Why buy the Nissan Pulsar?
The Nissan Pulsar is a good option if you’re in the market for a cost-effective hatchback that’s relatively compact but has loads of interior space. It’s very roomy in the front, but it’s the back row of seats that’s particularly impressive: the Pulsar is one of a very few mid-size hatchbacks that can comfortably accommodate three adults in the back.
The Pulsar is also comfortable, doesn’t cost much to run and offers excellent value for money. It may not be as well known as some other cars of this type, but it’s well worth considering.
Nissan Pulsar range and updates
The Pulsar was sold new in the UK from 2014 to 2018. Its main selling points were a low price and a roomy interior. It didn’t offer the breadth of choice of some rivals, but few gave you as much car for the money.
The Pulsar comes with a five-door hatchback body and it’s available with petrol or diesel engines. The petrol choices are the 1.2 ‘DiG-T’ engine with 113bhp or the more powerful 1.6 DiG-T with 187bhp. The 1.5 dCi diesel has 108bhp. Some models with the 1.2 DiG-T engine have an automatic gearbox, otherwise you get a six-speed manual gearbox.
There are several trim levels to choose from. The most affordable is called Visia and the best-equipped is called Tekna.
Nissan Pulsar tech and features
The Pulsar comes pretty well equipped. Every model, including the entry-level Visia, has air con, cruise control, Bluetooth, USB and aux-in ports for music streaming and four electric windows. The Acenta model adds two-zone climate control and alloy wheels to those features; the N-Connecta also has sat nav, DAB radio and a reversing camera; and the Tekna tops the range with heated leather seats and a 360-degree-view parking camera system.
Nissan Pulsar running costs and value
Running costs for the Pulsar are pretty low. The 1.6 DiG-T petrol engine is the least efficient choice, although it can still give you an average fuel consumption of up to 47mpg, according to official figures, which compares well to rivals with similar power. The 1.2 DiG-T petrol can give up to 56mpg with a manual gearbox, or 55mpg with an automatic. The diesel is by far the most efficient, with up to 78mpg possible.
Annual Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) charges are up to £165. However, if you get a Pulsar that was built before the rates changed in April 2017, your tax could be as low as £20 for the 1.2 DiG-T or even free for the diesel. Servicing and insurance costs should be quite low, too.
Nissan Pulsar vs rivals
There are many other mid-size hatchbacks to choose from: the Ford Focus, Hyundai i30, Kia Ceed, Renault Megane, Toyota Auris, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf to name a few. That's strong competition but the Pulsar manages to stand out by offering a particularly spacious interior, a generous level of equipment as standard and great value for money.