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Nissan Pulsar

This article is about the Nissan Pulsar. For the Nissan Pulsar EXA and Nissan Pulsar NX, see Nissan EXA.
Nissan Pulsar
File:1998 Nissan Pulsar (N15 S2) Q 5-door hatchback (2012-10-26) 01.jpg
1998–2000 Nissan Pulsar (N15)
Manufacturer Nissan
Production 1978–2005
Body and chassis
Class Compact car
Successor Nissan Bluebird Sylphy

The Nissan Pulsar is a compact car produced by the Japanese automaker Nissan from 1978 until 2000, when it was replaced by the Nissan Bluebird Sylphy in the Japanese market. Between 2000 and 2005, and then since 2012, the name "Pulsar" has been used in Australia and select Asian countries on rebadged versions of the Sylphy and similar Tiida model. In 2014, a European-only replacement for the Tiida was introduced using the Pulsar nameplate.

The original Pulsar was a hatchback to be sold exclusively at a different Nissan Japan dealership network called Nissan Cherry Store as a larger five-door hatchback alternative to the Nissan Cherry. Although Pulsar models were front-wheel drive from introduction, Nissan did offer four-wheel drive as an option on select models internationally.

The Pulsar sold in Japan originally served as the intermediate model offered at Nissan dealerships Nissan Cherry Store between the Nissan Violet and the Cherry, while different versions of the Pulsar sold at other Japanese networks served as the base model, with other larger Nissan products. Various Pulsar-based models were exported as international market conditions dictated, sometimes labeled as "Sunny", "Cherry" or "Sentra", while the internationally labeled product was actually a Pulsar and not a Japanese market Sunny or Cherry.

A pulsar (portmanteau of pulsating star) is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star, as the Nissan Pulsar was built from the Sunny sedan.

N10, N11 (1978–1982)

N10, N11
File:1982-83 Datsun Pulsar (8244151828).jpg
Also called Datsun 100A/120A/130A/140A/150A
Datsun 310 (US)
Datsun Cherry (Europe)
Datsun Pulsar
Nissan Langley
Production May 1978–April 1982
  • Japan
  • New Zealand: Wiri
Body and chassis
Body style
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
  • 988 cc A10 I4 (BN10)
  • 988 cc E10 I4 (SN10)
  • 1171 cc A12 I4 (N10/N11)
  • 1237 cc A12A I4 (YN10)
  • 1270 cc E13 I4 (UN10)
  • 1397 cc A14 I4 (HN10/HN11)
  • 1488 cc E15 I4 (MN10)
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Height Script error: No such module "convert".
Curb weight Script error: No such module "convert".

The N10 model Pulsar, introduced in May 1978, replaced the earlier Cherry F-II internationally, and benefited from the engineering efforts of the Prince Motor Company which developed the Nissan Cherry before the company merged with Nissan in 1966. It retained the rack-and-pinion steering of the Cherry, as well as the independent suspension with coilover struts in front and coil sprung trailing arms at the rear.[1] It retained the Cherry name in Europe and many other export markets. The Pulsar was a subcompact car to augment the Sunny sedan. An unusual styling feature for the car was its long nose—which was due to Nissan envisaging that the car would also be built a with longitudinal rear-wheel-drive layout for developing markets; however, only front-wheel-drive models were actually built. At the time of introduction, the Pulsar only had a four-door fastback-styled sedan bodywork, and either a 1.2- or a 1.4-liter engine.[1]

File:Nissan Cherry in Autumn 1981.jpg
Datsun Cherry hatchback (Europe)
File:Nissan Cherry en suisse vers 1985.JPG
1981–1982 Datsun Cherry coupé (Europe)
File:Datsun Cherry 5 door estate 1978.jpg
Datsun Cherry wagon (Europe)

The N10 series Datsun Pulsar was exported to Australia (from October 1980 and facelift in October 1981),[2] New Zealand (facelift model locally assembled from late 1981, effectively replacing the previous generation 100A built and sold locally in the mid-1970s), South Africa (locally assembled) and Malaysia with the Datsun Pulsar name. This model was known as the Datsun Cherry or Datsun 100A/120A/130A/140A/150A in Europe and Asia and the Datsun 310 in the US, with the coupe called the 310GX. In Canada, the Datsun 310 was available with Pulsar striping on the rear quarters. The Pulsar was a companion platform to the Nissan Sunny. Both the Sunny and the Pulsar were sold at different Nissan Japan dealerships, called Nissan Satio Shop for the Sunny, and Nissan Cherry Shop for the Pulsar.

Another Pulsar derivative was introduced to Japan, called the Nissan Langley, from 1980, and was introduced as a "mini Skyline", and exclusive to Nissan Prince Shop. The Japanese-market Langley assumed duties of the first generation, Sunny-based coupe called the Nissan Silvia when the second generation Silvia was upgraded to the larger Nissan Violet platform; both the Silvia and the Langley remained exclusive to Nissan Prince Store locations. According to the corresponding Nissan Langley article in Japanese Wikipedia, the Langley was given its name from Samuel Pierpont Langley the inventor of the bolometer, a device used to measure electromagnetic radiation from the Sun, and was well regarded for his work in solar physics. Because of its sporting intensions, the Langley was equipped with an independent suspension at all four wheels, using MacPherson struts in the front, and a trailing arm coil suspension for the rear. The engine choices consisted of the A14 and E15 series engines with multi-point fuel injection on top level trim packages, but only in a three-door hatchback.

The N10 series Pulsar was available as a three- or five-door hatchback, a short-lived four-door fastback sedans, a five-door van or station wagon, a three-door fastback-styled coupé with a wraparound rear window introduced at the end of 1978. The van was first released in November 1978, while the export-only wagon models first appeared in early 1979.[3] Originally the lineup consisted of a four-door sedan which utilized the same body profile as the later hatchback models; in August 1978 the coupé and three-door hatchback models were added, along with a fuel injected version of the 1.4-liter engine.[4] One year later a five-door hatchback appeared, replacing the four-door sedan which was no longer available.[5]

Most markets outside Japan did not receive all versions: for instance, the three- and five-door hatchbacks and the coupé were the only models to be offered in the US. Most markets never got any fuel injected versions. The 1.0-liter A10 (later also updated to an OHC engine, called E10) was never available in Japan, mainly restricted to markets where tax codes made smaller engines necessary. An interesting anomaly of the French automotive taxation system is that while the A12A-engined Cherry sedans were considered as "6 CVs", the coupés with the same engine were markedly cheaper to own as they were classified as "5 CVs".[3]

A late-term facelift in March 1981 brought Nissan's newly developed OHC E-series engines in for the last twelve months of production. The facelift involved a new grille and rectangular headlamps. The updated 1982 model Pulsar five-door hatchback with E-series engine was assembled in New Zealand at Nissan's new factory-owned assembly plant in Wiri, Auckland. Only one well-equipped model was offered, with a five-speed manual gearbox.

In 1982 "Nissan" badges began to appear on the cars, due to Nissan phasing out the Datsun name at that time for its international markets. Production of the N10 series ceased in mid-1982, to be replaced by the all-new N12 Cherry/Pulsar.

In Japan the five-door Van received the VN10 chassis code when shown in November 1978, but was then re-released in August 1979 in a version which met the 1979 commercial vehicle emissions standards—this model was designated VN11. While domestic market passenger models only received the slightly larger A12A engine, the vans retained the smaller A12 engine (and the option of the larger A14) as also used in the preceding Cherry F-II.[6] The Van was unusual in the Japanese market for the period in being front-wheel drive; Nissan made the most of this and gave it a special rear suspension to allow for a very low loading floor. To further lower the rear opening the rear bumper was also extremely narrow. This generation Pulsar Van also provided the basis for the first generation of the Prairie people carrier. This van bodywork, with more comfortable fittings, was also used for the wagon model as sold in export markets. After the March 1981 facelift, the Van also received the updated E13 and E15 OHC engines and now carried the VUN10 and VMN10 chassis codes.

N12 (1982–1986)

File:Nissan Cherry per UK nomenclature first registered sep 1984 1270cc.JPG
Nissan Cherry 3-door (Europe)
Also called Nissan Cherry (Europe)
Nissan Langley
Nissan Liberta Villa
Alfa Romeo Arna (Europe)
Holden Astra
Production 1982–1986
1983–1987 (Australia)
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupé (Nissan Pulsar EXA)
3-door hatchback
4-door sedan
5-door hatchback
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Related Nissan Pulsar EXA (N12)
Engine 988 cc E10 I4
1270 cc E13 I4
1488 cc E15 I4
1488 cc E15ET turbo I4
1597 cc E16 I4
1680 cc CD17 diesel I4
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Height Script error: No such module "convert".
Curb weight Script error: No such module "convert".

A more angular version was announced in April 1982, making its European debut in October. By this time, Nissan had more or less standardised its naming policy worldwide, so as a Nissan it tended, excepting European markets, to be known as a Pulsar. In Europe it retained the "Cherry" moniker, and in Malaysia and South Africa it was sold as the Nissan Langley. This generation Pulsar sedan or hatchback, and subsequent generations, were not sold in North America.

File:Nissan Langley N12.jpg
Nissan Langley (N12) 5-door sedan (Japan)
File:N12 Liberta Villa Turbo.jpg
1986 Nissan Liberta Villa SSS sedan (Japan)
File:1983 Nissan Pulsar (N12) GL sedan (2007-08-25) 02.jpg
1983–1984 Nissan Pulsar GL sedan (Australia)

New Pulsar models were introduced in the Japanese home market. The Nissan Langley, in its second generation, was a Pulsar sold at Nissan Prince Store locations next to the Skyline, and shared many styling influences from the Skyline. The Japanese market Langley added a five-door hatchback body style to the popular three-door hatchback. A two-door coupe was also added alongside the Pulsar at Nissan Cherry Store locations called the Pulsar EXA in 1983. Nissan also offered the Langley EXA at Nissan Prince Store locations.

The market acceptance of the Langley inspired Nissan to sell a second badge engineered version at Nissan Bluebird Shop as the Nissan Liberta Villa,[7] replacing the larger Nissan Stanza clone, called the Nissan Violet Liberta. The Liberta Villa was only available as a sedan, offered as a smaller companion to the Nissan Leopard (itself a Skyline clone). The top trim package was the SSS turbo with the E15ET engine, and the top two trim packages offered multi-port fuel injection with the base model offering a carburetor—all with the 1.5-liter petrol engine. A diesel engine was also offered on the Liberta Villa, using the CD17 engine.


The Australian market Pulsar N12 series arrived in October 1982.[8] Offered as a five-door hatchback, 1.3-liter TC and 1.5-liter TS specifications featured. These early cars were manufactured in Japan.[9] May 1983 saw the debut of an update to the Australian range.[8] Now produced locally, the update heralded minor trim changes, suspension and steering revisions and new seats. Specification levels were overhauled with the Pulsar E opening up the range with its 1.3-liter engine, followed by the 1-5-liter GL and GX. In October 1983 the sedan body was introduced in GL and GX guises (1.5-liter). A Pulsar ET five-door arrived in April 1984, sharing its engine and trim with the EXA.[10] The next update came in August 1984[8] alongside a badge engineered twin, the Holden Astra (LB)—a scheme devised under the Button car plan.[11] To differentiate the Pulsar, Nissan Australia applied the upmarket Japanese market Langley body details for its facelift.[11] The headlamps were now fitted as quad units and narrower horizontal tail lamps distinguished the rear styling. Other changes included an increase in specification, minor suspension calibrations, and refreshed interior trims. Sedan versions had their facelift delayed until November that year, and the ET hatchback lingered on with the older styling until the demise of the N12 in 1987.[12]

The final Australian N12 update arrived in April 1986 prior to the 1987 N13 introduction.[8] The Holden version was known as the LC Astra.[13] The revisions brought further trim changes, tweaks to the five-speed manual transmission, new colours, a new entry-level DX model, a change from GX to GXE, and the introduction of a larger displacement 1.6-liter engine tuned for unleaded petrol replacing the 1.3- and 1.5-liter leaded units used previously. The ET model also saw its 1.5-liter turbocharged engine updated for unleaded fuel.[11][14]

The N12 was assembled in New Zealand at Nissan NZ's plant in Wiri South Auckland from 1982, and facelifted in 1984 when the main change was a switch to the now compulsory laminated windscreen. This generation was offered in both three and five door hatchback form with both 1.3- and 1.5-litre Nissan E-series engines shared with the also locally assembled Sunny sedan (NZ did not import the equivalent Pulsar sedan). The Holden LC Astra badged variant was not sold in New Zealand. The EXA coupe was a limited official Nissan import new but thousands more Japanese market specification models arrived in the later 1980s and early 1990s when the NZ market was opened up to used imports.


The European market Cherrys were available with engines ranging from a 1.0-liter, Script error: No such module "convert". petrol unit to the Script error: No such module "convert". turbocharged 1.5-liter E15ET and also included the diesel CD17.[15] The Cherry Turbo was an attempt at breaking into the then very popular GTi category, but being a somewhat half-hearted effort it did not have much of an impact in the marketplace. The Turbo sat on comparatively skinny Dunlop tires and had few changes aside from lots of stickers and the turbocharger. Period tests complained about peaky power delivery (and the same long gear ratios as for the regular Cherry), torque steer, and a harsh ride.[16] The Pulsar/Cherry underwent a light facelift in July 1984.[17]

This model was also built in Italy by Alfa Romeo as the Arna (named after the joint venture which created it, Alfa Romeo Nissan Autoveicoli), using Alfa Romeo boxer engines. Confusingly, the Italian models were also sold with Nissan badges, in Japan as the "Nissan Pulsar Milano X1" and in Europe as the "Nissan Cherry Europe". At Alfa Romeo, the Arna was meant to replace lesser versions of the popular Alfasud, but never had the Italian car's appeal. The Cherry Europe also failed in its "home" market (Europe) lacking the build quality and reliability of its Japanese built twin car.

1984–1986 Nissan Pulsar GX 5-door (Australia) 
1984–1986 Nissan Pulsar GL 5-door (Australia) 
1984–1986 Nissan Pulsar GX sedan (Australia) 

N13 (1986–1990)

Pulsar sedan (Japan)
Also called Nissan Cherry (Greece)
Nissan Langley
Nissan Liberta Villa
Nissan Sentra (Malaysia, New Zealand)
Nissan Sunny (Europe)
Production 1986–1990
1987–1991 (Australia)
Body and chassis
Body style 3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
4-door sedan
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Transverse front-engine, all-wheel drive
Related Nissan EXA (N13)
Engine 988 cc E10 I4[18]
1,270 cc E13 I4
1,392 cc GA14S/DS I4
1,487 cc E15 I4
1,497 cc GA15 I4
1,597 cc E16 I4
1,597 cc GA16 I4
1,598 cc 16LF (GM) I4
1,598 cc CA16DE DOHC I4
1,796 cc 18LE (GM) I4
1,809 cc CA18DE DOHC I4
1,680 cc CD17 diesel I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
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Facelift Nissan Pulsar sedan (Japan)

In 1986, Nissan's design chief refused to follow the smoother, aerodynamic look of other cars, and told his design team to come up with an affordable, subcompact car[citation needed]. A squarer Pulsar N13 series was released as a result; innovations included a four-wheel drive model. In 1986, the Pulsar won the Car of the Year Japan award. Capitalizing on the popularity of the larger R31 series Nissan Skyline, this generation shares many visual styling cues with the larger car.

The N13 series EXA was spun off as its own model internationally, but retained the Pulsar NX name in the United States. It was designated as the N13 series, despite actually being based on the Nissan Sunny (B12) chassis.


The Pulsar was sold in Japan as a three- and five-door hatchback, plus a four-door sedan. The Langley and the Liberta Villa (both sold as sedans and three-door hatchbacks)[19] also continued sales in Japan as upmarket versions of the Pulsar with a more powerful DOHC 1.8-liter motor. Both the Langley and Liberta Villa had slightly different bodywork to the Japanese-specification Pulsar—although most parts were interchangeable. Langley and Liberta Villa three-doors sported completely redesigned rear-ends, which were slightly longer and tapered off in a notchback-like manner and were much sportier in appearance with their more steeply raked rear windows. The sedans featured reshaped upper doors (windows), rear windshields, rear quarter panels, and are noted for the repositioning of the license plate to the rear bumper from the boot lid. The Langley and Liberta Villa were themselves differentiated by their own frontal styling. Compared to the Pulsar, the Langely had narrower trapezoidal-shaped headlamps and a unique grille—whereas the Liberta Villa had narrow rectangular-shaped lights and again its own grille design. The N13 Langley and Liberta Villa featured other options such as a limited-slip differential, luxurious interior and the much sought-after black headlights on the Langley, centre grille and round Skyline-style taillights, with the equipment shared in the Liberta Villa. The Japanese-market Langley five-door hatchback was dropped with the N13.

In Malaysia, the N13 Pulsar was sold as the Nissan Sentra, which introduced in 1987 to replace low sales B12 Sentra.

Nissan Liberta Villa 3-door (Japan) 
Nissan Liberta Villa sedan (Japan) 
Nissan Langley 3-door (Japan) 
Nissan Langley 3-door (Japan) 
Nissan Langley sedan (Japan) 

In South Africa, the Pulsar was sold as the "Nissan Sabre". There were three- and five-door hatchbacks and a four-door sedan.


The Pulsar–Astra relationship continued in Australia, with the series there continuing to use the more upmarket Langley sedan as a the donor vehicle. The sedan version was called the Pulsar Vector. The five-door hatchback was also offered, but this model differed from the Japanese Pulsar with reshaped upper doors (windows) and rear quarter panels. The development of the model was a collaboration with Holden, using the Family II engine built in Australia.[20] Nissan introduced a facelift in 1989. After Holden ended their cooperation with Nissan in 1989 (and took up with Toyota instead), sales of the Holden Astra came to an end. Nissan Australia, however, kept using the GM engines until the succeeding N14 version was introduced.

four-cylinder engines offered in the Australian built version were:

  • 1.6 L Family II 16LF, 1,598 cc, single point TBI, SOHC, Script error: No such module "convert". at 5,600 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 3,600 rpm
  • 1.8 L Family II 18LE, 1,796 cc, multi point EFI, SOHC, Script error: No such module "convert". at 5,600 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 3,600 rpm
  • 1.8 L Family II 18LE, 1,796 cc, multi point EFI, SOHC, Script error: No such module "convert". at 5,600 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 3,600 rpm (SVD)

In New Zealand, the previous Sunny and Pulsar ranges were replaced by a single model line now called the Nissan Sentra — which were based on the Japanese market Pulsar and again mostly locally assembled, all with Japanese-manufactured Nissan engines. Versions in New Zealand were available in four body shapes; three-door hatchback (SG, SR), five-door hatchback (SGS, ZXE), four-door sedan (SG, SGS, ZXE), and a five-door "Sportwagon" (SG, SGS).

Six engines were offered over this generation:

  • 1.3 – SG – 1985–1989 – E13
  • 1.4 – SG/SGS – 1989–1991 – GA14S (59 kW (79 hp) at 6,200 rpm, 111Nm (82 lb-ft) at 4,000 rpm)
  • 1.6 – ZXE – 1985–1989 – E16
  • 1.6 – ZXE – 1989–1991 – GA16S (69 kW (92 hp) at 6,000 rpm, 133Nm (98 lb-ft) at 3,200 rpm)
  • 1.6 – SR Twin Cam – CA16DE
  • 1.8 – GTI – CA18DE
1987–1989 Nissan Pulsar Vector GXE sedan (Australia) 
1989–1991 Nissan Pulsar Ti sedan (Australia) 
1987–1989 Nissan Pulsar GL 5-door (Australia) 
1989–1991 Nissan Pulsar Q 5-door (Australia) 
1989–1991 Nissan Pulsar Vector GL sedan (Australia) 

In Europe, the N13 Pulsar was usually sold under the Nissan Sunny name- however, this was not the same car as the Nissan Sunny (B12) sold elsewhere around the same time. In some markets (such as Greece), the N13 Pulsar retained the Cherry nameplate.[18]

Pre-facelift Nissan Sunny 3-door (Europe) 
Facelift Nissan Sunny sedan (Europe) 
Facelift Nissan Sunny 5-door (Europe) 
Facelift Nissan Sunny sedan (Europe) 

N14 (1990–1995)

Also called Nissan Sentra (New Zealand)
Nissan Sabre (South Africa)
Nissan Sunny (Europe)
Arex Pulsar (Taiwan)
Production 1990–1995
1991–1992 (Australia)
Assembly Japan
Australia: Clayton South, Victoria
New Zealand: Wiri South Auckland
Greece: Volos
Taiwan: Miáolì Xiàn
Designer Yoshio Maezawa[21]
Body and chassis
Body style 3/5-door hatchback
4-door sedan
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Transverse front-engine, all-wheel drive
Platform Nissan B platform
Related Nissan AD
Nissan Sentra (B13)
Nissan Sunny (B13)
Nissan NX
Engine 1.3 L GA13DS I4
1.4 L GA14DS/DE I4
1.5 L GA15DS I4
1.6 L GA16DS/DE/DNE I4
1.8 L SR18DE I4
2.0 L SR20DE I4
2.0 L SR20DET turbo I4
1.7 L CD17 diesel I4
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Length Script error: No such module "convert".
Width Script error: No such module "convert".
Height Script error: No such module "convert".
Curb weight
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  • Script error: No such module "convert". (GTI-R)

In 1990, the N14 model saw Nissan turn to a more rounded design. The Langley and the Liberta Villa were replaced with the Nissan Primera, assigning the Primera to Nissan Prince Shop locations.

This version continued to be offered in CKD kit form in New Zealand as the Sentra (unrelated to the version sold in North America). In Europe, the Sunny name continued, applied to three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback and four-door sedan models, alongside the separate model line Sunny California station wagon from Japan (called either the Sunny Estate or Sunny Traveller).

There was no N14 Pulsar offered in the United States or Canada either; instead, the North American Pulsar for those markets evolved into what was known as the NX1600. The NX cars are sport coupés sharing the same chassis, engines, body electronics and even dashboard with the Pulsar N14.

The Taiwanese Pulsar was manufactured by Nissan's Yulon subsidiary under their AREX brand – where it used the same engines as the Japanese version.

Sunny five-door (Europe) 
Sunny three-door (Europe) 
Sunny sedan (Europe) 
1991–1993 Pulsar SSS 5-door (Australia) 



In Japan, the N14 range was large, comprising eight different models with a total of eighteen available variations, including six different engines, three body shapes, and two drivetrains.

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  • GA15DS Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". at 6,000 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 3,600 rpm
  • GA16DE Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". at 6,000 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 4,000 rpm
  • SR18DE Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". at 6,400 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 4,800 rpm
  • SR20DET Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". at 6,400 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 4,800 rpm
  • CD17 Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". at 4,800 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 2,800 rpm
Model Engine Drivetrains Bodies
V1 GA13DS FWD 3 or 4 door
M1 GA15DS or CD17 FWD or 4WD 3 or 4 door
K1 GA15DS or CD17 FWD or 4WD 4 or 5 door
J1J GA15DS FWD 4 door
X1 GA15DS FWD or 4WD 3 door
X1R GA16DE FWD 3, 4 or 5 door
GTI SR18DE FWD 3, 4 or 5 door
GTI-R SR20DET 4WD 3 door

In Australia, the N14 (aka ES) was available in four models, all front-wheel drive only, in either four-door sedan or five-door hatchback variations. Nissan Australia assembled the range that sold from October 1991 through to February 1993 at their factory in Clayton South, Victoria. Similar models with unique specifications and Sentra badging were shipped to New Zealand where a wagon version, sourced from Japan and assembled locally, was also offered. After Nissan closed the Clayton South plant in October 1992 for financial reasons, the models (known as the "Series 2") were imported from Japan and sold in Australia until September 1995, while Nissan NZ imported its own versions in CKD form to sell alongside the locally assembled wagon until the plant in Wiri, South Auckland shut down in 1998. Unlike the N13 Pulsar/Astra, Holden in Australia did not use a variant of this Pulsar, instead choosing to use a rebadged variant of the rival Toyota Corolla, which they sold as the Holden Nova until the late 1990s when they reintroduced the Astra name for their variant of the Opel Astra. The Pulsar N14 was awarded Australian Wheels magazine's Car of the Year in 1991, an honour it shared with the Honda NSX.

  • GA14DS Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". at 6,000 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 4,000 rpm (NZ Only)
  • GA16DE Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". at 6,000 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 4,000 rpm
  • SR20DE Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". at 6,400 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 4,800 rpm
Model Bodies Engine
GLi 4 or 5 door GA16DE
Q 5 door GA16DE or SR20DE (option)
TI 4 or 5 door GA16DE or SR20DE(option)
SSS 5 door SR20DE
South Africa
Facelift Nissan Sabre 200 GXi (South Africa)

In South Africa the N14 (aka ES) was built locally by Nissan South Africa. It was only available with FWD as a four-door sedan (badged Sentra) and five-door hatchback (badged Sabre). Originally released in 1994, and given a cosmetic facelift in 1997 rather than being replaced with the N15, it was produced until 2000 and also exported to Namibia.

  • 160 GX — GA16DSScript error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". at 6000 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 4000 rpm
  • 160 GXi — GA16DNEScript error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". at 6000 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 4000 rpm
  • 200 GXi — SR20DEScript error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". at 6400 rpm, Script error: No such module "convert". at 4800 rpm


File:Nissan Pulsar GTI-R 3.JPG
Nissan Pulsar GTI-R (Japan)

The N14 series also saw the introduction of the Nissan Pulsar GTI-R three-door hatchback (chassis code E-RNN14 in Japan, and badged as Sunny GTI-R in Europe with chassis code EGNN14). This was a homologation variant produced between 1990 and 1994 in order to enter the WRC under Group A rules at that time. It featured the turbocharged 2.0-litre SR20DET engine producing Script error: No such module "convert". and Script error: No such module "convert".. The body is largely the same as the standard N14 three-door model, but distinguished by the large rear wing and bonnet scoop. It has an ATTESA all-wheel drive system and a unique variant (coded 54C) of the SR20DET engine (not used on any other car). With a power-to-weight ratio of 0.083 and AWD, the standard GTI-R is able to accelerate from 0–100 kph in the 5 second bracket, and cover the standing quarter mile in the 13 second bracket (Nissan never quoted the official figures but Best Motoring magazine conducted several tests with standard cars during production). Top speed is officially stated as 232 km/h (144 mph).

There were two distinct models of the Pulsar GTI-R sold to the general public, identifiable by the model number found on the VIN plate located on the firewall in the engine bay. There are no external visual differences.

  • RA models: GTI-RA (aka RA / Alpha / Road / Luxury), model number EBYNRVFN14xxxx. This was the normal road car, which came standard with air conditioning, power windows and mirrors, and ABS. Roughly half way through the production (August 1992), Nissan made a range of cosmetic changes to the interior of the RA model (mostly replacing trim that was unique to the GTI-R with trim that was common to other models in the N14 range). Although not advertised or branded as such, they were extensive enough (around 10 items) to be noticeable as a different phase or series, and are defined by chassis numbers RNN14-100000 and above. They were priced at ¥2,270,000.
  • RB models: GTI-RB (aka RB / Beta / Rally / Homologation), model number EBYNRRFN14xxxx. The homologated model was stripped-down as a base for motorsport use (Group N rallying in particular). It had the luxury trimmings such as air conditioning, power windows, and ABS removed as standard, and the simple interior trim from the base model Pulsar which reduced the curb weight by Script error: No such module "convert". to Script error: No such module "convert".. Some of the luxury items were available as an option. The engine remained the same as the RA model, but there were a few mechanical changes such as a close-ratio gearbox and a front limited slip differential instead of the open differential from the RA model.

Other versions:

  • Nismo: Nismo offered a "complete car" version based on the RB model featuring many of the Nismo rally options (such as suspension, limited slip differentials, seats, roll cage and foot rests). A confirmed total of 21 were produced, all of which are individually numbered on a special Nismo VIN plate on the firewall. Some were used by Nissan and Nismo as promotional vehicles, the rest were ordered by private buyers. They were priced at ¥3,140,000.
  • Group A: these rally models were not sold to the general public. They were specifically built and used for the WRC by the defunct Nissan Motorsports Europe (NME) as the works cars.

After NME was disbanded, the cars were sold to private buyers, predominately in Europe, where some made their way into Rallycross events. Tony Bardy is currently still competing in UK rallies using the "J3" NME car.

The Pulsars were manufactured in Japan between August 1990 until November 1994. The total number produced during that time was somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000. It is unclear how many of them were RA and RB models.

The first year of production (1990–91) was the largest due to Nissan needing to fulfil the FIA Group A regulations (of 5,000 models total, with 500 of them homologated) in order to enter the model as a manufacturer in the WRC.

The RHD Sunny models for Europe were produced from 1992 until January 1995. No recorded data has been found for LHD models. No verifiable evidence has been available of Sunny GTI-R production numbers, but it is generally accepted that less than 1000 were produced in total. They were officially sold in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Iceland, Italy and France.

Nissan Sunny was the badge used for the European-delivered GTI-R. They had a different chassis number of EGNN14. The engine output specifications (220 PS / 162 kW and 267 Nm / 197 lb·ft) were slightly less due to the electronic control unit having different fuel and ignition maps to compensate for the lower octane fuel available in those areas. The Sunny GTI-R had several physical differences to the Pulsar, such as the rear number plate surround and rear fog lights. The interior also varied from the Pulsar with some of the more basic trim from the RB model.

WRC History
Group A
File:Nissan Pulsar Gr.A 001.jpg
Nissan Pulsar GTI-R Group A (Japan)
After producing the minimum required 5,000 examples (500 of them being homologation models), Nissan entered the GTI-R under Group A rules in the FIA WRC as a factory team (Nissan Motorsport Europe – NME) in 1991 & 1992.
Based in Milton Keynes, NME only competed in selected rallies during both years (ones they thought had the highest potential for good results), but the initial success expected by Nissan Japan was not forthcoming, and they abandoned the campaign in 1992 after only nine rallies. Factory development stopped there, and the GTI-R never won a WRC Group A rally. Nissan redirected funding to Le Mans and the development of the R390, and NME moved to the FWD Sunny GTI in the WRC F2 category (A7 class) where they had better success with Alister McRae winning the 1995 BRC. Much has been written about the reason for the GTI-R Group-A failure. The most notable being the uncompetitive Dunlop tyres, the inefficiency of the top-mounted intercooler when engine power was increased to Group A standards (especially in hot weather), and the political and cultural issues between Nissan Japan and the newly created NME (Nissan Motorsport Europe).
Group N
Nissan/NME did not enter Group N (Production) cars in the WRC, but other factory-backed Nissan teams did between 1991 and 1993. Most notable was the Nissan Belgium Rally Team with lead driver Grégoire De Mévius, and a Japanese entry (team unknown) driven by Hiroshi Nishiyama. The GTI-R dominated the Group N Championship (FIA Cup for Drivers of Production Cars) in 1992 taking 1st and 2nd places, clearly demonstrating the GTI-R's the ability at Production Class level.

N15 (1995–2000)

File:1998-2000 Nissan Pulsar (N15 S2) LX sedan 02.jpg
Also called Nissan Sentra (New Zealand)
Nissan Almera (Europe)
Nissan Lucino (Japan)
Arex Pulsar (Taiwan)
Production 1995–2000
Assembly Japan
Taiwan: Miáolì Xiàn
Body and chassis
Body style 3-door hatchback
4-door sedan
5-door hatchback
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Transverse front-engine, all-wheel drive
Related Nissan Primera (P11)
Nissan Sentra (B14)
Engine 1.5 L GA15DE I4
1.6 L GA16DE I4
1.6 L SR16VE I4
1.8 L SR18DE I4
2.0 L SR20DE I4
Wheelbase Script error: No such module "convert".
Length Script error: No such module "convert".
Width Script error: No such module "convert".
Height Script error: No such module "convert".
Curb weight Script error: No such module "convert".

In 1995, the N15 Pulsar was launched and sold in Europe as the Nissan Almera. The New Zealand Nissan Sentra changed name to Pulsar after the Nissan assembly plant in Wiri, Auckland closed down in 1998, in favour of imports from Japan. Again, four- and five-door models were offered, with three-door models being available in Europe and Japan only, and not Australia and New Zealand. North American customers did not receive this car, with the Sunny-based Sentra B14 being sold there instead.

The chassis designation "N" series carried over to the Bluebird Sylphy (N16) in 2000 for the Japanese market.

The Australasian versions included the LX, SLX, Q and SSS variants. New Zealand specific versions included the S and SE variant. The SSS model (5-door hatch only) featured the SR20DE engine featuring Script error: No such module "convert"./179 Nm.

The station wagon continued to be from the Sunny, later spun off in Japan into the Nissan Wingroad.

Trim Packages offered

File:Nissan Lucino S-RV.jpg
Nissan Lucino S-RV

In Japan, the N15 was available under numerous nameplates, giving Nissan in Japan the opportunity to sell the Pulsar at two different Japanese network dealerships, called Nissan Cherry Store that sold the Pulsar, and Nissan Satio Store that sold the Lucino. These included:

Lucino BB 3-door hatch (GA15DE engine, exactly same as Pulsar Rezzo, except for rear indicator lens covers being clear coloured). Lucino JJ 3-door hatch(GA15DE engine, exactly same as Pulsar Serie X1, except for rear indicator lens covers being clear coloured). Lucino SR-V 5-door hatch (exactly same as Pulsar SR-V, except rear indicator lens covers being clear coloured). Lucino SR-V VZR 5-door hatch (SR16VE engine)

Pulsar Serie X1 3-door hatch and 4-door sedan (GA15DE engine, indicative features included high stop lamp incorporated into rear spoiler (hatch and sedan) or bootlid (sedan only) and option of driving lights. Front fascia differs to that of Pulsar Serie Rezzo). Pulsar Serie Rezzo 3-door hatch (GA15DE engine, base JDM Pulsar, indicative features include absent rear high stop lamp and front fascia black slatted spotlight covers until 1998 facelift). Pulsar Serie X1R 3-door hatch and 4-door sedan (exactly same as Pulsar Serie X1 and Lucino JJ, except GA16DE engine featured instead of GA15DE). Pulsar CJ-I and Pulsar CJ-II 4-door sedan (GA15DE engine, exactly same as Pulsar Serie Rezzo). Pulsar SR-V 5-door hatch (GA15DE or SR18DE engine, indicative features include rear number plate surround fascia, front nudge bar and two-toned paint scheme). Pulsar GTI 3-door hatch and 4-door sedan (SR18DE engine, indicative features include 15" alloy wheels). Pulsar 5-door hatch (GA15DE engine, exactly same as Pulsar and Lucino SR-V but without two-tone paint, nudge bar and rear number plate surround fascia). Pulsar VZR 3-door hatch (SR16VE engine, available from 1998 onwards only, featured Nissan's NEO VVL technology and 15" alloys from Pulsar GTI, 175 bhp). Pulsar SR-V VZR 5-door hatch (SR16VE engine, exactly same as Pulsar VZR 3-door hatch). A 4-wheel drive option was available in Pulsar SR-V, Lucino SR-V and Pulsar CJ-I, CJ-II and X1 (sedan only) models.

Japanese market N15 Pulsar and Lucino models had drivers airbag as standard. Passenger airbag was an option in 1995 and standard from 1996 onwards. Speedometer became digital from 1998. Tachometer was not present on Pulsar Serie Rezzo, Pulsar CJ-I, CJ-II and Lucino BB models. Air conditioning was standard on almost all models, but could be requested without. Manual adjusting windows were available on Pulsar Serie Rezzo, Pulsar CJ-I, CJ-II and Lucino BB models, otherwise electric windows were standard. Sunroof was available option on Pulsar Serie X1, Pulsar Serie X1R, Pulsar GTI, Pulsar VZR and Pulsar / Lucino SR-V models (hatch only). Manual controlled air conditioning controls were standard, climate control was available as option and standard on Pulsar Serie X1R, Pulsar GTI and Pulsar VZR.

An Autech tuned version of the Pulsar SRV and Lucino SRV was also available featuring the SR18DE block, but was actually a 2.0L (1998cc) engine. Indicative features included the placement of the spare-wheel on the rear boot lid and inclusion of plastic side mouldings over the wheel arches and large rear spoiler. As a result of shifting the spare-wheel to the boot lid, the number plate had to be relocated in the rear bumper, meaning a bumper was produced specific for this model.


The N15 Nissan Pulsar came with the following engine options:

GA15DE — 1500 cc DOHC MPFI. Featured in the New Zealand Sentra S, JDM Pulsar Serie Rezzo, JDM Pulsar Serie X1, JDM Pulsar CJ-I, JDM Pulsar CJ-II, JDM Pulsar SR-V, JDM Lucino BB, JDM Lucino JJ and JDM Lucino SR-V. There was a 4-wheel drive variant of the GA engine series available in the JDM Pulsar SR-V and JDM Lucino SR-V 5-door hatch and some JDM Pulsar CJ-I, Pulsar CJ-II and JDM Pulsar X1 4-door sedans.

GA16DE — 1600 cc DOHC multi-point EFI (sometimes ECCS featured). Featured in the Australian and New Zealand new models Sentra SE, Sentra SLX Sentra Q and JDM Pulsar X1R hatch and sedan variants.

SR18DE — 1800 cc DOHC multi-point EFI. Featured in the JDM Pulsar GTI 3-door hatch and 4-door sedan, JDM Pulsar SR-V 5-door hatch models. 4-wheel drive variant of SR engine series available in JDM Pulsar SR-V model.

SR20DE – 2000 cc DOHC multi-point EFI. Featured in Australian and New Zealand (Australian assembled) Sentra and Pulsar SSS variant delivered with silver/red rocker cover, also called "Red Top" 105 kW @ 6400rpm / 179Nm @ 4800rpm-4800rpm / 0–100 km/h 8.8 secs / Curb weight 1142 kg.

Autech Version SR20DE — 1998 cc DOHC multi-point EFI. Only Sold locally in Japan. Was used in Serie and Lucino Japanese Variants (576 produced total). Featured compression ratio of 11.5:1, 264 duration @ 11.4 mm lift camshafts, unique valve springs, portwork, and unique pistons to achieve high compression. Power is stated at 180 bhp/130 kW @ flywheel. 191 nm@4800rpm.

SR16VE — NEO VVL (Nissan Ecologically Orientated Variable Valve Timing and Lift). Featured in JDM Pulsar Serie VZ-R.

SR16VE N1 — Featured in the JDM Pulsar VZ-R N1, which was a racing homologation version intended to compete with the Honda Civic Type-R. Producing Script error: No such module "convert". from its 1.6 L SR16VE engine, it held the highest specific output ever for a naturally aspirated production car, at 123.125 hp/litre until the Honda F20C engine was released in the Honda S2000. The "Version2" (VerII) was introduced offering a few chassis and mechanical tweaks as well as an option orange trimmed interior with GTR Skyline front seats. N1's available in Black and White only.

The N15 was the last Pulsar generation manufactured under the Taiwanese AREX brand. The AREX Pulsar 150 was only available as an sedan. It was very similar to the Japanese version.

1997 Nissan Pulsar Serie 3-door (Japan) 
Pre-facelift Nissan Pulsar 5-door (Australia) 
Pre-facelift Nissan Pulsar sedan (Australia) 
Facelift Nissan Pulsar sedan (Australia) 

C13 (2014–present)

File:Nissan Pulsar Acenta – Frontansicht, 15. März 2015, Düsseldorf.jpg
Manufacturer Nissan
Production 2014–present
Assembly Spain: Barcelona
Body and chassis
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Platform Renault–Nissan Common Module Family CMF-CD
Related Renault Mégane IV
Predecessor Nissan Almera (N16)

On 16 May 2014, Nissan announced that the Pulsar will be relaunched in Europe, and shares platforms with the Nissan Tiida (C12). This vehicle doesn't replace the C12 version, but is a European-only model known as the C13.[22] European sales began in March 2015. Confusingly, in Russia, the C13 Pulsar has been sold since March 2015, as the C13 series Nissan Tiida.[23]

The new Pulsar signifies Nissan's re-entry into the highly competitive compact hatchback segment. This is since the Almera ceased production in November 2006. It marks the first time the Pulsar nameplate has officially been used in Europe. The platform having at various times, carried the Cherry, Sunny and Almera nameplates in Europe over the generations. Initially, the C13 Pulsar is powered by a Script error: No such module "convert". 1.2-liter DiG-T petrol engine, and a 1.5-liter diesel unit producing Script error: No such module "convert"..[24] In October 2014 Nissan introduced the 1.6-liter DIG- T which develops Script error: No such module "convert".. The 1.6 model was lauched for sale in March 2015.[25]

The Pulsar is built at Nissan's Barcelona, Spain plant, instead of Sunderland, United Kingdom.[26]

Other versions

Nissan replaced the Pulsar name with Nissan Bluebird Sylphy in Japan in 2000. However, Australia and New Zealand continued with the Pulsar name for the otherwise unchanged Sylphy. This arrangement continued until the introduction of the Tiida in 2005; at this time the Pulsar name was retired.

N16 (2000–2005)

In Australia and New Zealand, Nissan continued to use the Pulsar name for the N16 series that was labelled Nissan Bluebird Sylphy in Japan.

B17 (2013–present)

Main article: Nissan Sylphy

The Nissan Pulsar B17 sedan was released in 2013 and is a rebadged Nissan Sylphy for the Australian and New Zealand markets.

C12 (2013–present)

File:2012 Nissan Pulsar (C12) SSS hatchback (2012-10-26) 01.jpg
Nissan Pulsar (C12, 2013–present)
Main article: Nissan Tiida
Main article: Nissan Tiida

The Nissan Pulsar C12 hatchback was released in 2013 and is a rebadged Nissan Tiida for the Thai, Australian and New Zealand markets.


  1. ^ a b "自動車ガイドブック [Japanese Motor Vehicles Guide Book 1978/1979]" (in Japanese) 25. Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. 1978-10-10. p. 111. 0053-780025-3400. 
  2. ^ "Nissan Pulsar - Used Car Research". GoAuto. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Costa, André & Georges-Michel Fraichard, ed. (September 1979). "Salon 1979: Toutes les Voitures du Monde" (in french) (14 & 15). Paris: l'Auto Journal. p. 176. 
  4. ^ "自動車ガイドブック [Japanese Motor Vehicles Guide Book 1979/1980]" (in Japanese) 26. Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. 1979-11-01. p. 113. 053-790026-3400. 
  5. ^ Automobile Guide Book 1979/1980, p. 116
  6. ^ Automobile Guide Book 1979/1980, pp. 147, 191
  7. ^ Nissan Liberta Villa (N12)
  8. ^ a b c d "Nissan Pulsar – Used Car Research". GoAuto. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Nissan Pulsar (N12)". GoAuto. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Nissan Pulsar (N12 II)". GoAuto. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Kenwright, Joe (22 March 2013). "Aussie original: Nissan Pulsar & Holden Astra". Unique Cars. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Nissan Pulsar (N12 III)". GoAuto. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Holden Astra (LC Astra)". GoAuto. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Nissan Pulsar (N12 IV)". GoAuto. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  15. ^ Nissan Gamma '85 [Nissan '85 range] (BROCHURE) (in Flemish), Aartselaar, Belgium: N.V. Nissan Belgium S.A., 1985, pp. 2–3 
  16. ^ Ash, Bob (September 1984). Cropley, Steve, ed. "Best of the rest". Car (London, UK: FF Publishing): 83. 
  17. ^ Mastrostefano, Raffaele, ed. (1985). Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1985 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. p. 648. ISBN 88-7212-012-8. 
  18. ^ a b Mastrostefano, Raffaele, ed. (1990). Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1990 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. pp. 499–500. 
  19. ^ Nissan Liberta Villa (N13)
  20. ^ Kenwright, Joe (22 March 2013). "Aussie original: Nissan Pulsar & Holden Astra". Unique Cars. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  21. ^ Maezawa (前澤), Yoshio (義雄) (2009-10-22). "【COTY09-10 選考コメント】インサイトの追い上げが印象的…前澤義雄" [Comment on COTY 09-10 selection from Yoshio Maezawa: The Insight's catch-up is impressive]. Response (in Japanese). IID, Inc. 
  22. ^ "Nissan's Euro-Spec Pulsar Teased, Australian Launch Ruled Out". 
  23. ^ "Nissan представил новую Tiida для России" [Nissan introduced new Tiida for Russia]. Top Gear Russia (in русский). 12 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-03-23. 
  24. ^ "Nissan Pulsar 1.2 DiG-T Review – Nissan's family hatch contender". 
  25. ^ "Pulsar turns up the heat with sporty new DIG-T 190 engine" (Press release). Nissan Europe. 2014-10-02. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. 
  26. ^ Gibbs, Nick (20 May 2014). "Nissan shows off its Pulsar rival to the Golf". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 

External links

16x16px Media related to Nissan Pulsar at Wikimedia Commons