700mm (106.3 inches) wheelbase, though; the European Pulsar is notably longer at 4,385mm (172.6 inches) versus the Tiida's 4,295 mm (169.1 in). It’s also 115mm longer than the Golf 7.
Nissan claims that the new Pulsar "offers considerably more rear legroom and shoulder room than its sector rivals" adding that, with 692mm of rear knee room, it is "more spacious than many D-segment offerings".
The exterior styling of the car is evidently inspired by the latest Qashqai and X-Trail crossovers, featuring Nissan's trademark V-motion grille and swoopy profile lines. Nissan hasn't shown the interior yet, but it states that it followed a "premium approach" with "high quality materials and clear design".
On the tech and safety side, the new Pulsar adopts Nissan's Safety Shield package that includes several systems such as Forward Emergency Braking, Moving Object Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Warning. It also gets a NissanConnect system with full smartphone integration, Google Send-to-Car and access to several apps, and LED headlamps.
The engine lineup is carried over from the Qashqai and includes a 115PS (113hp) 1.2-liter DIG-T turbo'd petrol, a 110PS (108hp) 1.5-liter dCi diesel and from early next year, a 190PS (187hp) 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol. Nissan will offer both manual and XTronic automatic transmissions.
The new Pulsar will be built at Nissan's Barcelona plant and will go on sale in Europe this autumn with prices to be announced.
By John Halas
Thanks to Carson for the heads up!