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Nissan Pulsar
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Nissan’s Cherry replacement débuted in 1978, a more squared-off, modern shape than its rounded predecessor. With front-wheel-drive, the Pulsar appeared more European, available in numerous body styles. It could be contrasted to the Nissan Sunny, which at the time had rear-wheel-drive. The second-generation model was even more universal and was sold as an Alfa Romeo and a Holden, but by this time, the Sunny had also moved to front-wheel-drive. (Spin-off models included the Nissan Langley and the Nissan Liberta Villa; these were eventually absorbed back into the Pulsar range.) The Pulsar had crept up to Sunny size, and by the time of the third-generation model (which included four-wheel-drive models), it took the Sunny moniker in many markets, notably in Europe, where only the “real” Sunny wagon was sold. It had earned a reputation for reliable, if uninspiring, motoring, apart from various sporting models; in Europe, particularly, the Pulsar was synonymous with older buyers. The more rounded-looking fourth generation, from 1990, continued this strategy. However, the penultimate Pulsar, dating from 1995, was called the Almera in Europe, with the hope of shaking off the stodgy image. It didn’t work. (A minivan version was called the Nissan Tino, or Almera Tino in Europe.) The final model, the N16, was again an inoffensive, conventional family car, with an even more conventional sedan model sold in Japan as the Nissan Bluebird Sylphy, and the Pulsar name was laid to rest after its demise in 2005, replaced by the oddly named Nissan Tiida. After the Tiida name failed in some markets (e.g. Australia), Pulsar was brought back and adorned versions of the second-generation Tiida and 2012 Sylphy. A different Pulsar from its Spanish factory was shown in 2014.

Marque: Nissan | Predecessors: Nissan Cherry, Nissan Langley, Nissan Almera | Successors: Nissan Tiida, Nissan Almera, Nissan Bluebird Sylphy


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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024