New models - Nissan - Pulsar
Nissan prices Pulsar hatch from $18,990
Reborn Nissan Pulsar SSS slips in under $30,000 as flagship of hatchback range
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3 May 2013
By BARRY PARK
NISSAN has sharpened its pencil for the return of its Pulsar hatch, announcing a Korean car-beating $18,990 price tag at entry level ahead of its showroom arrival next month.
The hatch also reintroduces the SSS badge for the first time in seven years, with the 140kW 1.6-litre turbocharged model priced from $29,240 for those favouring a six-speed manual version.
Nissan has priced the hatch $1000 lower than the sedan version introduced earlier this year.
Its price undercuts the current small-car market leader, the $20,330 Mazda3 sedan and hatch, Holden’s freshly repackaged $19,490 Cruze sedan and hatch, Toyota’s still shiny-new $19,990 Corolla hatch, and Hyundai’s $20,990 i30 hatch.
The SSS pricing compares to $26,490 for the Holden Cruze SRi-V, powered by a 132kW 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, also mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
Value-driven Malaysian car-maker Proton is the only brand in the segment to undercut the Pulsar, with its Gen2 hatchback priced from $16,990 drive-away.
Despite only going on sale in January, Nissan’s sedan has made its way into Australia’s top 10, and in March knocked the Holden Commodore out of the list of best-sellers for the first time in more than three decades.
However, while sedan buyers are limited to Nissan’s 96kW/174Nm 1.8-litre engine, hatch buyers can opt for the same 1.8-litre unit or the more exciting turbocharged 140kW/240Nm 1.6.
Adding a continuously variable transmission costs an extra $2250 for the two 1.8-litre engined models in the line-up, and $2500 for the two 1.6-litre variants.
On paper, the hatch’s list of equipment isn’t as miserly as the low price would suggest.
The standard equipment list on the entry-level ST powered by the 1.8-litre engine runs to cloth seat trim, power windows, air-conditioning, cruise control, four-speaker audio with an auxiliary port and steering wheel-mounted controls, a Bluetooth phone connection and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Stepping up to the $3500 more expensive ST-L keeps the same engine and gearbox options but adds a six-speaker audio system with a USB port, a colour screen on the centre console, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, upgraded cloth upholstery and a centre armrest for rear passengers.
Outside, it gains front fog lights and a subtle rear lip spoiler.
Customers preferring the extra poke of the 1.6-litre turbo under the bonnet can step up to the ST-S, which adds an extra $2500 to the bottom line. The alloy rims also step up to 17 inches.
However, most of the buzz will be around the return of the SSS badge.
It is a big $4500 jump over the ST-S, but gets a rich equipment list including a more aggressive-looking body kit, partial leather, dual-zone climate control, a bigger dash-mounted colour touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system that includes Bluetooth streaming, satellite navigation, a reversing camera, and keyless entry and start.
“The 140kW Pulsar SSS has been imbued with the same value strategy applied to all other grades in the Pulsar hatch line-up,” Nissan said in a release announcing the five-door car’s pricing.
“To ensure more Australian small-car buyers can access the same driving excitement offered by the Pulsar SSS, Nissan is offering the Pulsar Hatch ST-S, powered by the same 140kW 1.6-litre turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine.”
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