The 2013 Nissan Pulsar has been officially unveiled ahead of its public debut at this week’s 2012 Sydney motor show.

The return of the Pulsar marks the beginning of Nissan Australia’s major product renaissance that will see the Japanese giant launch 12 entirely new or redesigned models in the next two and half a years.

The Nissan Pulsar, which has been absent for the greater part of six years, replaces the underperforming Nissan Tiida and puts Nissan top of mind for the ever-growing number of small car buyers.

The new Pulsar sedan launches on February 1, 2013 with a starting price of $19,990 (base model ST six-speed manual) and will go head-to-head with a very competent field of competitors, including the recently launched Hyundai i30, new Toyota Corolla and the upcoming Volkswagen Golf.

Nissan Australia’s new boss, William Peffer, says Nissan is hoping to outsell the Toyota Corolla with the new Pulsar but wouldn’t give a timeline as to when that might happen.

Even if it doesn’t have the same level of awareness as the Corolla, which is the best-selling car worldwide, Nissan believes Australian buyers still remember the Pulsar badge for all the right reasons. Despite its long absence, the Nissan Pulsar still has a 71 per cent awareness rate locally, which will give the new model a fighting chance against its competitors. It will need to find at least 3000 buyers a month to be in the same league as the Corolla (which is beaten by the Mazda3’s 3500/month average).

Arriving initially in sedan form only, the Pulsar is powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 96kW of power and 174Nm of torque. Official fuel economy figures are yet to be released, but we suspect it will be around the 6L/100km mark for the combined city and highway cycle.

The Pulsar will be available with either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Nissan’s new Xtronic CVT in the Pulsar, which we sampled in a prototype Maxima late last year in Tokyo, is a significant improvement over the current-generation CVTs and will potentially prove an advantage rather than a hindrance.

As a package, the new Pulsar’s interior spaciousness is unlike many small cars on the market. Although technically classified as such, and priced accordingly, the Pulsar offers generous cabin space and a 510L boot, which is actually larger than the Holden Commodore large car.

We had the opportunity to sit in the sedan’s front and rear seats and can report that it’s very much akin to a medium car in head and legroom.

The base model Pulsar ST comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, Bluetooth connectivity, a full compliment of safety features (front, side and curtain airbags, stability control, brake assist and traction control), cruise control and a full size spare.

Move up to the Pulsar ST-L and you get a rear spoiler, LED accent lights, leather steering wheel and shifter knob as well as fog lamps. The range topping Ti comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, integrated satellite navigation system, rear-view camera, xenon headlamps, full leather trim and dual-zone climate control.

The Nissan Pulsar range will be bolstered by mid-2013 when the company introduces the Nissan Pulsar SSS turbocharged hatch and regular hatchback models powered by the same 1.8-litre engine.

In order to steal some thunder away from the new Corolla (which launches this week) and give early adopters a reason to choose Pulsar, Nissan Australia is offering a pre-sale offer on the 2013 Pulsar sedan range. Starting tomorrow and running up until the Pulsar’s launch in February, a 10 per cent deposit will see you in a Pulsar sedan ST manual for $299 per month with a guaranteed future value. This extends to Pulsar sedan ST-L ($399/month) and Ti model ($499/month).

2013 Nissan Pulsar manufacturer’s list prices:

  • ST Manual – $19,990
  • ST CVT – $22,240
  • ST-L Manual – $23,650
  • ST-L CVT – $25,900
  • Ti CVT – $28,990

Check out the Nissan Pulsar photo gallery for more pictures.

  • Tophe Ana

     The Ti doesn’t come in a manual because?  They’ve just lost a customer.

    • Pauly

      Australians dont buy many manuals.

      • Tophe Ana

        I understand that, but there are those people that still do want a manual and prefer driving them, especially in a small car.  At least have it as a made to order option or something, if you know what I mean.  I personally haven’t had the best experience with 4cyl Autos myself so I won’t be rushing to buy a new pulsar if I can’t get a Ti in a manual.  Which is a shame because I actually like everything else about it. 

        • Redrnn14

           You must not have read this “…the current-generation CVTs and will potentially prove an advantage rather than a hindrance.”  I currently drive a Dualis AWD with CVT and it is magic.  Modern technology has gone leaps and bounds since the days of lesser ordinary automatics.

          • Viv

            What’s it like if you try to reverse up a steep hill.  Most CVTs just whirrrrrrr with very little progress.  Cannot hold a fixed ratio in reverse.

          • dilligaf

            You don’t don’t get it.

          • Phil

            A driver of a Dualis CVT? Could you have picked a more dreary car to drive?

          • Petri

            All rise. Judge Judy has entered the room.

          • LN

            I and most like other readers of this website feel very sorry for you to waste your hard earn money on a piece of garbage that is a Nissan Dualis.

            You should have at least spent your hard earned money on a Subaru XV or a Mazda CX5, not this Dualis rubbish.

        • Zaccy16

          i agree, i would definitely prefer the manual over the CVT

          • Fonda_h

            You’ve said that dozens of times before – we get it.

    • Viv

      Isn’t the $3,660 premium for the CVT over the manual a bit steep?

      • Matt

        It appears it was an error on CA’s part and has since been rectified.

    • moonie

      This is an old lady’s car, like the Corolla and Mazda3.

    • Joker

      Battle of the Boring cars! Corolla vs. Pulsar… 

  • Kd

    If only it didn’t look so much lake a shrunken Maxima.

    • Kd


  • Hung Low

    This this is huge! No wonder the Large and Middle class cars are losing sales to small cars that are not small anymore but with the same low price tag!
    Under tyred and I hope they have other engine options.

  • Sumpgaurd

    Bland as Bat poo. Just as well it has a reasonably low starting price. It’s going to need it!

    • Zaccy16

      agreed, very good corrola competitor though!

    • gfys

      reasonably low, the old Pulsar Plus on sale over 10 years ago cost $19,990 – It’s a bargain mate

      • Sumpgaurd

        The old pulsar was a better looking car imo and comparitively speaking it was selling when the dollar was sitting nearer to USA $0.70.

          It’s certainly not a bargain.

        • gfys

          Aussies can be such wingers – you claim cars are too expensive, get handed a bargain and say the dollar was around 70c back then, it was more like 50 mate

    • Stephen Alfris

      Haha – yes it is going to be difficult to take sales away from the 3 and i30 

  • M.

    How anyone can think this is even a remotely decent looking car is beyond me. Nissan have absolutely no style direction. Clearly, their style is ‘no style at all’. That back end is just awkward and dumb.

  • Rj_biker

    The auto option is very exxy…over $3500.

    • Zaccy16

      much much too expensive! the dsg in vw’s is much better than a rubbish CVT and costs about $1000 less!

    • moonie

      The dealer has to have some margin.  The $20k price is really just a lure.

      Good luck finding a VW for that price…

    • Matt

      It appears it was an error on CA’s part and has since been rectified.

  • Zandit75

    So their thinking is to steal Toyotas sales by making the Pulsar even more bland than the Corolla??!!
    At least they have the Corolla beat in the power game….by a whole 2kw’s, that’ll get them through the door! Comapared to the Focus, i30, and 3, they need at least 15 more kw’s to be competitive(I’m comparing the upper spec models)

    The only thing nice about this car is the colour, that metallic blue would look great on a better car!


    I don’t think I want to buy a Renault. But that’s just me.

    • Darryl

      Look up Nissan Bluebird Sylphy on Wikipedia. That’s the sedan. The hatch is the second gen Tiida. They appear to be 2 different cars, in the same way the Corolla hatch and sedan are. But built on Renault Nissan V platform

    • R10RRK

      They are a merged company ans cross share platforms and components !

  • horsie

    Good value. looks reasonable, nice interior. I think this will be a winner. 
    Thankfully nissan have not just slapped a Pulsar badge on a re-worked Tiida. 
    I am not fan of CTV but i would go the manual over an auto anyway. 

    • Andrew M

      Why are you against CTV? Do you find it an invasion of privacy?

  • Luke Brinsmead

    The Golf is not a competitor, different body shape. Even the Jetta wouldn’t be, different price.

    • Frank

      Well, the Pulsar hatchback may be a Golf competitor.

  • Hehe22


  • Andrew M

    Still too Grandma like.

    While the likes of Focus, i30 and Mazda 3 are hitting the up and coming youthfull market and reaping the benefits, Nissan just dishes out another Tiida.

    Sure the Pulsar name has great awareness, but this pays no respect to that.

    And as for value, the Focus can also be had for 19,990

  • Andrew M

    Also, they might be able to claim it has a bigger boot volume than commodore, but I bet its opening, like all small sedans is the biggest limiter.

    It could have an 800 litre boot for all I care, but I bet the Commodores would still be more usable

    • Sydlocal

       Whilst the opening wouldn’t be as wide as a Commodore, looking at the picture above the opening does appear to have a very low lip and looks more square and much larger than something like the tiny opening of the Mazda3 sedan.

  • TG

    LOL, Nissan spoiling Toyota’s 180 series Corolla launch.

    • 42 = The Answer

      I know hey, that’s very clever on Nissan’s part. I bet they planned this quite a while ago

  • Darryl

    Shouldn’t the ST CVT and the ST-L manual prices be swapped around? The CVT is a $2250 option.

    • Kyle

      Yeah, CA’s made an error there and unfortunately it has done Nissan even fewer favours with the readers here.

  • Unidexter Hopping

    Strange Kool Aide that Nissan is drinking. Sorry, another inept Asian attempt at a car… Probably reliable though.

  • 42 = The Answer

    Not a Golf competitor but will definitely give the other major players a run for their money on the value equation. Good to see Nissan finally joining the pack with a serious contender

  • Dave

    I’m sorry but who ever is designing for Nissan needs to be sacked!  Their passenger car shapes are terrible!  Pulsar, Maxima, Altima they may be great mechanically but cosmetically they are no where!  Go back to the drawing board and start again from the mid 90’s.

  • Goodfa

    Nissan really is dreaming if they think they can outsell the Corolla with this car.

    I predict they will not even sell half as many as the Corolla.

  • Bobrest

    When will manufacture
    lesson to the public the best selling car Pulsar had stop production because the
    powers in head office wanted to keep there job and now after years they have a
    bright idea we will bring it back. But this time we will NOT make it simple we
    will Not give a six speed auto gearbox that can be controlled by the driver.

    The old shape was the selling point No we change
    it so the buyer will Not recognise it to make the bosses think we are cleaver.
    The buy has no say

    • Sydlocal

       My head hurts.

  • R10RRK

    I have never seen these cars in the UK and thank god for that. It seems in the UK people mainly drive BMW, Audi, Mercedez Benz sedans, followed by Volkswagen and Ford. 

    I have to be honest, I don’t see a market for this particular car here; its frowned upon as both being cheap and ugly ! Above the competition here is all German brands, and I suppose its mainly Japanese brands down under. 

    • Ron Smyth

      It looks heaps better than the focus and astra which there are plenty of in the UK – BMW, Benz and MB are in a completely different class and price

  • LN

    This new Tiida, just like every other Nissan cars will be built in Thailand. So expect poor quality design and built. Its the Nissan way.

    • Liam2maps

      Actually cars from Thailand are of very high quality. Got to drop the xenophobia.

  • Kayvee

    Love my Pulsar SSS, just want a new one.Strange how my old SSS almost looks like the Mazda 3, now. It was a odd shaped car in 1998-1999, but is often mistaken for a Mazda now they have  a similar shape..  Hurry up Nissan  & make me a new Nissan Pulsar SSS car in futuristic shape otherwise I will have to buy a Mazda!!! 

  • Zephyrpeke

    We have a pulsar standard we brought it in 2003 brand new and we have been waiting for the Pulsar to come back into action.So very excited!!! We love our Pulsar we have had not one problem with it in 10 years and we live in regional ozzie land. Can’t wait to see the new Pulsar in person.

  • Snoopy54000

    I think they are going back to made in Japan for this one.

  • Libbytuckett

    I am so excited I can hardly wait to get one. I have a manual 2001 model we brought brand new, its  never skipped a beat, never had any troubles and she goes like the clappers. We havn’t been able to let her go up until now as the newer pulsar is available. Whooo hoo!!

  • Snoopy54000

    I am pleased you had no problems with your 2001 Pulsar Libby.I had a Tiida from 2006 to 2010 and it was so much trouble that one year away from the extended warranty finishing I gave up on it and downsized into a Run Out K12 Micra which I am a lot happier with.It’s been running well in the time I have had it and only just got it’s front brakes done at the 77,000 km mark.It’s a far more appropriate vehicle for work purposes and hardly let me down except for breaking one refusing to start one night outside Pizza Hut North Park Prospect South Australia.The Pulsar is on the shopping list as a possible replacement in four years from now(December 2016).The reasons being by that time The Family Car Mercedes might be going to my brothers place with Him and the Future Wife and Mum may or may not be driving as she turns 70 later this year and I’ll need something I can safely put rear passengers in sometimes.

  • homer1

     I would probably scour around for a 2011/2012 Corolla most of which are still under New Car Warranty with low mileage and motoring association 100 point safety check plus full service history for this kind of money or less depending on the grade.Personally I don’t need to buy New all the time and for what Toyota Yards second hand are asking for them The same money only gets you New one of those light cars from India or Thailand even if the origins are Japanese.

  • homer1

     I agree with you and to think these are the same people that gave us the S14/S15 200SX,Z33 350Z Z34 370Z,The GTR and the Navara.

  • Montemaj

    Yeah and the focus is german made vs.thai  pulsar