How Well is Nissan’s Pulsar Doing?

Not as well as the Qashqai but the Qashqai has outsold the Ford Focus in January 2015.

2015 Nissan Pulsar
2015 Nissan Pulsar

According to Nissan UK, the Qashqai cross-over/softroader has achieved sales of 19,500 units. The Pulsar has shifted 3,322 units in January. By comparison the Focus, (Ford’s evergreen mid-size family hatchback), does much better. Ford claim 14,500 vehicles sold. However, if we do not compare like with like, the Qashqai shows people are willing to stray out of the obvious categories when shopping for a mid-price, mid-sized car.

Some of those Qashqai buyers may very well have cross-shopped for a standard C-class car (Golf, Astra, Focus) as well as other soft-roader/crossovers. The Nissan costs £16,500 in the UK for a 1.6 litre model. A Focus begins at £16,445 (with a 1.0 litre Ecoboost) according to Car’s recent price list. CarBuyer claims it’s £1500 less and Ford UK says so too: £13,995. The Pulsar starts at £14,995.

With a generalising wave of the hand one can say these prices are not wildly dissimilar and once you’ve begun adding options and comparing non-quantitative elements, the distinction blurs to nearly nothing. Why did Car not list the lowest price Focus? (I looked in the January 2015 edition.)

We look forward to seeing how the Pulsar fares in what is a very competitive market sector. If sales drift along at 3000 units a month you might very well wonder if Nissan did not miscalculate with the Pulsar. I quite like the Pulsar’s no-nonsense “this is a car you can drive” approach but perhaps customers might want something more. A Qashqai, perhaps?

Interestingly, Renault are soon to offer their own entrant in what is Nissan’s most successful segment. Do they think they can add to the total number of cars sold or will they cannibalise sales? Will some people prefer to stay stuck in their meaningless ruts (that would be the Nissan buyers and everyone else) or will they go the Kadjar way and drive into a future of limitless freedom and soul-enriching self-empowerment?


Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

8 thoughts on “How Well is Nissan’s Pulsar Doing?”

  1. I saw one of these parked up yesterday. A spectacularly average looking thing. It has the appearance of having the body draped over its underpinnings, so everything looks flabby and overdressed; like a poorly made bed. You have to wonder why they bothered really.

  2. The Pulsar is a thing of surprising good dullness. Petrol ones have a terrible oil habit, but are sweet enough. Unsurprisingly dealers just cannot shift them. One dealer I know had dozens of pre-reg examples over a year old that we just stored on farm land in a Nissen Hut. Best offer secures. But even Motability customers turned their nose up at them. You could do a lot worse if you’ve no interest in cars.

    1. Oh no. The Pulsar has a huge rear compartment and is available with quite fancy interiors. It’s a car for former Citroen owners. I like them (a bad sign).

  3. I see the new Qashqai is out. Clearly, a lot of effort has gone in to it and I think it’s nicely done – it should be, given its importance to Nissan and the number of competitors it’s got.

    1. Hi Charles. I may be missing the wood for the trees, but I can’t take my eyes off the base of the A-pillar and sail panel. It’s an utter mess, one of the worst I’ve ever seen. It will look even worse on lighter coloured cars:

    2. Oh, dear – that’s one of the bits they’re proud of (or at least mounting the mirror on the door – it’s more costly, but is better for aerodynamics).

      I like the way the front crease carries on in to the door, via a (functional) front vent.

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