“What It Is Really Like To Be A Fictional Person”

Coincidences happen and don’t mean anything. Still, they add a touch of poetic interest to our otherwise unstructured and meaningless lives. Here’s one that actually happened to me!

2018 Nissan Pulsar: Nissan UK

About a week ago I was walking home from the supermarket. I think I’d bought some onions and some sliced bread (I like toast in the morning sometimes). Exactly as I passed the doorway of the rather good hamburger joint on the street, my subconscious mind notified my conscious mind that I could notremember the name of the Nissan Pulsar. Nissan what? White. Long-wheelbase. Can’t recall the moniker…

I had even been to see one at a dealer when they first came out and I noticed the impressive rear legroom. And the car got good notices for its lush ride quality too. None of those things helped me to recall the name of the car though.

Now the coincidence. Just as I needed to remember the name of the car it appeared in the news, Automotive News Europe to be exactly precise. The Pulsar is leaving Europe alongside the Almera saloon.

“Nissan Lensflare exits Europe’s compact car segment” – source

If you were paying some attention you would not be surprised by this: this, this, this and this are powerful and strong clues that something was amiss with the Pulsar and its car kin.

Driventowrite is not just a source of trenchant views and informed wisdom founded on a collective half century of automotive study. It is also something of a web-blog of record so I feel I must record the Pulsar’s passing. That’s all I want to to do today. The day’s actual article follows later.


Automotive News’ own fine pen-smiths summed up the situation as follows: “The Pulsar was launched in 2014 to give Nissan a competitor to cars such as the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, and fill a gap in Nissan’s range in Europe that had existed since the automaker ended production of the original Almera compact in 2006. Nissan predicted European annual sales of 64,000 for the Pulsar but last year the model sold just 25,221, according to figures from market researchers JATO Dynamics. The car was produced in Nissan’s plant in Barcelona, Spain.”

2018 Nissan Pulsar: Nissan Denmark

Here is a link to the Nissan Europe Newsroom which has a Press Pack for the Pulsar. Goodness knows how long that will remain up and accessible.

These bullet points outline the defining characteristics of the Pulsar:

• Pulsar five-door hatchback brings Nissan innovation to an even bigger audience.

• Redefining expectations in the C-segment with award winning technology.

• Advanced features include Nissan Safety Shield and Around View Monitor.

• Sector-best wheelbase, rear leg space and boot capacity.

• Powerful but frugal all-turbocharged engine range.

• Designed and engineered for Europe, built at Nissan’s Barcelona factory.

• Four trim grades: Visia, Acenta, N-Connecta and Tekna.

• High equipment levels – Bluetooth and cruise control on all models.

Here is another slab of Nissan PR text. It describes quite a reasonable stab at the C-segment.

“Nissan’s passion for innovation and technology has seen it transform the family car landscape over the course of the last seven years. Now, using the same design approach and original thinking that produced its range of crossovers, Nissan is expanding its product portfolio once again with an exciting, all-new family hatchback challenger – the Pulsar.

Can you see something rather unusual here? Source: Nissan Denmark

Combining bold design, technical innovations and class leading interior space, the all-new Nissan Pulsar brings a fresh dimension to the C-segment, offering all the familiar Nissan qualities in a stylish new package.

The Pulsar’s introduction highlights Nissan’s bold ambition and desire to deliver intelligent design and technical innovation to the widest possible audience. Designed to appeal to a broad range of buyers, from D-segment downsizers to family motorists who have outgrown their B-segment cars, the Pulsar showcases Nissan’s design skills and introduces an array of in-car technologies – some of which are brand new to the sector. With exceptional material and build quality, the Pulsar offers buyers a premium ownership and driving experience without having to pay premium prices.

The final frontier: source

Instantly recognisable thanks to its trademark Nissan V-motion grille, boomerang signature headlamp characteristics and bold, muscular curves, the Pulsar was designed and engineered for Europe and will be built at Nissan’s Barcelona production facility.

2015 Nissan Pulsar dashboard: source

Embedded with the same design DNA that gives the Qashqai and X-Trail such powerful road presence, the Pulsar combines strong lines with immaculate detailing to create an elegant, athletic form. Like its crossover stablemates, the Pulsar is characterised by strong wheel volumes, a tapered waistline and a flowing profile.

The confident, premium approach continues inside, where high quality materials and clear design are perfectly integrated with Pulsar’s impressively high equipment levels.

“Oh, give me your cakes and candies” Russian-buillt Nissan Almera saloon: source

Thanks to the longest wheelbase in the class (2,700mm) and clever packaging, the Pulsar offers considerably more rear legroom and shoulder room than its sector rivals. Indeed, with 692mm of leg space – the Pulsar has in fact more rear kneeroom than the average D-segment offering. Yet despite this, it retains a compact footprint (length 4,385mm), making it easy to park in tight urban environments.”

The boot capacity was 395 litres.


Author: richard herriott

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

12 thoughts on ““What It Is Really Like To Be A Fictional Person””

  1. The Pulsar may not have been a class leader, but it was by no means a bad car. Autocar summed it up as follows:

    Good: Generous cabin space●Refined and frugal●Easy to drive●Benign ride quality
    Bad: Bland, both to look at and to drive●A gamble on residuals●Lacklustre interior

    As regards the negatives, does it matter if it’s bland to look at? It’s modern and contemporary, and not in any way offensive. Bland to drive? Would most of the target customers even notice? Surely being easy to drive is far more important. Lacklustre interior? It looks neat, and durable enough to take the sort of treatment that children often mete out. So, the only potentially serious negative is residuals, which is caused by its lack of popularity in the first place! It’s a shame that the herd mentality of buyers reduces the choice available to them.

    1. Out of the field of similar cars, the Pulsar had three strong sales propositions and one (subjective) demerit. Nissan gambled that a comfy spacious car would stand some chance of success. The car reviewers damned it because it didn´t major on handling. To be be fair, Nissan (as many others did) forgot to bother with making available a fun-to-drive-version. I am prepared to take some criticism here: that interior is not any worse or as acceptable as the rest of them. Only Renault offer a dashboard arrangement one can visualise without recourse to a Google image search.

      I´ll remind Nissan if they are reading: colour, colour, colour.

  2. There was a red car at the top of the article …

    The car is clearly quite fine, just a bit nondescript. But then, so is the new Focus, however we’ll it drives.

    People tend to look more often at junior SUV-types these days … like the just launched DS3 Crosscack.

    1. Nobody except Mick has spotted the unusual feature.
      Yes, it has an armrest in the rear seat area. Isn´t that thoughtful. Even my preferrred c-class can not boast this feature.

    2. I spotted it but had better things to do then than mention it – so there.

    3. I am aware of your predilection for rear armrests Richard (one which I share), maybe that’s why I noticed. As an instructor I get to sit in most cars in this class (and smaller) and get a feel for the ambience. This must be one of the very few I’ve never even sat in. They really sold very few here in Ireland.

  3. All is not lost! Nissan boffins, sweating away on variations on the V platform which buttress innumerable Nissans and Renaults with a bit of a squeeze here or a bit of a stretch there, had a brainwave several years ago. Stilts! Yes, hike this Pulsar a few inches skyward and give it a lifestyle name – Kicks. Add in a little attitude and one of those swanky new C-pillars and Voila! A CH-R competitor for less.

    It was introduced late into North America after a Brazilian debut but is already kicking up a sales storm, even with no AWD option. Replacing the extremely odd-looking Juke which failed to attract buyers in any numbers, it meanders through life here with a spiritless 1.6 engine churning a CVT. Just the job for people who appreciate artistry in grey interior plastic on a budget and appreciate a back seat that can accomodate adults. Red stitching is available on higher end model seats etc to imply handmade quality, but alas, the rear seat armrest has been ditched.

    With luck, the Spanish factory deprived of Pulsar can switch over to Kicks production, because so far Europe has been denied its presence. Maybe they’ll even add in a back centre armrest. Miracles do occur.

    1. Thank you for the news report and reminded of the Kicks. I may have read a tiny bit about because the dreadful name rings a bell. I can´t visualise it though. Europe has the Qashqaiaiaua which might be a bit too similar to the Kicks in size. That one makes Nissan a lot of penny and pouds and euros and cents.

    2. The Kicks seems to have been equipped with the same C-pillar design as the Opel Astra. It has an overall more sleak appearance than the Qashquaiaiai and the grille spoils the front. That´s remedial.

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