By: IOL Motoring Staff

Paris, France - Nissan is taking the hatchback fight straight to big players like the VW Golf and Ford Focus with this new hatchback, which also brings an old name back to life.

Historically the Pulsar badge has adorned various models around the globe, including a hatch with a whiny gearbox sold in SA during the late seventies and early eighties.

But let's not get stuck in the past as the 2014 Pulsar is a completely new car that was purpose-designed to meet the demands of European buyers. Set to be built in Spain, the Pulsar shares its platform and much of its design DNA with the latest Qashqai and X-Trail crossovers.

Despite retaining a relatively compact overall length of 4385mm, the Pulsar is said to offer “considerably more” rear legroom and shoulder room than its direct rivals, with rear kneeroom even surpassing many cars in the class above.


In the engine compartment, the Pulsar completely embraces the modern downsizing era by offering an all-turbo line-up. However the initial range will be limited to an 85kW 1.2-litre DIG-T turbopetrol and 81kW/260Nm 1.5-litre dCi turbodiesel. A dose of excitement will appear in 2015, however, when a 140kW 1.6-litre turbopetrol engine joins the range.

The Pulsar also appears up to scratch in the gadgets department, the hatch offering Forward Emergency Braking, Moving Object Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Warning. Its second-generation NissanConnect system allows full smart-phone integration, Google’s Sent-to-Car function and access to a glut of informative apps.

The new Pulsar will hit showrooms across Europe during the third quarter of this year, although it's unlikely to reach South Africa this year. At this stage Nissan SA is remaining tight-lipped about whether the new Pulsar is headed for our shores, although we are awaiting further feedback.

Does Nissan's new Golf rival get your pulse racing hard enough for you to wish it our way?