The Nissan Pulsar hatch will undercut its mainstream small-car rivals when it launches next month with an $18,990 starting price.
The five-door hatchback arrives to complement the Pulsar sedan that arrived in January, and will better it by $1000 in entry-level Pulsar ST manual form.
The introduction of the hatch also sees the return of the much-loved Nissan Pulsar SSS nameplate, which sits at the top of the five-door range with a turbocharged engine, unique sports styling and a host of exclusive technology and comfort features (read our Nissan Pulsar SSS breakout story).
The base model Pulsar ST hatch and second-tier ST-L borrow their 96kW/174Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine from the sedan range, while the high-grade ST-S and sporty SSS score a 140kW/240Nm 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol powerplant.
As in the sedan line-up, all variants are available with either a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT), which adds $2250 to the price of the ST and ST-L and $2500 to the ST-S and SSS.
Like the equivalent sedan, the Nissan Pulsar ST is reasonably well equipped, coming standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, steering wheel audio controls, a four-speaker audio system with AUX and Bluetooth connectivity, cloth seats, and air conditioning.
For an extra $3500, the Pulsar ST-L trim adds front fog lights, rear spoiler, premium cloth upholstery, leather-bound steering wheel, centre armrest, a 4.3-inch central colour screen, and an upgraded six-speaker audio system with USB connectivity and iPod integration.
Stepping up another $2500 to the Pulsar ST-S grade brings the 1.6-litre turbo engine and its additional 44kW/66Nm, as well as larger 17-inch alloy wheels.
The premium for the Pulsar SSS is a considerable $4250, though a long equipment list justifies the extra spend. Unique to the SSS is a sports body kit; xenon headlights with auto levelling, self-cleaning and auto-on functions; keyless entry and push-button start; leather-accented seat trim; dual-zone climate control; and a 5.8-inch touchscreen display with satellite navigation and rear-view camera.
Final figures for fuel consumption, emissions and performance times will be confirmed closer to the Nissan Pulsar hatch’s launch date on June 1.
The Pulsar sedan has proved popular since returning to the market earlier this year, ranking second for small sedan sales in March and fifth overall in the small car segment with 1644 sales. The addition of the hatchback body style – traditionally the more popular choice among Australian small car buyers – may see the Pulsar challenge the sales domination of the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla.
2013 Nissan Pulsar hatch prices:
Pulsar ST manual – $18,990 ($21,878 estimated driveaway price)