Nissan Pulsar - one of Australia’s most-loved automotive names – returns at the Australian International Motor Show (Sydney) ahead of local launch next February.
And, not surprisingly, Nissan is wheeling out the big guns to give Pulsar a spectacular re-introduction after its six year absence – a starting price of $19,990 (same as 16 years ago) and a pre-launch finance offer starting from $299 per month (with a 10 per-cent deposit). With 300,000 Nissan Pulsars still on the road and the Pulsar name still chalking-up 71 per-cent awareness levels with new car buyers, there will be rush to Nissan showrooms for sure.
But for hot hatch fans, the best news from the motor show in Sydney is the surprise unveiling of the all-new Pulsar SSS hatchback (we expected to see only the sedan models).
Nissan isn’t giving too much away, but we know that power comes from a 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine delivering 140kW/240Nm and driving through either a six-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission. Pulsar SSS looks fantastic in the metal and inside – like the all-new Pulsar sedan – space is remarkable.
The Nissan Pulsar SSS returns to Australian showrooms mid-2013.
Before then (from February) Nissan will launch the all-new Pulsar sedan range in ST, ST-L and Ti grades. In Australia for the motor show was Toru Kanizo, Nissan’s product specialist for Pulsar and Patrol and he confirmed the Thailand-made Pulsar uses a Nissan-developed engine and transmissions but there are some components shared with alliance company Renault.
Power comes from a 1.8-litre petrol engine with 102kW of power and 174Nm of torque. Drive is via a six-speed manual or enhanced CVT with a 7.3 gear ratio spread which means when cruising at 100km/h, the all-new Nissan Pulsar has only 1700rpm on-board.
While official fuel consumption tests have not been completed, Nissan reckons the all-new Pulsar will be under 6.9l/100kms and could be best-in-class.
We like the look – all-new Nissan Pulsar looking substantial and elegant. Up-front the Ti model on display (and mid-range ST-L) feature a handsome chrome grille with six LED accent lights while the rear sees LED tail-lights. And there are no steel wheels on any Nissan Pulsar model – entry-level ST and mid-spec ST-L versions sit on 16-inch alloy while Ti goes further with 17-inch alloys.
We’ve sat in the all-new Pulsar and the interior space is simply outstanding – Nissan says the best in the small car segment – which shouldn’t surprise as this model is based on the North American Sentra model. In fact, with your Car Showroom correspondent behind the wheel, a colleague seated behind commented the Pulsar delivered Commodore-Falcon sized legroom – yep it’s that spacious.
The interior look is contemporary with nice leather seats in the Ti model we tried. The boot capacity is similarly voluminous at 510-litres and it looked like it could accommodate a full-size golf bag with plenty of room to spare.
Equipment levels are very impressive – Ti versions scoring satellite navigation, a reversing camera and intelligent key amongst its standard inclusions.
In the pre-launch phase (until 31 January 2013) Nissan is offering a finance offer on new Pulsar with a 10 per-cent deposit and comparison rate of 7.5 per-cent enabling a monthly repayment as low as $299 per month with guaranteed future value. If you pay cash, Nissan Pulsar buyers during the pre-launch phase will receive a $1,000 Nissan voucher which can be spent on accessories, extended warranty, service or insurance. Full details are at www.nissan.com.au/pulsaroffer
The full range is:
Nissan Pulsar ST manual $19,990
Nissan Pulsar ST CVT automatic $22,240
Nissan Pulsar ST-L manual $23,650
Nissan Pulsar ST-L CVT automatic $25,900
Nissan Pulsar Ti CVT automatic $28,990