Loading indicator
News & Reviews
Last 7 Days

by Jez Spinks

Nissan is targeting a minimum four-fold increase in its Australian small car sales after introducing a new-generation Nissan Pulsar.

The Pulsar had been part of Nissan’s local line-up since 1978, and built here in the early 1980s, but the badge has been absent since it was replaced by the Tiida in 2006.

The Tiida failed to match the enduring popularity of the Pulsar, hurting Nissan’s competitiveness in the crucial small-car segment.

Tiida sales peaked at 13,756 in 2007, well short of annual sales of the previous-generation Pulsar, including its last full year – 17,643 sales in 2005.

Nissan Australia is confident the return of the badge, and competitive pricing that starts at $19,990, will help the company become a force again in Australia’s biggest vehicle segment.

“I’m not going to disclose a specific figure [for new Pulsar sales targets],” said Nissan Australia boss Bill Peffer. “[But] Tiida did about 3000 last year and we want to at least quadruple sales with this new model.

“We want to be a credible, bona fide player in this segment. We recognise we haven’t done that in recent years.

“And we’ll get some help from the hatch in 2013 [when it arrives mid year].”

Consider circa-12,000 annual sales a conservative figure. Nissan Australia has higher ambitions, though the company says it’s being realistic in a segment where it must compete against the likes of the Toyota Corolla – 38,799 sales in 2012 – and the Mazda3 that was Australia’s best-selling vehicle last year with 44,128 units.

“I’m not committing to saying we’re going to beat Corolla,” says Peffer, “but long term we’d like to be No.1 in the segment.

“This is a killer segment. It’s large, there’s a tonne of product out, but we finally feel we have an offering that will do well.

Click to read CarAdvice’s review of the new Nissan Pulsar sedan.

  • Dave W

    Not with THAT styling, Pulsar name or not. Is that seriously the best you can do Nissan? 

    • Kampfer

      N15 (non-SSS) and N16 were pretty boring cars as well. Pulsar always sell on value (remember the Pulsar Plus, it was a big seller). I think the new Pulsar will do pretty well.

      • Dave W

        But $19, 990 is Corolla’s money, and despite what people say about Toyota, the Corolla still looks better than this car.

        Not only that, when the Corolla Furia sedan hits the market, do you think this Pulsar sedan can compete with that?

        • DAVIDZ

          yeap and japanese built lancer money

          pullsir is yoo expensive

    • Zaccy16

      they have failed again! nissan are going down hill very quickly

      • DAVIDZ

        yeah, GTR a lemon…NOT

  • Turbov8

    It has a 96KW 1.8 vs the Corolla’s 100KW+ 1.8 and Mazda3’s 107KW 2.0 and the engine came from the Tiida which is a Renault unit doesn’t help.

    The previous Pulsars have always been cheaper than the Corolla’s and Mazda 3 / 323’s. This one’s from Thailand with free trade agreement and much lower labour costs than the other small cars from Japan. To be competitive the Pulsar’s price got to be even lower.

    • Kampfer

      Funny everyone point out the lower power output and fail to see the official fuel consumption figures for auto is only 6.7L/100KM, which I think is better than all non-turbo small cars in the market (correct me if I’m wrong).

      • Vti07

        Some examples: Corolla 1.8L CVT – 6.6L/100km, Civic hatch 1.8 AT 6.5L/100 km, Ford Focus 2.0L AT 6.6L /100km , Mazda 3 SP20 skyactive 2L AT 6.1L /100km. I’m certain there’s a few more cars out there. Anyway, I’d like see how the car drives in person before making judgement on the lower than expected power output. It may have good real world driveability.

        • Zaccy16

          yep there are lot of examples and most of them have alot more power and better trannys, eg mazda 3 skyactiv has nearly 20 kw more and a proper 6 speed auto,but it uses more fuel than the mazda! even the base engine mazda 3 2.0 which came out in the first gen 3 in 2004, has 12 kw more than this underpowered rubbish nissan!

      • Sydlocal

        Kampfer, the 2.5L Mazda6 petrol auto has better fuel consumption than this. Granted it is only .1L/100km better, but it is a lot bigger and heavier car (even though the boot is a lot smaller!) with a much larger engine! It is good don’t get me wrong, but it is nothing special in the current climate.

    • Tex

      Careful – the Renault-Nissan alliance came up with the engine – though it only sees applications in the Nissan range. Unsure why we are dissing Renault in this case?

      The MR20DE is the most popular in the Renault-Nissan alliance, and used in the Megane, X-Trail and Dualis to name a few. The CVT automatics are manufactured by Nissan-owned Jatco.

      Why Nissan haven’t been able to shoehorn the 2.0L MR20DE instead of the 1.8L MRA8DE is anyone’s guess. Either way, from some reports I have read they have mentioned the 1.8L seems quite adequate for the application.

      • Sydlocal

        Anothing thing people must remember is that if it wasn’t for Renault and Carlos Ghosn, there would be no R35 GTR as he was instrumental in its re-birth.

  • Trainspotter

    OK we have a problem here

    All Nissan’s new models look identical

    • Tex

      Does Audi have a problem?

      • Trainspotter


      • pixxxels

        Frankly, yes. Can’t remember where I read it but they just hired someone to solve their little ‘same car, different sizes’ predicament. 

      • Zaccy16

        no becuase they look good

    • Sydlocal

       BMW have been using this philosophy for decades…

  • Noddy_of_Toyland

    This article is unnervingly similar to the ‘Pulsar name a huge asset, admits Nissan’ article.

  • Sumpguard

    The retirees will love ’em. A four fold increase on stuff all is hardly monumental growth either.

    • Zaccy16

      thats what i said in the first article, all the over 75’s will have to either choose this or a corrola!

  • Ash

    Wow, I can’t believe how incredibly DULL this new Pulsar looks, it looks not different than the old Tiida…Dull.
    Sorry Nissan but your Pulsar looks like it was born in 1986.
    Mazda have nothing to worry about, with an all new Mazda 3 this year.

    • Zaccy16

      exactly, the 3 year old current gen mazda 3 is miles ahead of this!

  • Shak

    The body roll in that second pic is alarming for buyers.

    • Noddy_of_Toyland

      Yes the corners at the Bowls Club car park will surely show this body roll.

    • Zaccy16

      very, handling way below class leaders, eg mazda 3, focus, golf etc

  • Snoopy54000

    I have yet to drive one of these but to be honest I am only a thirty something and don’t have a family with wife or kids.Price Wise at base model level You are up against Mid Spec Polo’s and Fiesta’s which are a size smaller but if you know anything about cars are fun a minute to drive and easier to park in most shopping malls.If I had my time again when I had my Tiida and the mileage figures were a lot lower at time I traded in for the Micra in 2010 I would have considered and maybe bought a European Supermini Oh well that’s something I will be looking in for in the future

  • klowik

    With this styling alone, more like a generation backward. Nissan will fail again even with the “Pulsar” name!!

  • Snoopy54000

    Sorry Nissan.I won’t be trading my Micra in for this.I’ll be looking for a good used Corolla,Mazda 3 or a Renault maybe a Ford Focus on the used lot when it comes time to move on after the lease expires in 2015 one year on.It just doesn’t look like something an under 50 year old would drive.