2014 Nissan Pulsar ST-S 1.6 DIG turbo from Australia and New Zealand
Wolf in sheep’s clothing ;)
Absolutely NOTHING. However it is a new car, so only time will tell.
A wolf in sheep's clothing. The 140kw 1.6 turbo is an absolute firecracker of an engine. Its direct competition is of course the Holden Cruze SRi, which also has a 1.6 turbo… However the Pulsar is lighter, more powerful and has a far more linear delivery of power. Maximum torque (240NM) is available from 2000 RPM, which means you don’t have to rev the guts out of it to move along briskly. The ST-S is essentially an ST-L with firmer suspension, bigger alloy wheels and the SSS power plant. Not only is it lighter than the SSS, but it’s nice and understated (even though the SSS doesn’t exactly set hearts on fire), which makes for a spot of fun when sitting at the lights next to a P plater in a Falcodore ;) She’s a sleeper… a 7.4 second sleeper.
The car is roomy. It has more back leg room and head room than any other car in its class. It’s also incredibly comfortable to drive, except a little jiggly at slow speeds over small corrugations. The 6 speed manual is fantastic (close ratio gears don’t do fuel economy any favours mind you) with a short-ish throw, direct and a little notchy. The steering is ultra light at parking speeds and firms up as the speedo climbs. However, it doesn’t have a great degree of feel to it.
I get around 500 kilometres out of 35 litres of premium 98, and around 440 running 95 octane. So it actually pays to spend the extra 6c a litre and go for 98.
Generally an all round nice car to drive… It won’t set your heart on fire (like my SRi Astra did) but it is certainly a true warm hatch. It’ll push you back in your seat when you push the pedal, as well as allow room for baby seats and a pram.
I highly recommend you naysayers take one for a drive before you write them off as being boring… because they certainly are not. Also, if you can live without PVC leather, sat-nav and a reversing camera, save the cash and buy the ST-S over the SSS. It’s nearly 100kg lighter, ergo a fair whack faster… and $5000 cheaper upfront.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st August, 2014