From 1995 to 2006, the Nissan Almera was a small family hatchback sold in Britain. Overseas, the car was known as the Pulsar. Today, Nissan has brought the Pulsar name to the UK for the first time. And with a much-improved offering, it's proving a real competitor in the market.
Critics of the Almera believed that the new Pulsar wouldn't have much of an impact in the British Isles. But, Nissan's sales figures for the model suggest otherwise! What is it about the Pulsar that is proving a real alternative to models offered by Ford and VW among others? Here are some compelling reasons why Nissan wants you to buy the new Pulsar:
The cabin feels more spacious than it should
One of the most noticeable points of the Nissan Pulsar is inside of the car. It's no big secret that the Pulsar is a close cousin of the Qashqai, Nissan's crossover SUV. But what is surprising is how the Pulsar shares the spaciousness of that model!
The interior of the Pulsar boasts a high roof line. In fact, it's significantly higher than its predecessor, the Almera. It's a benefit that will no doubt appeal to growing families. And those that need to transport lots of cargo on a regular basis.
I like how Nissan have done a good job of not making that fact obvious. Take the Skoda Fabia, for example. It's a smaller hatchback, but it has an obviously high roof line. The Pulsar conceals the taller roof and blends it well into the rest of the chassis.
It's not just the main cabin that boasts plenty of space. Head towards the rear of the car and check out the boot. Despite the car's compact size, it offers a useful 385 litres of cargo capacity. And don't forget that you can fold down the rear seats to extend the space for long or bulky items!
A good choice of engines on offer
Thanks to Nissan's alliance with Renault, there is a plethora of engine choices available. For a start, there is the 1.2-litre DiG petrol unit.
In case you didn't know, DiG is an acronym for Direct Injection Gasoline. Here, the DiG is a turbocharged unit, which seems to be the trend with many hatchbacks these days. Boasting a healthy 113 bhp, it's more powerful than many naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre engines.
It offers fuel consumption of 56 MPG combined and low CO2 emissions of 117 g/km. If you prefer a diesel, there is Renault's 1.5-litre dCi unit. That engine has less power at 108 bhp. But, it has higher fuel economy of 78 MPG combined. CO2 emissions are even lower at 94 g/km!
If you're after performance, the 1.6-litre DiG is the one to have! This 187 bhp petrol engine will get you from 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds. It has a top speed of 135 mph and low carbon emissions of 134 g/km. Fuel economy isn't too bad either, at 49 MPG combined.
All engines come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. On the 1.2-litre models, you can specify a CVT automatic gearbox (the Xtronic).
Cheap to buy and run
Cost is a big influencing factor when it comes to small family cars. The Nissan Pulsar's aim is to take on the likes of the Astra and Focus, among others. Aside from design and functionality, it goes head-to-head on price too.
A brand new model starts from just £14k on the road. Although it's usually possible to pay less when there are special offers. At least, that's what I've noticed at www.nissanretail.co.uk. Of course, you could save even more money with a nearly-new model instead. Still, nothing is ever quite as good as getting a brand new car that you've specified!
Servicing and repair costs are on par with industry averages for the class of car the Pulsar is in. Plus, there's the advantage that Renault specialists can maintain the dCi models for you.
More technology than you can shake a stick at
Another reason Nissan want you to buy the Pulsar is the tech they bundle with the car as standard. Some trims come with infotainment systems, 360-degree camera systems and more! Others include things like satellite navigation as options.
Of course, those of you with smartphones will love the Bluetooth touchscreen systems. Take a look at www.youtube.com to see a video overview of the car's interior. You'll be amazed by the raft of technology on offer!
Be sure to check out the Pulsar if you’re in the market for a new family hatchback. It might surprise you how well suited to your needs it could be!