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Nissan Pulsar

Pulsar

Nissan logo1 Feb 2013

By TIM NICHOLSON

NISSAN brought back the Pulsar nameplate for its new small car after disappointing sales of the unloved Tiida, starting with the four-door sedan.

A historically significant $19,990 starting price combined with generous levels of equipment across the three-variant sedan range to hit a value-for-money sweet spot.

Entry-level ST variants came with air-conditioning, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, a multi-function steering wheel, remote keyless entry and a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth phone connectivity and auxiliary input for MP3 and iPod devices.

The mid-range ST-L added a colour audio system display with USB input, LED daytime-running lights, front foglights, a rear spoiler and upgraded interior materials including a leather steering wheel and gear selector.

Top-spec Ti variants came with a standard automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT), sat-nav, leather upholstery, dual-zone air-conditioning, dusk-sensing Xenon headlights, keyless entry and start, 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth audio streaming and a reversing camera.

At 4615mm, the Pulsar’s length matched the Holden Cruze at the larger end of Australia’s small-car segment.

This resulted in class-leading interior and boot space (the latter a cavernous 510 litres that beat some mid-size and large cars) but there was no fold-down bench to expand that.

The naturally aspirated 1.8-litre petrol engine produced a relatively modest 96kW of peak power and an average 174Nm of torque, while fuel consumption was rated at 7.2 litres per 100 kilometres with the six-speed manual gearbox or 6.7L/100km with the CVT.

Nissan’s CVT featured several innovations to make it smaller, lighter and more efficient, including a sub-planetary gear that helped achieve a world-best ratio spread for low cruising engine speeds and sharp step-off acceleration without immediately entering high revs in typical CVT style.

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