Does the Nissan Pulsar quicken Carmen's pulse?
SINGAPORE - Both the young and the young-at-heart will find it easy to appreciate this not so little hatchback. Hatchbacks should be manoeuvrable, compact for the city, yet deliver big-car utility, and the Pulsar ticks a lot of those boxes.
With a well-mannered 1.2-litre DIG-T petrol engine under its hood, the Pulsar delivers a reassuringly stable drive. The ride is relatively quiet, with suspension that is pliant enough to absorb bumps without passengers being butt-lifted off the seat, while its styling is ideal as a runabout for those who prefer discretion.
Visibility out is a bonus on this one with its big windows – good for new drivers and the very old – and the controls are relatively light, which makes the Pulsar a good starter car for novices, or seniors who aren't in search of a hot-hatch.
In terms of safety, the Pulsar doesn’t disappoint either. The car comes with six airbags as standard and electronic stability control. In the situation that the car anticipates a possible crash, there's even an autonomous emergency braking feature that will kick in.
While the standard Lite (as Nissan calls it) you get keyless-go, steering wheel controls for the sound system and an all-encompassing trip computer screen. The Premium model costs an additional $3,000 and gets you a GPS navigation system, a 6.9-inch touchscreen interface and leather upholstery.
Despite its compact proportions, the Pulsar isn't just for the young couple, because its rear seats will accommodate three fully-grown adults comfortably with ample legroom to spare, especially with knee room increased by an additional 692mm.
Boot space has more hits than misses with the Pulsar – with a volume of 385 litres on paper – 15 and 80 litres more than the VW Golf and Focus respectively. However, even with an overall 1,395-litre space with rear seats folded down, it's not a perfectly flat loading area, no thanks to the ridge in the middle.
With a body that’s well-built and packed with loads of safety equipment, it’s pretty clear Nissan knows the Pulsar is an ideal answer for anyone in need of transport to be driven on a daily basis. - STORY CARMEN ROSSO
Nissan Pulsar 1.2 DIG-T
Engine: 1197cc, inline4, turbo
Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission
Top speed: 185km/h
Fuel consumption: 5.1l/100km