A product of Nissan's alliance with Renault, the Pulsar's 1.5-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine produces 110 hp (81 kW) of power from 4000 rpm. The engine's real strength is its 260 Nm of torque, available between 1750 and 2500 rpm, which should allow drivers to easily surge through gaps in stop-start traffic. Nissan has paid particular attention to refinement with the diesel, with "major changes to the engine's internals" contributing to smoother startup and idle than the diesel in the outgoing Pulsar. To achieve its CO2 emissions figure of 94 g/km, the car comes standard with auto start-stop, and returns 78.5 mpg (3.6 l/100km).
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The petrol option is a turbocharged 1.2-litre motor, which produces more power than the diesel with 115 hp (85 kW) but significantly less torque, with 190 Nm from 2000 rpm. Like the diesel, the 1.2-liter Pulsar comes standard with Nissan's auto start-stop system, which helps achieve a CO2 emissions figure of 117 g/km and a combined economy figure of 56.5 mpg (5.0 l/100km).
Suspension is MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam rear setup, which saves space and weight, but also isn't as advanced as the independent rear suspension system on the Ford Focus. Nissan says the car's Active Trace Control will help with handling by braking individual wheels when it detects the car running wide under power, theoretically mimicking the action of a traditional limited-slip differential.
On the inside, Nissan has focused on making the Pulsar spacious for front and rear passengers thanks to a 2,700 mm (106 in) wheelbase, which is 100 mm (4 in) longer than the Toyota Auris and 15 mm (0.6 in) longer than the wheelbase on Chevrolet's current Cruze. The Pulsar also uses this extra length to provide a 375 liter boot, which is bigger than the Auris' but smaller than the 410 liter boot on the Chevrolet Cruze hatch.
As well as extra space, upper-spec cars include a dash mounted, 5.8 inch touchscreen that controls the latest generation of NissanConnect. The infotainment system integrates navigation and Bluetooth phone control with apps like TripAdvisor.
Nissan has filled the option list with active safety options, under the umbrella of "Nissan Safety Shield". The Safety Shield is comprised of blind spot warning, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking, and is driven by a camera that will clean (and blow-dry) itself when special sensors detect dirt on the lens.
Those who find parking tricky can opt for a 360-degree around-view monitor, which uses cameras mounted on the front grille, rear bumper and door mirrors to project a birds-eye view of the car's surrounding onto the Pulsar's dashboard screen. It is automatically engaged when the car is in reverse, or can be turned on manually at speeds up to 10 km/h (6 mph).
The new Pulsar will be assembled at Nissan's factory in Barcelona for the European market. It will be available in four different trim levels, and pricing starts from £15,995 (US$26,057). There is no word on how (or if) the Pulsar hatch will slot into Nissan's US range (the outgoing Pulsar sedan is the same car as the current Sentra in the US).
Source: Nissan UK