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New car sales price Pulsar ST hatchback

The ST and ST-L models are powered by the sedan's modest 96kW 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.

The Pulsar ST hatchback is $18,990, or $1000 under both the recently released sedan and even its 1996 equivalent. It also undercuts by $500 Holden's base model Cruze.

The four-model hatchback line-up includes the return of the SSS Pulsar, a local hero of the days before turbocharged champions such as Subaru's Impreza and the Golf GTI. The range-topping SSS is priced from $29,240 manual and $31,740 automatic.

“It's a compelling balance of price and equipment in what is easily the most hotly contested new vehicle segment,” Nissan's Peter Fadeyev says.

“We've worked very hard at providing the best value. The Pulsar has undergone extensive tuning for Australian conditions.”

The ST and ST-L models are powered by the sedan's modest 96kW 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. The ST-S and SSS share a 140kW/240Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine.

Standard fitment on all grades is a six-speed manual transmission. A constantly variable automatic is a $2500 option. The basic ST is more than decently equipped - better value than the Spartan entry level Toyota Corolla ($19,900) but a little less lustrous than the $19,490 Cruze Equipe.

Its package includes 16-inch alloys, four-speaker audio, Bluetooth, cruise control and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Starting from $22,490, the ST-L adds front fog lights, rear spoiler, two more speakers, 4.3-inch display and leather-accented steering wheel. The ST-S is a new grade, one that competes roughly with the turbocharged Cruze SRi, matching its 17-inch alloys.

That puts the SSS in Cruze SRi-V and Opel Astra GTC terrain -- and it's equipped to that standard with xenon lights, body kit, 5.8-inch colour touchscreen with satnav, rear-view camera, leather-like trim and starter button.

Pulsar Hatch    
ST $18,990 (man) $21,240 (auto)
ST-L $22,490-$24,740  
ST-S $24,990-$27,490  
SSS $29,240-$31,740