OCCASIONALLY the backstory is more intriguing than the subject itself. Welcome, then, to the fall and rise of the Pulsar, dormant after seven long years of the spectacularly unsuccessful C11-series Tiida.
The latter came along because previous Pulsars had long struggled in Europe against the Golf and co, forcing Nissan to pitch – and finally strike gold with – the Dualis/Qashqai crossover instead.
But discontinuing Pulsar spelled trouble for the Australian arm. Apparently the behind-the-scenes battle against releasing the too-small Tiida with its oddball looks and silly name. But Japan insisted. And buyers avoided it in droves.
Now here’s where the plot thickens: Nissan reckons Aussies still revere the Pulsar badge, so it now adorns two different (and bigger) beasts – the fussy and formal four-door sedan, codenamed B17, featured here and on sale now, and the shapelier five-door hatch, known internally as the C12 (coming in July). Both are built in Thailand.
With its mini-Maxima styling, the Sedan is designed mainly for Chinese and US tastes, and hails from the old Sunny/Sentra line.
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