The sleek Pulsar is an impressive family car

by Dave Donnelly
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MUCH of the rejuvenation seen in Nissan has been brought about through the brand’s focus on its successful Qashqai.
The crossover model has proved to be wildly popular, particularly in Ireland and the UK, where for the past decade it has effectively become the go-to model for new buyers.
However, the crossover appeal is not for everybody and Nissan’s new Pulsar has been introduced in the hopes of making a dent in the mid-sized hatchback market – no easy feat when you’re stepping up against firm contenders such as the VW Golf, Ford Focus, and Opel Astra.
Positioned towards the more cost-effective end of the scale, the Pulsar starts out from €20,995 and aims to offer some practical performance and sensible value.
The Pulsar comes with a choice between a 1.2 litre petrol, and a 1.5 litre diesel engine.
The former gives a smidgen more performance, while the latter gives slightly cheaper road tax and lower fuel consumption overall.
It costs around €2,000 extra to go for the diesel build, and when you factor in fuel costs over the life of the car, this seems to make a lot of sense.
On the outside, the Pulsar goes for a sleek and sturdy look that mirrors its practical nature.
This isn’t the kind of car that will turn a lot of heads, but there are some nice touches, such as the mesh grill and subtle rear spoiler that add a bit of personality.
There are three trim levels available, with the top-level coming with a set of 17” alloys along with chrome window surrounds that also help to keep things looking fresh.

Inside, the Pulsar is spacious and well-laid out – the dash is clean and uncluttered, though a mix of hard and soft plastic feels slightly out of kilter with the rest of the trim.
The model we tested came with the premium SVE trim, which is around €5,000 on from the base price, with a lot of those upgrades coming in the form of interior technology.
There’s keyless entry, and a one-touch start, and the Connect 2 system – the one-stop infotainment system that you can find on most of Nissan’s range.
As well as providing intuitive sat-nav, the system also hooks up to your phone to handle your calls and can even sync with your Facebook account to provide you with ongoing social media updates while you drive, in case that floats your boat.
More importantly, the 7” display provides a feed for the rear camera, and can also provide a bird’s-eye view of the car by patching together pictures taken from each side.
There is a lot of safety tech that comes in on this trim as well, including blind spot warnings, moving object detection, and lane departure warnings.
All in all, the Pulsar may not be Nissan’s most exciting offering, but it is a solid and pragmatic family car, although you’ll need to upgrade to get some of its best features, and only time will tell whether it holds its own against some of the sector’s more established models.

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