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Nissan Dualis Review & Road Test
Nissan Dualis Review & Road Test

The dual purpose Dualis is dually affordable.

Model Tested:

  • 2009 Nissan Dualis; 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, petrol; six-speed automatic; hatch – $27,990*

CarAdvice Rating:

A 2WD 4WD. It makes about as much sense as an ashtray on a motorcycle.

But following the successful trend that manufacturers like Hyundai, Toyota and Holden have had in offering their SUVs in both all-wheel-drive and two-wheel-drive form, Nissan has managed to capitalise on one corner of the market that contains realistic consumers.

These realistic consumers understand that they will rarely venture off-road and that they will most likely use their quasi 4WD for city and highway commuting. On the occasion they do go off-road, they also realise that their quasi 4WD will be less than capable at the best of times.

Nissan Dualis Review & Road Test
Nissan Dualis Review & Road Test
Nissan Dualis Review & Road Test

The result is the Nissan Dualis 2WD Hatch; it’s a soft, soft-roader.

Although it carries the hatch designation, the Dualis Hatch looks no different to its AWD sibling. The exterior is a well balanced mix of style and function. Protective flared wheel arches and an increased 188mm ground clearance give the impression of ability off-road, while its hatch-like stance and ease of entry/egress make it capable within the city limits.

At the top end of the model range, the Ti model being tested features an opulent leather interior with all vital controls instinctively placed and easy to reach.

Generous amounts of leg room, along with ample head room make the interior a child and adult friendly zone – although I’m not sure about letting children with drinks or food near the leather.

Front seat passengers benefit from heated seats which are the perfect addition to a cold winter’s morning.

60/40 split-fold rear seats limit the boot capacity to 410 litres when upright. Once the seats are folded flat, the boot capacity increases to an impressive 1513 litres.

Nissan Dualis Review & Road Test
Nissan Dualis Review & Road Test
Nissan Dualis Review & Road Test

Starting at $24,990 for the Dualis 2WD Hatch ST, the Ti model being tested retails for $27,990 in six-speed manual form, while the CVT carries a $2500 premium.

Standard features include: Leather seats, 16-inch alloy wheels, power windows, power mirrors, 6-disc CD-player, central locking, cruise control, air conditioning, automatic headlights, automatic windscreen wipers, steering wheel mounted controls, Bluetooth integration, heated seats and rear centre armrest.

Safety is high on the priority list for families and Nissan has met expectations with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), dual front passenger airbags, front passenger side airbags, front passenger head airbags and rear passenger head airbags.

Powering the Dualis range is Nissan’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine that produces 102kW and 198Nm of torque. Mated to the engine in our test vehicle was a six-speed manual transmission.

Fuel economy is impressive. An official average fuel consumption of 8.3L/100km was bettered on test with the vehicle returning 7.9L/100km.

The light and accurate clutch works in harmony with the smooth, short-throw six-speed manual transmission.

Weighing 73kg less than its AWD counterpart, the Dualis 2WD Hatch accelerates with enthusiasm and is happy to rev freely during overtakes and while zipping through tight spaces.

There’s a little bit of body roll, but not enough to raise eyebrows.

Brake pedal and steering feel is spot on for this type of car. The steering is firm enough for comfort at highway speeds while offering little resistance during parking manoeuvres.

The crowded soft-roader segment is abuzz with a large cross-section of manufacturers and a myriad of models and options.

The Nissan Dualis 2WD Hatch does away with complexity and offers a simple line-up with brilliant pricing. The level of standard features and versatility make the Dualis an offer too good to refuse.

Ratings:

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
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NISSAN DUALIS BREAKDOWN

Nissan Dualis Review & Road Test
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Nissan Dualis Specs

ST (4x4) : J10 : 2.0L MULTI POINT F/INJ - CVT AUTO 6 SP SEQUENTIAL - UNLEADED PETROL - 4D WAGON
Car Details
Make
NISSAN
Model
DUALIS
Variant
ST (4x4)
Series
J10
Year
2009
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$10,340 - $11,750
Dealer Retail
$11,930 - $14,190
Dealer Trade
$8,400 - $9,400
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
2.0L
Cylinders
INLINE 4
Max. Torque
198Nm @  4500rpm
Max. Power
102kW @  5200rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
70.3W/kg
Bore & Stroke
84x90.1mm
Compression Ratio
10.1
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
CVT AUTO 6 SP SEQUENTIAL
Drive Type
ALL WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
6.466
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
65Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
8.5L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1451
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1623mm
Length
4315mm
Width
1783mm
Ground Clearance
205mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1200  Unbrake:740
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.6
Front Rim Size
6.5x16
Rear Rim Size
6.5x16
Front Tyres
215/65 R16
Rear Tyres
215/65 R16
Wheel Base
2630
Front Track
1540
Rear Track
1540
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Hydraulic damper, Shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Hydraulic damper, Shock absorber
Standard Features
Comfort
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Driver
Cruise Control, Power Steering
Entertainment
Radio CD with 4 Speakers
Exterior
Power Mirrors
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Safety
Safety Pack
Other
Service Interval
6 months /  10,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Eng Scuttle
Country of Origin
Japan