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Nissan Pulsar ST (2013)
At $19,990, Nissan’s Pulsar entry level into the small sedan segment, the manual ST, not only soothes the hip pocket nerve, but comes in at the same price as way back in 1996.
Small is more like medium in car sizes nowadays and here the born-again Pulsar follows the trend.
Interior room is generous, even for the once-overlooked back seat passengers, as is boot space. That said, a high load lip and ‘gooseneck’ boot lid hinges, and a rear seat that doesn’t fold, inhibits cargo carrying versatility and practicality a little.
The Pulsar makes for a comfy drive, and around town returned a useful 8.8 litres/100km.
Drivers may find the steering nicely weighted for slow-speed manoeuvring, but otherwise too light and lacking feel. With 96kW of power, the Pulsar is the runt of the 1.8-litre small car litter, being seven to 10kW down on Holden Cruze, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Cerato. It shows, but driveability is not greatly impaired thanks to a peak torque figure of 174Nm that matches the Civic and is close to the others.
Fixed price servicing – up to the first 12 x 10,000km scheduled servicing intervals for up to six years/120,000km (whichever comes first) – is a plus. Arrival of the Pulsar hatch, including the sporty, 1.6-litre direct injection gasoline (DIG) turbo SSS variant, is imminent.
Price, space, servicing costs
Not as powerful as some, lack of steering feel
16” alloys; single CD player with MP3 capability, aux input and six speakers; airconditioning; cruise control; remote keyless entry; steering wheel audio and cruise controls; bluetooth; tilt and reach steering
Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability/traction control
||Small Under $35,000
|Price when new
|Current price range
$ - $
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Our expert team of approved repairers can perform general and specialist repairs, including auto-electrical, air-conditioning, radiator repairs and automatic transmissions.
||1.8-litre, twin C-VTC petrol, 4-cyl
||96kW @ 6000rpm
||174Nm @ 4800rpm
|Acceleration to 100 km/h
||9.5 seconds (claimed)
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.