By on July 3, 2014

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Brace yourselves for the inevitable slate of reviews criticizing mushy steering, an uninspired ride and myriad other complaints that most buyers won’t give a lick about. Nissan’s next C-segment hatch, the Pulsar, will apparently not be “sporty”, and Nissan is just fine with that.

According to AutoExpress, Nissan’s Andy Palmer said that

“I’m not looking for a car that is ultimately very very sporty…I’m looking for something that can transition a customer from a Qashqai to a hatchback. It needs the same DNA, but we want to keep ex-Qahsqai buyers in the Nissan family. It has to have a familiar design and handling.”

Palmer noted that the new hatch “doesn’t transmit impulses back into the car” and that “the steering is quite light”. Sounds like a recipe for enthusiast disaster, right? Well, given the smashing success of the Qashqai (which basically invented the small CUV segment in Europe), it’s easy to see why Nissan is going down this road.

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18 Comments on “Next Nissan Pulsar Won’t Be “Sporty”...”


  • avatar
    J.Emerson

    “I’m looking for something that can transition a customer from a Qashqai to a hatchback.”

    I don’t really understand this line of reasoning at all. Is there some great torrent of people trading down from small CUV’s to hatchbacks? How many of those buyers want a hatchback that feels like driving a CUV? This sounds more like apologia for platform sharing than any kind of coherent strategy.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Coherence is over-rated. Humans are highly irrational and massively self-delusional in the sense that we tell ourselves lies about our actions and experiences to make sense of them after-the-fact.

      The new Pulsar has some probability of success and some probability of failure and all of the words invested in creating either story are ultimately background noise, or incoherence.

      To any reading this, heed these words: Embrace entropy.

    • 0 avatar

      Not really. Though there are those who are permanently converted to CUVs after the first, there are many that aren’t. As CUVs are much more a fad in Europe than in other places such as Brazil or the US, there are those who will go back to their beloved hatches after the CUV-thing is out of their system. Having a comfortable hatchback and not a sporting one, might make the transition for that buyer easier.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    So it’s business as usual for Nissan.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Other than the Nismo version of the Puke, the 350Z and of course the unafforable GT-R yeah pretty much! They’re joining Toyota and Honda so they can see who can make the most boring product line.

      • 0 avatar
        Easton

        Beat me to the punch. The biggest farce of them all is the Maxima. 4 door sports car? Not in this lifetime. Nothing says sporty like front wheel drive, a CVT, and mushy suspension. It’s a modern day Buick Lesabre.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Every current Buick is MUCH better to drive than the current Maxima. And simple no contest inside, the Maxima has a worse interior than the Altima, and that is QUITE an accomplishment!

  • avatar

    Hmm, if VW took a shape like that, removed a couple doors, and put it on a GTI platform, that would be a swell car to make available in the USA. Perhaps give it a name like a swift, hot Saharan wind.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    IF this guy were smarter, he would come up with something more fun/interesting to describe the reason this car exists.

    Because saying, “We don’t have something which costs $19k between the $17k and the $19.55k” isn’t very good.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Andy is obviously setting the bar low.

    His words will be quoted in the first drive media reviews of the Pulsar, along the lines of: “Hey, Nissan said this car won’t be sporty, but it really holds the road!”.

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    I love TTAC’s intense dedication reporting every Pulsar update. With the same picture. This isn’t sarcasm. It’s hilarious.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Next Nissan Pulsar Won’t Be “Sporty””

    Oh ok, so ugly then. Got it.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Or as Xzibit, host of “Pimp My RIde” once said, “A pulsar is a crushed star, so Nissan was basically doomed from the start.”

  • avatar

    Have no idea why they are doing it. Euro hatches in this segment tend towards the sporty being the Golf the template. Maybe Nissan is reading something in trends in European tastes in cars and is trying to catch the next wave. Though it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, you have to respect the knowledge of a company able to release the Quas-something-or-other in ime to ride the wave, as well as the whole Dacia venture.

    Don’t know what they’re doing, but won’t discard the effort off the bat. That said, why is it so ugly?


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