Nis­san’s new­pulse

The Ti­ida sur­prised when it took over from the Pul­sar, writes Gra­ham Smith

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Cars -

THE Nis­san Pul­sar was one of Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lar and re­spected small cars, so the oddly named Ti­ida had a tough act to fol­low when it was launched in 2006.

Its job was made eas­ier when cur­rency changes forced Nis­san to push the Pul­sar’s price higher and it lost its com­pet­i­tive edge in its fi­nal years.

Nis­san was de­ter­mined to use the Ti­ida to win back some of the ground given up late in the Pul­sar’s life.

Model watch

IT WAS a sur­prise when Nis­san dropped the pop­u­lar Pul­sar name­plate in favour of the Ti­ida, but the com­pany jus­ti­fied the move by say­ing the Ti­ida was an all-new car and a fresh start.

One look at the Ti­ida was all that was needed to see that it was in­deed a fresh start for the Nis­san small car.

Whereas the Pul­sar’s looks were rather staid, the Ti­ida’s were stylish and mod­ern and could only have come from Europe.

The looks came from Nis­san join­ing forces with Re­nault, which re­sulted in the Ti­ida shar­ing its un­der­pin­nings with the Re­nault Me­gane.

Com­pared with the Pul­sar the Ti­ida was big­ger, more re­fined and more com­fort­able. It was also well fin­ished and drove well.

The Ti­ida range was made up of the ST sedan and hatch at the en­try point, the mid-range ST-L sedan and hatch, and the Ti sedan and Q hatch.

An all-alu­minium 1.8-litre dou­ble over­head camshaft four-cylin­der en­gine with vari­able valve tim­ing pro­vided the mo­ti­va­tion.

When work­ing at its peak it de­liv­ered a mod­est 93kW at 5200 revs and 174Nm at 4800 revs.

It was suf­fi­cient to com­fort­ably keep up with the traf­fic with­out ex­cit­ing the driv­ing senses.

All mod­els but the Ti had a sixspeed man­ual gear­box stan­dard, with an op­tion of a four-speed auto box. The Ti had the auto stan­dard. all mod­els were com­fort­able and roomy in­side with good head, leg and el­bow room. Soft-feel ma­te­ri­als were used on dash pad­ding, door trims and head­liner, topped off with pol­ished metal­lic fin­ishes that gave it a qual­ity look and feel.

The boot was a good size with a flat floor, un­der which was stowed a full­sized spare.

All mod­els were well equipped. Even the ST en­try mod­els had air­con­di­tion­ing, re­mote cen­tral lock­ing, CD with four-speaker sound, and power mir­rors.

The ST-L had ex­tra safety fea­tures, as well as 15-inch al­loy wheels, power win­dows and Tri­cot seat trim.

Atop the range the Ti sedan and Q hatch had leather-trimmed steer­ing wheels, a blend of leather and cloth trim, an over­head con­sole and sixs­peaker sound sys­tems.

Bet­ter all round: the Nis­san Ti­ida was big­ger, more re­fined and more com­fort­able than the Pul­sar it re­placed.

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