Nissan’s new pulse
Nissan has replaced the Pulsar with a new small car for the world market, named Tiida. Pronounced “tee da”, the word is Japanese for “’ever-changing tide”.
It was always going to be tough for Nissan Australia to replace the Pulsar. For over 25 years Pulsar was a household name, but eventually it was overwhelmed by its rivals. The expectations of Nissan are that the Tiida will change this. Tiida is priced competitively, with a starting price of $17,990 for the manual ST sedan or hatch.
Standard equipment includes the compulsory twin airbags, air-con and CD sound, and the ST gets remote central locking and power mirrors. You have to pay extra for electric windows on the ST model, and apparently heeding to the howls and cries of consumers and journalists from the early days of Tiida, all models now come with a passenger side vanity mirror, (a must of course for all discerning car buyers). The ST-L picks up curtain airbags and ABS with the Q and Ti getting a leather steering wheel, overhead console and six-speaker sound.
All models come standard with a very zippy 1.8L engine that is excellent around the city and very capable on longer drives. Fuel consumption for the auto is rated at 7.8L/100km, with a 52-litre tank that takes ordinary unleaded petrol. Our test car, a ST-L was the four-speed auto, a $2,250 premium over its six-speed manual counterpart. The ride was smooth and comfortable, the car cornered well and was extremely easy to park. The same apparently can be said for the six-speed manual, which on all accounts is also smooth and first class.
Inside the cabin, you find a very roomy space with a lofty roofline and plenty of leg room for every one. The glovebox is cavernous and front-compartment storage facilities in general are plentiful. The speedo and tacho are easy to read at a glance. The stereo controls are well-positioned and simple to use, despite the need for the hand to leave the steering wheel. The climate controls are also nicely located. In this day and age I am surprised that electric windows are not standard on the base ST model.
Interior dimensions have grown dramatically, however, the Tiida hatch is just 26mm longer, while the sedan is 100mm shorter than the Pulsar sedan. The sedan and hatch claim to offer plenty of headroom and legroom and the sedan’s rear seat has a load-through facility and a 467-litre boot.
Nissan has provided added versatility on the hatch with a sliding rear seat to improve luggage capacity. The seat slides forward and backward up to 240mm. With the rear seats moved back the luggage capacity is a maximum 289 litres. This can be increased to 463 litres with the seats folded.
The new Tiida, as with all their current models, reflects Nissan’s commitment to constant change. Tiida delivers a class of driving environment for the small car buyer that has a unique combination of design, with its hint of French influence, quality, and driving dynamics. This all adds up to a smooth and rewarding driving experience.
Engine: 1.8L DOHC 4-cylinder with CVTC
Transmission: 4-speed auto, 6-speed manual
Good: spacious cabin
Bad: drums for back brakes