Nissan Pulsar 2014-2018 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The Nissan Pulsar’s boxy exterior pays dividends for passengers and their luggage
It’s a little boxy and not that pretty to look at, but the Nissan Pulsar has a genuinely Tardis-like interior which families will consider a great trade off. Shoulder room, headroom and legroom are all excellent for this class of car, and in some cases better than models in the class above.
It feels roomy too, with loads of space, big door openings, and a decent boot, which expands massively with the split-folding seats stowed. If space is your priority in a family hatch, look no further.
While boot space is good, storage elsewhere in the cabin is only average: unlike the Qashqai, the Pulsar doesn’t get an electric parking brake to free up space in the centre console. There is a decent glovebox however, and reasonably-sized door bins.
The Pulsar looks like a fairly ordinary family hatch, but in terms of interior space, it’s actually a rival for cars like the Ford Mondeo and VW Passat.
Inside, the Pulsar’s boxy body and class-best 2,700mm wheelbase pay dividends.
With 692mm of legroom, the Pulsar claims to have the most generous rear seat accommodation of any C-segment hatchback, and even enough room to embarrass certain D-segment cars. Passengers crammed into smaller family hatch alternatives will look on with envy.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Occupants in the back have plenty of head and legroom, while the absence of a transmission tunnel means even passengers sitting in the middle of the rear bench get plenty of space for their feet.
It feels airy and spacious too, with plenty of natural light to brighten the grey cabin ambience. Wide-opening doors help, and the car feels wide enough to seat three adults across the rear seat for short trips. There’s a full complement of ISOFIX fastening points, as you would expect.
Open the tailgate and you’ll find a generously proportioned 385-litre boot, which can be extended to 1,395 litres with the 60:40 rear bench folded flat. However, the load bay is scuppered slightly by a high lip, which can get in the way when you’re lifting luggage.
It’s helped by the fact that the car sits quite low to the ground, but nevertheless Qashqai-style false boot floorboards that create a hidden storage area wouldn’t go amiss. Compared to its rivals, the Pulsar offers a little more boot space than a VW Golf.
If you want to use your Pulsar to pull a trailer, don’t opt for the auto gearbox as it limits the towing capacity to a rather unimpressive 500kg. The manual gearbox cars can pull 1,200kg, although we’re not convinced the experience would be much fun.
In this review
- 1Nissan Pulsar 2014-2018 reviewThe Nissan Pulsar fills a hatchback niche that was left vacant when Nissan first introduced the Qasqhai crossover
- 2Engines, performance and driveDownsized engine range offers great economy and emissions, but performance is not on the menu
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsSmall capacity engines mean decent economy, while depreciation makes the Pulsar a sound used buy
- 4Interior, design and technologyUnadventurous, occasionally awkward styling hides lots of impressive tech, but interior fit and finish doesn’t quite cut it
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe Nissan Pulsar’s boxy exterior pays dividends for passengers and their luggage
- 6Reliability and SafetyDriver Power results hint at reliability and quality issues, but there are no such concerns over occupant safety