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  • Pricing; fuel economy; versatility
  • Nothing worth noting

OUR RATING
7 / 10



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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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:
How does it Drive:
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NISSAN DUALIS BREAKDOWN

Nissan Dualis Review & Road Test
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  • http://carz.com/ Carz

    Nissan Dualis looks nice. Adding Fuel efficiency in this car is definitely impressive.

    • DAVID M

      MY NISSAN DUALIS HAD A CLUTCH FAILURE AT 40K NISSAN REFUSE TO COVER UNDER WARRANTY CITING WEAR AND TEAR –WELL IF A CLUTCH ON A VEHICLE TRAVELLING ON HYWAY AND NO TOWBAR IS STUFFED AT 40K ITS OBVIOUSLY FAULTY –ITS WILL NOW COST ME $ 4300 DOLLARS TO FIX NISSANS FAULT – ABSOLUTE CRAP AFTER SALES – THEY DIDNT EVEN TEST THE OLD CLUTCH TO SEE WHY IT FAILED JUST TOLD ME TO FIX IT AND PAY FOR IT —THATS RUBBISH

      • Guest

         David, I am wondering if you could tell me how this ‘saga’ ended? My car is having the same issues.

        • Vlad

          I have the same issue – clutch gone after 35k km on my Dualis and the same no warranty. I assume you just ended by paying for repair?

  • K

    “Nothing worth noting” in terms of negatives? Did you drive the car or just read Nissan’s press release?

    I’m not suggesting the car is a dog – far from it, there seem to be plenty of positive attributes. But if there’s nothing wrong with it, wouldn’t you expect more than 140 sales a month and 2.0% segment share?

    • GreatSUV

      Exactly right! Must be somthing not right with the writer there for SURE!

    • Mazdaman

      I think the main problem has been the price, being imported from the UK, they where going to change to Japanese supply, never heard if they did.
      I do agree the article is very light weight, the line ‘generous amounts of legs room’ is just wrong, they are good in the front but limited in the back.
      I took a couple for test drives but was disappointed in the quality of the demos I drove, though speaking to owners now its seems that where not typical.
      On paper they are great car with a fantastic safety rating and this article could have done them a lot more justice.

      • Forza M

        K, mazda man is right in regards to pricing, too dear for 12 months. Nissans ability to price cars out of the market and 12 months latter try to fix things seems to be a common occurance. Good luck Nissan, you are gonna need it.

  • fishman

    I’ve had one of these in 4wd for about a year – it’s a great car, very nice drive in town and on highway, economical, good size boot, fantastic build quality, class leading safety.

    The only real negatives I have are:

    * Tight rear legroom – it not a car for 4 adults. But if you just have kids in the back most of the time as we do, then this isn’t an issue.

    * Limited rear vision – you have to reverse carefully. Rear sensor or camera would be nice

    Paid $27k driveaway at the time, good to see the list prices are now more realistic, and I think the 2WD version is a winner.

    • Lansing

      Fishman, how is the 4wd system in the Dualis, is it pretty capable? Is there an option in run it in two wheel drive mode?

      • fishman

        There are 3 modes – 2WD, Auto (where it dynamically engages RWD as needed), and 4WD lock with 50:50 split.

        I’ve only had this car on gravel roads, so haven’t seriously used the 4WD capability. By all accounts it’s distinctly average off road, so I’d say if this is a serious requirement then look elsewhere. But for occasional light off-road duties it would be fine.

        For us we took the 4WD because there was no choice, if we were buying today we’ld probably opt for the 2WD version…

  • Greasy

    Would suit women wanting a medium hatch with addition of higher driving position…theyre not gonna go into gravel or mud anyway

    • Hung Low

      Priced too close to the Xtrail, which is a larger more practical vehicle. If the base AWD model was 25k drive away I am sure that sales would be up as there is not much really wrong with it!

  • Paul D

    Got one as a rental the other day.

    The 4WD is fantastic even though its only 2WD, you know a rental will go anywhere.

    One thing I did notice was the poor fit and finish, so the fact they come from the UK explains that part of it, the Nissan badge on the badge was noticeably crooked and my kids were trying to straighten it. The seat trimwas badly sewn and the rear door rubber just would not stay put.

    Renault has had a great effect on Nissan, let’s see how long those CVT’s last, who cares really, cars are only designed for 10 years these days.

  • Bob

    My missus just got one yesterday – auto 2wd. Everything seems perfect, and it’s tight as a drum so I hope there are no QA problems. She loves it!
    High driving position and easy entry were the winning features.
    Believe it is made on the same platform as the X Trail, so same wheelbase and track but slightly smaller body.
    Reasonable price, the standard model has everything you could reasonably need. What’s not to like?

  • matt

    This isn’t a review, it’s just a rehashed press release. pathetic

  • JesseM

    I too have had the same problem. 2 and a half years in, 32000kms and the clutch is gone. Nissan want me to pay $3500 to get it fixed. Im going to fight this cause its not right. If anyone else has a similar story, please let me know as I want to build a case of similar stories.

    • Vlad

      Hi Jesse, I understand your anger. I was trying to fight, I was screaming and shouting even on their Facebook page. They had to block my access. But nothing helped. They are really tough in these cases they do not accept any single one for customer – otherwise they would have to accept too many. Only response is “normal wear off” which is legally true and why is it worn off so quickly – it is customer fault. Neither you nor them cannot prove it and they know it.

      I was asked to pay similar price. They were trying to replace an expensive part which was not even in AU and import would take 3 weeks. No ways. I asked a friend – it was not necessary at all. I asked to replace just clutch itself and even by not NISSAN part which costed around $1000.

      Even still in warranty I am not using NISSAN service at Top Ryde anymore – useless and expensive.

Nissan Dualis Specs

ST : 2.0L MULTI POINT F/INJ - CVT AUTO 6 SP SEQUENTIAL - UNLEADED PETROL - 4D WAGON
Car Details
Make
NISSAN
Model
DUALIS
Variant
ST
Series
J10
Year
2009
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
5
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
65
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
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 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
8-I-8
Country of Origin
JAPAN