Nissan’s passion for innovation and technology has seen it transform the family car landscape over the course of the last seven years. Now, using the same design approach and original thinking that produced its range of crossovers, Nissan is expanding its product portfolio once again with an exciting, all-new family hatchback challenger – the Pulsar.
Combining bold design, technical innovations and class leading interior space, the all-new Nissan Pulsar brings a fresh dimension to the C-segment, offering all the familiar Nissan qualities in a stylish new package.
The Pulsar’s introduction highlights Nissan’s bold ambition and desire to deliver intelligent design and technical innovation to the widest possible audience. Designed to appeal to a broad range of buyers, from D-segment downsizers to family motorists who have outgrown their B-segment cars, the Pulsar showcases Nissan’s design skills and introduces an array of in-car technologies – some of which are brand new to the sector. With exceptional material and build quality, the Pulsar offers buyers a premium ownership and driving experience without having to pay premium prices.
Instantly recognisable thanks to its trademark Nissan V-motion grille, boomerang signature headlamp characteristics and bold, muscular curves, the Pulsar was designed and engineered for Europe and will be built at Nissan’s Barcelona production facility.
Embedded with the same design DNA that gives the Qashqai and X-Trail such powerful road presence, the Pulsar combines strong lines with immaculate detailing to create an elegant, athletic form. Like its crossover stablemates, the Pulsar is characterised by strong wheel volumes, a tapered waistline and a flowing profile.
The confident, premium approach continues inside, where high quality materials and clear design are perfectly integrated with Pulsar’s impressively high equipment levels.
Thanks to the longest wheelbase in the class (2,700mm) and clever packaging, the Pulsar offers considerably more rear legroom and shoulder room than its sector rivals. Indeed, with 692mm of leg space – the Pulsar has in fact more rear kneeroom than the average D-segment offering. Yet despite this, it retains a compact footprint (length 4,385mm), making it easy to park in tight urban environments.
As drivers have come to expect from Nissan, the new Pulsar is packed with a range of accessible and useful technologies designed to make the ride feel more confident and comfortable, more can been seen on ED Techup. Nissan’s reputation for introducing new-to-sector technologies has been strengthened with a wide number of features usually reserved for premium or luxury models. These include Nissan’s acclaimed Safety Shield system with Moving Object Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Warning. Nissan’s revolutionary Around View Monitor brings even more advanced technology to the sector, as does the latest-generation NissanConnect system that offers seamless integration with smartphones and full satellite navigation functions.
As befits a car packed with new technology, the Pulsar launches with two highly advanced engines – a 1.2-litre DIG-T petrol unit and a 1.5-litre dCi diesel. Both offer exceptional performance, economy and refinement, and integrate a host of fuel-saving technologies to help owners go further for less.
The new Pulsar range features three familiar trim grades: Visia, Acenta and Tekna – with all three offering exceptionally high equipment levels. All models come with air conditioning, five-inch Advanced Drive-Assist Display and electric windows all-round. Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, six airbags and Stop & Start system are also all fitted as standard across the range.
DESIGN AND PRACTICALITY
Striking, spacious and generously equipped, the new Pulsar combines the three qualities that define Nissan’s approach to design. Using the same design language that underscores the brand’s successful crossover and B-segment challengers, the Pulsar is an unmistakable member of the Nissan family.
The front of the new Pulsar is characterised by a bold grille and bumper arrangement that takes styling cues from the recently launched Qashqai and X-Trail. The familiar Nissan badge is framed by a trademark V-shaped grille, the angles of which extend powerfully up the bonnet.
By emphasising the wheel arch areas, Nissan’s design team have created a car with a muscular, confident stance. A dramatic crease line extends from the front wheel arch to the trademark boomerang-shape tail light clusters at the rear, neatly linking both ends of the car. The side of the Pulsar is further defined by a lower crease line that kicks up sharply towards the rear of the car, giving it a neatly tailored and taut waistline.
In keeping with Nissan’s bold design philosophy, the rear of the new Pulsar perfectly combines form with function. The boomerang-shape rear light clusters are neatly integrated into both the rear panels and the tailgate, while a deep cutaway in the rear bumper provides a low loading lip. The powerful, athletic feel created at the front and sides continues through to the rear with a neat diffuser-style lower bumper element.
Inside, the new Pulsar redefines what buyers can expect in a C-segment family hatchback. Where most rivals put practicality below style and materials, the Pulsar delivers on all three counts. Thanks to a long wheelbase (2,700mm) and clever positioning of the seats, the Pulsar enjoys the best rear legroom in the sector – comfortably eclipsing its rivals and outshining a number of cars in the class above. Passengers in the rear can enjoy knee-room of 692mm – a figure that puts it way ahead of both C-segment and D-segment averages (562mm and 585mm respectively).
Completing the Pulsar’s packaging masterclass is a practical boot that combines a large capacity (385 litres) with a wide loading aperture. For those requiring even more load volume, the rear seats simply fold flat to liberate 1395 litres of space.
And it’s not just those who ride in the back of the Pulsar who get plenty of space.
Nissan’s design and ergonomics team also paid close attention to the needs of front seat passengers, creating a travelling environment that combines impressive amounts of comfort with superb visibility.
As with so many Nissan design innovations, it’s the simple things that have the most effect. For example, by sculpting out the door trims as far as possible, Nissan has been able to create the widest armrests in the sector. Where most rivals feature a narrow ledge that presses awkwardly on the passenger’s elbow, the Pulsar’s 95mm full-depth rest rivals cars from the luxury sector.
Integrating technology without sacrificing style and usability has always been a goal for Nissan’s design team. After all, there’s no point having the most advanced features if they’re too complicated to use. The Pulsar’s dashboard effortlessly combines the very latest in Nissan technology and features with a simple yet sophisticated design.
The centre console appears to float on top of the main dashboard rail and houses the Pulsar’s NissanConnect infotainment system and heating and ventilation controls. Framed by a glossy piano black trim the whole assembly has been designed to be as clear and intuitive as possible with a 5.8-inch screen and simple switchgear. Another feature that marks the Pulsar out as special is the attractive ‘sandwich’ dashboard design that cleverly integrates a broad trim panel that stretches from door to door. The dynamic look dashboard is concave in shape giving the car and even larger feel, evoking the athletic attitude that inspired the design of the vehicle.
The combimeter has also been optimised for ease of use and features a large five-inch Advanced Drive-Assist Display positioned between the speedometer and rev-counter. Fully customisable, the display can be set to show turn-by-turn navigation commands, advice and warnings and a raft of car performance data. The driver can also customise many of the Pulsar’s electronic systems, such as indicator, wiper and lock settings via the Advanced Drive-Assist Display.
Nissan’s passion for making premium technology available to all drivers takes another significant step forward with the launch of the new Pulsar. Designed and engineered with a range of accessible and intuitive technologies, the new Pulsar introduces a number of sector-first features – such as Moving Object Detection – and sets new standards for safety, comfort and driver convenience equipment.
From the award-winning Nissan Safety Shield system to innovations such as Around View Monitor, Active Trace Control and Forward Emergency Braking and the latest-generation NissanConnect infotainment system, the Pulsar proves that premium features are no longer the preserve of high-end luxury cars.
Around View Monitor (AVM)
At the heart of the new Pulsar’s technology package is Nissan’s acclaimed Around View Monitor. This remarkable innovation remains the most advanced and feature-packed system in the small and medium car sector, and provides the platform for a number of the Pulsar’s safety, visibility and convenience features.
Combining image feeds from tiny cameras mounted on the front grille, tailgate and both door mirrors, the system projects an overhead 360 degree ‘bird’s eye view’ of the area around the Pulsar onto the 5.8-inch Connect satellite navigation and infotainment screen. The system uses complex image processing software to generate the overhead image, and gives the impression that the camera is positioned directly above the Pulsar.
The overhead view gives the driver a clear indication of obstacles around the car, helping the driver to confirm the Pulsar’s position in relation to the surrounding area and making manoeuvres significantly easier and safer.
The AVM switches on automatically when the vehicle is placed in reverse gear. It can also be activated at speeds of up to 10km/h by pressing the “camera” button on the dashboard.
The system can also display the video feed from a specific camera, and can operate as a simple reversing camera that incorporates dynamic guidance on the screen to steer the driver to the correct path and into the chosen parking spot.
Nissan Safety Shield
With its network of innovative safety features, the Nissan Safety Shield provides Pulsar drivers with exceptional protection and visibility. Engineered and tailored specifically for the Pulsar, the Nissan Safety Shield comprises the following technologies:
Moving Object Detection
This advanced, sector-first innovation builds on the capabilities of Around View Monitor, and gives the driver a ‘digital co-pilot’ to help them look at what might be approaching the path of their reversing Pulsar.
Although most conventional parking aids warn the driver of an object in their way, Moving Object Detection gives an audible and visual alert if someone or something is moving behind the car – for example if a child is walking towards your reversing Pulsar.
Mounted on the tailgate and featuring a sophisticated convex lens, the rear wide view Around View Monitor camera has a sweep of vision in excess of 180 degrees, giving it an unparalleled field of vision at the back of the car. Images from the camera are displayed on the 5.8-inch NissanConnect screen.
Further to using the multi-functional rear camera, Moving Object Detection can also read additional data from the Around View Monitor’s side and front cameras. This allows the system to build a complete 360 degree picture capable of detecting hidden moving objects on sides or in front of the vehicle.
Nissan knows that advanced systems such as those offered with Nissan Safety Shield are only truly useful if they work in harmony with the driver and so, is why drivers wishing to personalize the settings of the Nissan Safety Shield can do so either through a dashboard mounted button or through the Connect system. The dashboard switch offers an ‘all-on’ or ‘all-off’ convenience function. However if, for example, the driver wants to switch off only the Lane Departure Warning function, this too can be done, via an easy-to-access touch screen menu. Any settings customized by the driver through the NissanConnect menu are then remembered by the system for future journeys.
Blind Spot Warning
Once the reserve of cars in the premium and luxury sector, Nissan’s Blind Spot Warning system uses the rear wide-view Around View Monitor camera to detect vehicles in the hidden blind spot area, on both sides of the Pulsar. If a vehicle is detected in either blind spot, a discreet warning light illuminates in the A-pillar on the driver’s side. If the driver indicates to change lanes and the system detects a vehicle in the danger area, the light flashes and an audible warning is given.
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Departure Warning detects if the Pulsar is starting to drift out of lane. While you might expect a windscreen mounted camera or radar system to be required for this function, the Pulsar again uses only its rear wide view AVM camera. Advanced computer programming detects even faint road markings allowing the car to determine if it is drifting out of position without indicating. If it does, a warning is given to the driver to correct their road position. Cleverly, the system automatically adjusts its sensitivity when on rural roads to allow for the different required driving style.
An essential component in the Pulsar’s Safety Shield and Around View Monitor is a small rear-facing camera located on the tailgate. Although parking cameras are nothing new to Nissan – the 2002 Primera was the first car to introduce the technology to its sector – the Pulsar’s device has a few clever tricks up its sleeve. As three of the Pulsar’s Safety Shield systems (Moving Object Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Warning) rely on accurate information to be delivered by the camera, the lens must be kept spotlessly clean at all times – no easy feat on a device so exposed to the elements.
To address the problem of a dirty lens, the Pulsar features a remarkable ‘wash and blow dry’ system that is both intelligent and fully automatic.
Using advanced image processing software that can process more than 15 million pixels per second, the system detects when the lens is obscured and sends a jet of water to wash away the dirt. To eliminate the problem of the wet lens attracting more dirt, a shot of compressed air is fired over its surface. This dries the lens and ensures that the cameras can continue to display clear images on the 5.8-inch NissanConnect screen. The system automatically determines the best cleaning method, for example only using a jet of air to remove a speck of dust or a drip of water to clear rain drops. This means that water and energy isn’t wasted, keeping the reservoir fuller for longer.
Forward Emergency Braking
This highly advanced system can automatically apply the Pulsar’s brakes if it detects that an impact is inevitable.
By scanning the road ahead using radar system integrated into the lower element of the front bumper, the Forward Emergency Braking system delivers three levels of assistance. First is an audible warning, alerting the driver if the gap to the car in front is closing. Second, if the driver does not react, the brakes are automatically partially applied. Finally if the gap is still closing, the brakes will be applied harder if necessary. The innovative system has been designed and engineered to avoid accidents completely but at minimum, works to reduce the severity of impending harm.
Both Around View Monitor and Nissan Safety Shield are incorporated into the new Pulsar’s NissanConnect satellite navigation, Bluetooth and audio system. The system benefits from a 5.8-inch touch-screen display, and includes smartphone integration, giving access to an ever evolving list of applications through the Pulsar’s display screen. With applications such as Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor and Eurosports, the Pulsar can navigate the city like a local and stay tuned to the latest sports news and social networks. The system includes Bluetooth audio streaming and mobile phone integration as well as Aux-in and USB slots along with DAB radio.
Helping the Pulsar to shine bright amongst its class competitors are new LED headlamps. Fitted as standard to Tekna models and optional on the Acenta, the Pulsar’s LED lights use full LED power on the low dipped beam setting, with halogen bulbs kicking in for maximum brightness on full beam.
In keeping with Nissan’s desire to deliver usable technology, the use of LED instead of Xenon is more than just a gimmick. LED headlamps produce a whiter, crisper light, not only using 50 per cent less power than Xenon bulbs, but also producing light closer in colour to sunlight, resulting in better visibility at night. Maintaining the family feel, the lights display the unique to Nissan LED lighting signature synonymous with the new Qashqai and X-Trail.
Active Trace Control
To further enhance the driving experience, the Pulsar also features Nissan’s Active Trace Control. This intelligent system monitors the behaviour and trajectory of the car, and applies subtle braking to individual wheels to replicate the action of a Limited Slip Differential. The result is smooth cornering and excellent traction when accelerating out of bends.
Efficient and powerful drivetrains
In keeping with Nissan’s approach to innovation and reduced costs for owners, the Pulsar’s all-turbocharged engine range delivers the perfect combination of performance and efficiency. The 1.2-litre DIG-T petrol unit punches above its weight with an output of 115PS, while the 1.5-litre dCi generates 110PS and 260Nm of torque. An even more powerful 190PS 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine will join the range early in 2015, expanding the Pulsar’s appeal to wider audiences still. Both launch engines are fitted with Idle Stop-Start as standard, helping to reduce CO2 emissions and boost fuel efficiency.
1.2 DIG-T 115PS (85kW)
Proving that you don’t need a large capacity to deliver strong performance, the four-cylinder 1.2-litre DIG-T engine is one of the most advanced in the C-segment. The Alliance-developed unit has been specifically tuned for the Pulsar, and delivers 115PS at 4,500rpm – a figure that puts many 1.6-litre normally aspirated engines in the shade.
Combined with a high torque output of 190Nm at just 2,000rpm, the petrol-powered Pulsar delivers sharp acceleration and strong in-gear flexibility. Driving through a six-speed manual transmission, the 1.2-litre DIG-T is capable of accelerating the Pulsar from 0-100kph in 10.7 seconds.
Equally impressive are the 1.2-litre DIG-T’s fuel economy and CO2 emissions. With fuel consumption of 5.0 l/100km (56.5mpg) on the combined cycle, and emissions of 117g/km, the entry-level Pulsar delivers efficient, affordable motoring for all.
Driving through a six-speed manual transmission, this advanced turbocharged engine delivers 115PS (85kW) and generates 190Nm of torque. Despite its modest size, the 1.2-litre engine packs a real punch, offering sharper acceleration and greater flexibility than the 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine.
The 1.2-litre DIG-T is equipped with Idle Start/Stop as standard, and benefits from a raft of fuel-saving technologies, including a regenerative alternator, optimised gear ratios and special low-viscosity oils.
1.5 dCi 110PS (81kW)
The Pulsar’s diesel option takes the form a four-cylinder 1.5-litre dCi turbodiesel. This 110PS Renault-Nissan Alliance-developed unit emits just 94g/km of CO₂ and offers a combined fuel economy figure of 3.6 l/100km.
The sixth-generation 1.5-litre dCi unit is smoother, more efficient and more refined than previous versions. Major changes to the engine’s internals have resulted in quieter operation and a reduction in vibration, while the overall weight of the unit has been reduced with new lightweight components.
Tuned specifically for the Pulsar, it features a number of advanced fuel-saving features, including the Idle Stop-Start system as standard. Considerable work has gone into reducing noise and vibration during the process, with the result being a smooth and unobtrusive start-up.
Nissan has also worked hard on the usability of the Pulsar’s Stop-Start system, significantly refining the logic that controls the restart process. For example, if the driver applies a significant amount of steering lock while at standstill, the Stop-Start anticipates the application of throttle and restarts the engine.
Transmissions and dynamics
The new Pulsar is equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. Engineered to match the demanding standards of European drivers, it features low-friction cables and pendulum mass damping to deliver the kind of precise shift action demanded by European drivers.
Customers specifying the 1.2-litre DIG-T will also have the option of an advanced XTronic transmission from a later date.
Underpinning the new Pulsar is chassis engineered to deliver excellent handling characteristics and a smooth, refined ride. Featuring MacPherson struts at the front and a compact torsion beam axle at the rear, the suspension system has been fine-tuned for the specific demands of European drivers.
Over recent years, Nissan has raised expectations and standards in every sector that it competes. The arrival of the new Pulsar will set new benchmarks in the C-sector – with the introduction of numerous high-specification features as standard. The range structure at launch adopts the familiar three-tier system (Visia, Acenta and Tekna), with all three models offering air-conditioning, Stop & Start, six airbags and Bluetooth connectivity.
Mid-spec Acenta models add alloy wheels, dual zone air-conditioning, Auto Pack (includes Auto lighting, wipers, dimming mirror and Nissan Intelligent Key and starter button), and leather steering wheel and gear knob.
Acenta models also come with the option to order Nissan’s enhanced Connect touch screen navigation and communication system, Around View Monitor, Nissan Safety Shield and LED headlamps. Customers choosing their Pulsar in Acenta trim can also specify 17-inch alloy wheels and privacy glass as options.
Top grade Tekna models feature Nissan Safety Shield, NissanConnect, Around View Monitor, Forward Emergency Braking, 17-inch alloy wheels, and LED headlamps with signature as standard. Leather and heated seats are available as options.
Final specifications may vary dependent on market.
The new Pulsar is fully integrated into Nissan’s European production strategy and will be assembled at the brand’s Barcelona factory in Spain. The advanced production facility at the heart of Nissan’s Spanish operations and is the home of NMISA (Nissan Motor Iberica SA). The plant covers an area in excess of 517,000 m2, produced 131,900 units in 2013 and currently employs just over 3,500 people.
Barcelona is also the base for a number of other Nissan facilities, including a division of Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE), a research and development facility for vehicles and diesel engines.
As well as the new Pulsar, the plant produces all versions of NV200 destined for Europe as well as Pathfinder, Navara and the e-NV200. Opened in 1983, Barcelona was the first Nissan plant to produce vehicles in Europe.