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Car reviews - Nissan - Pulsar - Q 5-dr hatch

Overview

Nissan logo25 Nov 1995

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE

AFTER the elegant lines of the N14, Australians were slow to warm to the European wagonoid styling of the N15 Pulsar hatchback, but the sedan remained conservative. Essentially the same underneath, the difference was in the details. The suspension and steering were tweaked, the body rigidity improved, and refinement levels rose. The 1.6 twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine now pumped out 86kW of power while the superb 105kW 2.0 remained fundamentally unchanged. The LX returned in both body styles, the hatch again came in Q 1.6 and SSS 2.0 guises, but the SLX 1.6 replaced the Ti sedan, and the Ti hatch disappeared altogether. Sales were disappointing until Nissan stumbled on the value-added “Pulsar-Plus” idea in October ’97. Buyers responded enthusiastically and the Plus became a semi-permanent member of the newly popular Pulsar range. As part of a small RF series facelift that mainly included a new grille, taillights, wheel trims and cabin fabrics, Nissan capitalised on the Pulsar-Plus theme by adding keyless entry, air-con, a CD player and a driver’s side airbag as standard in the sub-$20,000 LX. At the other end of the range the acclaimed 2.0 SSS hatch witnessed a hefty price slash, and the Pulsar was enjoying buoyant sales. To sustain this, Nissan reintroduced the Pulsar Plus from early ’99. It added alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and power mirrors to the basic LX package.
Model release date: 1 October 1995 to 1 September 2000

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