The Pulsar hatch and sedan have struggled to win hearts in Australia, achieving just 3188 sales year-to-date in 2015.
It’s a different story in the US, where the Pulsar sedan is offered as the latest model in the long-running Sentra line. In 2014, the small sedan delivered a 25 year-high of 183,268 sales - a 42 percent increase on the previous year.
But, according to Nissan US marketing chief, Fred Diaz, that’s not good enough. The Sentra still lags well behind the Corolla and Honda Civic sedan models in the US, with 339.498 and 325,981 sales in 2014 respectively.
With Honda gearing up to launch a sharp all-new Civic range in the coming year, Nissan is readying a comprehensive facelift for the Sentra.
Speaking with industry paper Automotive News, Diaz said the makeover will give the Sentra - our Pulsar sedan - an “almost all new” look.
"It will be an incredibly freshened Sentra," Diaz told the paper.
Although he did not offer details, Diaz’s comments suggest we could see the Sentra benefit from more than just a tweaked grille and new headlights.
That’s an approach that has become more common in recent years, with Volkswagen’s Golf 6 essentially a reskinned Golf 5, while the ‘new’ Toyota Camry represents a dramatic overhaul of the previous model.
What we’ll see with the refreshed Sentra/Pulsar sedan remains a mystery, but elements from the extra-sharp new Maxima sedan could be on the cards.
And, according to Automotive News, a similar upgrade will be made to the midsized Altima sedan in the coming year.
That could be good news for Nissan in Australia, with the current model sitting on just 757 sales in 2015, compared to 2320 for the Mazda6 and 7824 for the still popular Camry.
Still, with the US-market Altima and Sentra models both built in the US, there is no guarantee the coming updates will feature on Australia’s Thai-sourced models.
Watch for news on both models to develop over the coming year.