7 November 2014

Pulsar, the details.

Nissan's new Pulsar family hatchback, launched this week, is available in three trims and three engine options, writes Trish Whelan.

Engines include a 1.2, 115hp petrol unit, returning a fuel consumption of 5.0 L/100km (56.5mpg), and with C02 Emissions of 117g/km so is in Tax Band A4 of €200; priced from €19,995. A CVT is available with this engine, also in Tax Band A4, and priced from €21,995. For another €1,600, buyers can choose the 1.5dCi 110hp unit, with 260Nm torque, and a very frugal fuel consumption of 3.6 L/100kms (78mpg) and Road Tax of €180 per annum (A2). This unit is priced from €21,595 and is expected to be the volume seller in Ireland.

Nissan's Peter Dynan said at the launch they anticipate around 20 percent petrol sales initially, the remainder diesel.

Trims are XE, SV and SVE. The mid grade is expected to be the volume seller.

Nissan engineers have spent a lot of time designing the car and the interior. It's all high quality materials.

Jeanne McGann of Nissan Ireland said the main benefits of new Pulsar include its competitive pricing, low fuel economy, low C02 emissions, a 3-year warranty, and high levels of safety and technology features.

Standard equipment on the entry level XE trim includes 16-inch steel wheels, 5-inch drive assist display, Stop/Start system, cruise control/speed limiter, air conditioning, all power windows, remote audio controls, iPod/USB connectivity, Bluetooth, Remote Central door locking, 6 airbags, ESP, height adjustable front seat, take and reach adjustable steering, daytime running lights, and a spare wheel.

The SV trim adds 16-inch alloys, front fogs, heated door mirrors, an Auto Pack (auto lights,wipers, dimming rear-view mirror, Intelligent Key and Engine start button, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, 6 speakers, rear centre armrest, leather steering wheel and gear knob and the SV interior trim. Options include forward emergency braking (€400), LED headlights (€500), 17-inch alloys + FR sliding armrest and privacy glass (€800), and Nissan Connect 2 plus rear view monitor (€800).

The top SVE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, LED headlights, Nissan Connect 2, Around view monitor, Nissan Safety Shield, folding door mirrors, front sliding armrest, forward emergency braking and the SVE trim. Leather seats are another €1,200.

We first drove the 1.5 diesel unit, from Nissan HQ in Park West, Dublin to the launch venue of The Cliff House Hotel, in Ardmore, Co Waterford, via the N7, M9 and N25 routes.

We found it surprisingly spacious for the car's small exterior frame, almost Ford Mondeo size in the rear with huge legroom, even above that of some of the more expensive D-segment cars. This is down to the wheelbase being the longest in its segment. This also allows Pulsar the biggest boot space of hatchbacks in the segment.

When we arrived at our destination, the fuel gauge in the 1.5 had only moved a hair's breath from 'full', proving the claimed fuel economy of this engine.

On the return trip back to Dublin, we choose the 1.2 petrol unit. With three adults and their overnight cases on board, it proved very adequate and well up to the job.