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Nissan Pulsar
Nissan Pulsar
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  • Launched in 2014
  • Family hatch
  • Petrol, Diesel
  • Launch year
    2014
  • Body type
    Family hatch
  • Fuel type
    Petrol, Diesel

Interested in buying a Nissan Pulsar?

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heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Mediocre, conventional Nissan Qashqai alternative

Best bits

  • Good value
  • Very roomy
  • Most models are well-equipped

Not so great

  • Boring design
  • Dull to drive
  • Totally forgettable

Nissan Pulsar cars for sale on heycar

18
Number of cars available
£7K - £12K
Price bracket of these cars
BlackBlue+ 4 more
Colours available on heycar
5 doors
Door options available

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Nissan Pulsar driving

Overall verdict

Nissan Pulsar front interior

On the inside

Nissan Pulsar backright exterior

Driving

Nissan Pulsar side

How much does it cost to run

Nissan Pulsar head on

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"You know a car isn’t likely to excite when the main reason for buying it is something entirely rudimentary. So it proved with the Nissan Pulsar and its biggest selling point… good rear legroom. You can already imagine buyers checking it out in a showroom, opening the rear door, then shrugging and scuttling quickly back to the Qashqai they were also considering."

Nissan Pulsar driving

Yes, the Pulsar is a surprisingly half-hearted attempt by Nissan to take on the family hatchback market – a sector that the Volkswagen Golf dominates, the Ford Focus sells strongly in, and where cars such as the Peugeot 308, Renault Megane and Vauxhall Astra are perennial front-runners in. This was not the car to give any of them sleepless nights.


Nissan seemed to have forgotten why it replaced this car’s distant predecessor, the Almera, with the Qashqai in 2006: because the company didn’t make very interesting family-focused hatchbacks. The arrival of the Pulsar proved it hadn’t learnt anything in the intervening eight years. And that’s why the dull car lasted only four years on sale before sloping off with its exhaust between its legs.


Perhaps we’re being unkind. The Pulsar wasn’t a car completely without merit. It used some decent engines, was very well equipped, and a determined focus on comfort meant it was a comfortable cruiser. Then, of course, there’s all that rear-seat space. For someone coming from a Renault Megane, it would be a revelation.


That’s all rather faint praise, though, and unlikely to help Nissan take on the might of cars such as the Volkswagen Golf – particularly as it wasn’t particularly pretty or stylish. Nissan invented the crossover SUV because it didn’t know how to make attractive, appealing hatchbacks. The Pulsar showed it still didn’t know how to produce them.


Of course, you can only buy a used Pulsar now. And second-hand, it’s a different proposition – and a bit more competitive. It’s still not class-leading, but at least it’s something you can now justify purchasing for more than just the love of Nissan dealers.


That’s because it’s very affordable. Prices for 2015 cars now start from around £6,000 in the UK, which is not a lot to spend on a car with modern engines, contemporary infotainment and the bragging rights of a reasonably fresh registration plate. Then there’s all the equipment Nissan included as standard to make up for its sheer mediocrity.


The Pulsar also has Nissan reliability on its side, which counts for a lot when you’re looking at a bargain-priced car such as this. You could buy a brand new Dacia Sandero, but for the same money, you could get a much roomier car with more kit and a punchier line of engines. We’re not saying the Pulsar’s time has come, but it makes more sense now than when new.

Ready to get your top quality Nissan Pulsar?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked
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Nissan Pulsar

1.2 DiG-T N-Connecta 5dr Xtronic

  • 2017
  • 26,800 miles
  • Perrys Vauxhall Canterbury
  • Kent, CT20EZ
Price:£9,995
PCP: £199.00/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 37 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £199.00, Customer Deposit: £1,499.00, Total Deposit: £1,499.25, Optional Final Payment: £3,664.00, Total Charge For Credit: £2,332.25, Total Amount Payable: £12,327.25, Representative APR: 12.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 6.59%, Excess Mileage Charge: 9ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Nissan Pulsar right for you?

If you want a roomy family hatchback that’s plenty spacious enough for teenagers and adults in the rear, the Pulsar has a lot going for it. We can’t think of any rival that’s so roomy in the back – it’s actually more accommodating than the Qashqai crossover.


It offers plentiful value for money as well. Considering the price, it has a lot of standard kit. And the turbo petrol and diesel engines are pretty good, too. It’s not an exciting car to drive, but it’s a competent one, with a quiet and supple ride at speed, meaning it’s a good choice for those after affordable, fuss-free motoring. 

What’s the best Nissan Pulsar model/engine to choose?

Nissan sold the Pulsar in a familiar range of trim lines. We’d avoid the base Visia as it’s a bit sparse and variants above it offered much more equipment for the money. Our favourite is N-tec, which has sat-nav, privacy glass, LED headlights and smart-looking 17-inch alloys.


The 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine is still a good bet. It’s the same one used in a multitude of Nissans and Renaults, and is reasonably smooth, fairly punchy and extremely fuel efficient. If you prefer petrol instead, go for the 1.2 DIG-T as it’s better than the 1.6-litre alternative – the 190PS 1.6 DIG-T never feels anywhere near as fast as its fruity power output suggests.

What other cars are similar to the Nissan Pulsar?

We’ve named the cars the Nissan Pulsar failed to beat: the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. It also failed to beat the Vauxhall Astra, Mazda3, Toyota Auris, Kia Ceed, Hyundai i30, Peugeot 308, Renault Megane, SEAT Leon and the Skoda Octavia. What have we missed?


There are many similar cars to the Nissan Pulsar, and many better all-rounders, although in terms of value for money and sheer space efficiency, it’s still a car with a certain amount of merit.

Learn more

Nissan Pulsar front interior

On the inside

Nissan Pulsar backright exterior

Driving

Nissan Pulsar side

How much does it cost to run

Nissan Pulsar head on

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is the Nissan Pulsar a good car?

It's not the best hatchback on the market but the Nissan Pulsar is a refined and comfortable car, with plenty of rear legroom for carrying children and teenage passengers too. Just don't expect much excitement.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross

Is the Nissan Pulsar being discontinued?

Nissan only made the Pulsar between 2014 and 2018 so it has now been discontinued after struggling to reach initial sales targets. Instead Nissan is focussing on crossovers and SUVs.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell

What engine is in a Nissan Pulsar?

The Pulsar was offered with either a 1.2-litre or 1.6-litre petrol engine or a 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel.

Russell Campbell

Answered by

Russell Campbell

Where is the Nissan Pulsar built?

Although the Qashqai is built at Nissan's Sunderland plant, the Pulsar was assembled in Barcelona, Spain.

Dan Harrison

Answered by

Dan Harrison

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