Room with a View : Nissan Pulsar 1.2 DIG-T Driven [revew]

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
Power/rpm: 115hp/5200rpm
Torque/rpm: 165Nm/1750rpm
Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission
0-100km/h: 12.7secs
Top speed: 185km/h
Fuel consumption: 5.1l/100km
CO2: 119g/km

Author: TopGear
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is the most widely watched factual television programme in the world.