2014 Nissan Pulsar to cost from 15,995

* Nissan’s Ford Focus rival starts at £15,995 * Two engines and four trims to choose from * Diesel engine emits less than 100g/km CO2...

2014 Nissan Pulsar to cost from 15,995

The 2014 Nissan Pulsar goes on sale in the autumn, with prices starting at £15,995.

What is it?

The Nissan Pulsar is the company's rival to conventional family hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

Its aim is to offer Qashqai standards of equipment and comparable refinement, in a package which will be cheaper and attractive to buyers who don’t want an SUV.

How good are its rivals?

VW’s Golf is the car that the Pulsar will need to beat on quality. It may not have the most inspiring cabin in the class, but it feels solid and looks classy inside.

The Ford Focus is still the handling benchmark in the class, although insiders at Nissan will admit that they're not really aiming to beat the Focus in that regard.

Our favourite family hatch is the Skoda Octavia. It comes with lots of equipment and has a large, comfortable cabin. Our favourite version is the entry-level petrol, which you can buy for less than £16,000.

What engines can I choose from?

The Nissan Pulsar will come with two engines at launch: a 108bhp 1.5-litre diesel, and a 113bhp turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol. As in the Qashqai, the 1.5 diesel will have CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km.

In early 2015, a powerful 1.6 petrol will join the range, with 187bhp. All the engines will be offered with a choice of six-speed manual or Xtronic CVT automatic gearbox.

What equipment does it come with?

Entry-level Visia trim is well equipped, and comes with 16-inch alloys, Bluetooth, cruise control, air-con, and steering wheel audio controls.

Acenta specification adds creature comforts such as dual-zone climate control and a leather steering wheel and gearknob. It also has automatic lights and wipers, forward emergency braking and keyless entry.

N-tec models add stylish upgrades such as 17-inch alloys and LED daytime running lights. A reversing camera and Nissan’s Connect2 infotainment and sat-nav system are also standard.

Range-topping Tekna cars have leather upholstery and heated front seats, Nissan’s Around View Monitor camera system, plus safety kit such as lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring.

How much will it cost?

The entry-level car is the 1.2 petrol in Visia trim, which costs £15,995. To get the same engine in Acenta spec, you’ll pay £17,645.

Buyers who want the 1.5 diesel will pay £17,595 for the cheapest version, while the mid-spec N-tec car is £20,595.

The priciest model is the 1.5 diesel Tekna, which costs £21,945.

Can I get a discount?

We don’t have Target Price data for the Pulsar yet, but our experience with other Nissans suggests that initial dealer discounts of around £1500 are likely.