The Nissan Pulsar is a family car that’s easy to drive and has a spacious interior. It does a lot of things well but being fun to drive, sadly, isn’t one of them
Above all, the Pulsar is a good value family car. It shares a lot with the Qashqai SUV – the cabin design is near identical. What is also pretty SUV-like in the Pulsar is the amount of space for passengers which is more than in alternatives such as the VW Golf.
More value for money is added with the fairly generous equipment list – all cars get air-conditioning and cruise control as standard. However, your best bet would be going for the mid-spec N-Connecta that does push prices up a bit but comes with just about everything you need including a touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav and automatic emergency braking.
Speaking of safety,the Pulsar scored the full five-star score when it was tested by independent body Euro Ncap. Acenta models and upwards should be even safer thanks to standard fit emergency city braking while lane-departure warning is an option on high-spec models.
The Nissan Pulsar is a good choice for a family car if you're sick of seeing small SUVs all the time
The choice of engines for the Pulsar is pretty good even if the options aren’t actually numerous. The 1.5-litre diesel is a great match for the relaxed characteristics of the car, especially on the motorway, and is quite cheap to run too. The 1.2-litre petrol, on the other hand, feels zippy and lively in town so it’s best suited if you’ll use the Pulsar for short trips only – it costs less, too. The 190hp 1.6-litre petrol is a bit of an oxymoron on the Pulsar and doesn’t really make much sense with its middling performance and expensive running costs.
Out on the road, the Pulsar is predictable, easy and fairly relaxing to drive. The focus here is on comfort over handling and the Nissan does a really good job of covering large distances without fuss. However, if you’re a keen driver there are much better alternatives that are just as comfortable over bumps such as the Mazda 3 and Ford Focus.
For more detail about the Pulsar, read the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. Or, to see the kind of offers you can get on the Nissan Pulsar, go to our deals page.