Nissan is to make its return to the mainstream family hatchback market sector with an all-new model, dubbed Pulsar.
This is the first time the Japanese manufacturer has offerd a C-segment hatchback since the demise of the Almera in 2006. The marque has since focussed its attention on alternative vehicles, from its groundbreaking Qashqai crossover and Leaf electric car.
Due to reach UK showrooms in the autumn, the five-seater Pulsar will use a modified version of the platform that underpins the Juke compact crossover, and will have similar dimensions to the class-leading Volkswagen Golf. However, thanks to a slightly extended wheelbase, Nissan is claiming best-in-class rear leg and shoulder room for its new model.
The Pulsar is faithful to the current Nissan design trends, as seen on the new Qashqai and X-trail models. These include the 'V-motion' grille and boomerang shaped lights. The Pulsar also tries to distance itself from its hatchback competition with flowing, curvy crease lines running along its flanks.
In keeping with the quest for ever cleaner and more efficient engines, all of Pulsar's powertrain options will be turbocharged and at launch will consist of a 113bhp 1.2-litre petrol, and a 1.5-litre diesel developing 108bhp.
A range-topping 187bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol motor, lifted from the sporty Juke Nismo – will join the range early next year. All engines are expected to be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with a CVT automatic offered as an option.
Interior pictures and specification details have not yet been released, though the Pulsar will be offered with a range of safety technology including autonomous emergency braking, lane and blind spot warning systems and a device for detecting moving objects and potential collisions.