All new Nissan Pulsar driven

The C-Segment or mid sized family hatchback market is sizable in most markets but particularly so in Ireland accounting for a significant slice of the total number of cars sold each year. Surprisingly Nissan have not had a real contender in this sector since the popular Almera ended production in 2007. Cars like the Ford Focus and of course the VW Golf have dominated the sector in recent years so this is a very important car for the Japanese manufacturer.

 Ahead of the Pulsars official September release we got the chance this week to drive both the petrol and diesel versions. Firstly it has to be said that the Pulsar is an attractive looking car with sleek styling that is enough to appeal to many and alienate few. Inside the fit, finish and specification is really very good with driver assist technology that we typically only see in cars far more expensive than this. One of the most impressive aspects of the new Pulsar is the cabin space. The rear leg room is class leading thanks to the long wheelbase and the boot is equally generous. This is sure to be very important to buyers when they are choosing which family hatchback best suits their needs.

The car handled twisty Spanish mountain roads with ease and proved to be a comfortable and quiet chariot in both petrol and diesel guise. Indeed Nissan have even fitted special noise reducing wiper blades to decrease the level of noise intrusion that may creep into your typical family hatch at motorway speeds. This underlines not only the level of detail that Nissan have gone to but how seriously they are taking their re-entry to this sector. There is no point turning up to a gun fight with a knife as Sean Connery might say and in this case Nissan have turned up to take on the Golf and Focus with a bazooka. Nissan mean business with this car and intend to take the fight to their rivals.

 The diesel version is 1.5dci 110bhp and the petrol is also the same as that used in the new Qashqai 1.2 Turbo. The petrol version feels more like a 1.8 or 2.0 petrol then a 1.2 delivering brisk acceleration and never straining despite the fact that this is not a small car.

Three grades will be made available in Ireland as with the Qashqai and customers will be able to enjoy the benefits of Nissans excellent Connect System which many Qashqai and Note owners will be familiar with. The system provides sat nav, reversing camera and touch screen audio.

We think this car is going to be very successful for Nissan attracting not only traditional Nissan customers but winning business from rival brands and customers will appreciate the styling, specification and technology. Nissan are back in the game with a car that could steal the class leaders crown.

The Pulsar will go on sale in Ireland this September.

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