Nissan Dualis 2010
review

Nissan Dualis Review & Nissan Dualis+2 Review

Rating: 7.0
$24,990 Mrlp
  • Fuel Economy
    8.5L
  • Engine Power
    102kW
  • CO2 Emissions
    199g
  • ANCAP Rating
    5Stars
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Dualis Series II and Dualis+2 models bring svelte new looks and more equipment to Nissan's popular urban hatch
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Dualis Series II and Dualis+2 models bring svelte new looks and more equipment to Nissan's popular urban hatch

Nissan have today released its revised Nissan Dualis Series II and new Dualis+2 (seven-seat) models at a preview drive day in Victoria’s picturesque Yarra Valley region.

The revised urban hatch, as Nissan prefers to call the European-designed compact SUV, now boasts even more standard equipment, a stylish new look and increased levels of practicality and versatility.

Following the 500,000 unit-strong sales success of the Dualis (Qashqai in some markets) since its 2007 European launch, Nissan considers the Dualis Series II the third chapter in its Dualis story, with the all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive and now Series II and Dualis+2 models setting an exciting new direction for the Japanese marque.

In fact, the Dualis has been so popular here in Australia that in March this year, the nameplate was officially sold out. Dualis also currently accounts for 10 per cent of all Nissan-brand sales in Australia, with nearly 80 per cent of those numbers comprising 2WD model sales.

“The Dualis has played a key role in reinforcing Nissan’s position as an innovator in the European market, and the recent introduction of the 2WD version in Australia has provided a spur to sales,” said Dan Thompson, CEO of Nissan Australia.“The Dualis is a highly-competitive, stylish, safe and reliable Nissan five-door that is able to win sales from traditional small hatchback rivals in the Australian market.“It now accounts for almost 10 per cent of our sales in Australia, and this is expected to increase with the arrival of the Series II models. We see the Dualis cementing its position as a design and innovation leader, proving an exciting alternative to traditional hatches.”

So, what’s changed?

From the outside, Dualis Series II gains a completely revised front end. The new, more sophisticated look includes a revised bonnet, front guards, headlamps, front bumper bar and grille. The pair of raised strakes on the bonnet are now longer, and finish closer to the front lip which is shaped to more closely hug the aggressive new headlamps. The headlamp design too is reshaped, with a more "wrap around" appearance comprising separate low beam, high beam and turn signal elements.

The remodeled lower bumper sees its lower-positioned air intake allow optimised air flow over the radiator, while the grille is replaced with a honeycomb design featuring a centrally mounted Nissan logo surrounded by a three-sided chromed frame -- the brand's signatre grille motif for crossover vehicles -- the vertical arms of the chrome frame appear to reach up towards the raised bonnet strakes.

At the rear, styling changes are limited to new, clear lens covers housing reverse and indicator elements on top, and park and brake lights below. The brake lights are now a 12-globe LED unit aimed at providing maximum clarity and quicker illumination. A revised roof spoiler further reduces aerodynamic drag and houses a third, high-level brake light. Series II Dualis Ti AWD models also feature silver roof rails.

The sum of the changes are said to soften the car’s SUV appearance, instead giving it a large 'premium hatch' feel. A minor suspension re-tune has improved ride quality and road holding while two new exterior colours, Mineral Grey and Nightshade, join the six-colour palette.

In keeping with customer trends, the new Dualis Series II range has been rationalised to see the Dualis ST AWD model discontinued from the range.

Nissan Dualis Series II model lineup:

  • Dualis ST 2WD
  • Dualis Ti 2WD
  • Dualis Ti ALL MODE 4x4

All models are available with the choice of a six-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission.

Now available in two specification levels, Dualis ST and Dualis Ti, the new models have also picked up several new features on top of the already generous kit list.

New features for Series II Dualis ST:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels with full-size spare wheel
  • Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
  • Bluetooth handsfree connectivity with steering wheel-mounted controls

New features for Series II Dualis Ti:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Panoramic fixed glass roof with power sunshade
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Keyless entry
  • Rear privacy glass

The features come in addition to carry-over standard equipment that includes cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, EBA and EBD, ESC with Traction Control, six airbags and a single-CD tuner with MP3 auxiliary input on ST models.

Dualis Ti models add leather upholstery, a six-CD tuner, dusk-sensing headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, front fog lamps and front heated seats to the list.

Further in-cabin refinements include more extensive utilisation of sound deadening material on the vehicle's firewall (to reduce engine NVH transfer) and an acoustic windscreen to minimise wind noise.

The cabin also includes additional cubbyholes and storage compartments, including a passenger side under-seat tray on Dualis Ti, and a revised instrument cluster with two large dials flanking a large, central multi-function display providing clearer, easy-to-read vehicle information and trip computer readouts.

The Dualis range continues to offer the highest possible level of safety with both new Series II Dualis models achieving a five-star ANCAP rating. The Dualis+2 is expected to achieve a similar result when it undergoes testing closer to the local launch in July.

Nissan Dualis Series II pricing:

  • Dualis ST 2WD manual: $24,990*
  • Dualis ST 2WD CVT: $27,490*
  • Dualis Ti 2WD manual: $29,690*
  • Dualis Ti 2WD CVT: $32,190*
  • Dualis Ti AWD manual: $31,890*
  • Dualis Ti AWD CVT: $34,390*

Nissan Dualis Series II colour palette:

  • Blade
  • Flame Red
  • Pearl Black
  • Cayman Blue
  • Mineral Grey
  • Nightshade

Today also saw the all-new Nissan Dualis+2, the brand’s seven-seat model, previewed alongside its five-seat sibling. The longer, taller, more family-orientated Dualis boasts a substantial redesign that sees the car completely reshaped from the 'A' pillar back.

Dualis+2 is a three-row, seven-seater that is 135mm longer in wheelbase to that of the regular, five-seat model. Overall, the Dualis+2 is 211mm longer than the five-seat model.

Some 40mm higher and 100kg heavier, the larger vehicle shares the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol offering as the standard Dualis but offers revised suspension settings to cope with its additional mass.

The roof has been elongated and restyled to offer more headroom (up 10mm), while the top-hinged tailgate allows more load height to the cargo compartment. The rear doors are also slightly larger for easy entry and egress of third-row passengers.

The cargo area, which totals 1520-litres with the seats flipped down, also has a slightly lower floor than the five-seat model to allow more room for baggage when in seven-seat mode. In five-seat mode, the Nissan Dualis+2 offers 550-litres of cargo space.

A retractable cargo blind has its own storage compartment beneath the floor, while the second-row seats, which also have 240mm of longitudinal travel, can be split 40:20:40 for even greater versatility.

"Against rivals that tend to appeal to the head more than the heart, the Dualis+2 combines practicality with genuinely attractive design and a fun to drive attitude," said Dan Thompson, CEO of Nissan Australia."We are targeting active urban families who probably have only one or two children. But those children have friends and they have grandparents, meaning that a family outing can now be undertaken in one car."

Nissan Dualis+2 model lineup:

  • Dualis ST 2WD CVT
  • Dualis Ti 2WD CVT
  • Dualis Ti AWD CVT

Nissan Dualis+2 pricing:

  • Dualis ST 2WD CVT: $29,990*
  • Dualis Ti 2WD CVT: $34,490*
  • Dualis Ti AWD CVT: $36,890*

The Nissan Dualis+2 will be in showrooms from July and will featuring identical specification levels to Dualis Series II (five-seat) models.

Although we didn’t get to drive the Dualis+2 today, the preview vehicle flown in especially for the event, we did get a brief stint at the wheel of the Series II Dualis five-seat models with first impressions proving very positive.

As touched on earlier, the Dualis Series II and Dualis+2 both feature the same 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet. The engine develops the same power and torque levels as found on the previous model (102kW / 198Nm), but thanks to under body aerodynamic improvements, sees the combined-cycle fuel consumption figure reduced to 8.1L/100km for manual models and 8.2L/100km for those models mated to a CVT automatic transmission (Dualis+2 is available exclusively with a CVT automatic transmission).

These aerodynamic efficiencies, combined with a revised engine management system, have also seen CO2 emissions reduced by 7g/km on 2WD models and 4g/km on AWD models.

In the performance stakes, Dualis Series II is a less than sparkling performer, but thanks to a slick six-speed gearbox is kept on the boil with relative ease. The clutch is light and the gearbox action positive with close ratios making larger hills and overtaking an easy task.

The CVT automatic transmission is equally capable, but does require a little prompting from the right foot before jumping back to the required ratio when extra effort is required.

The Dualis Series II is a cinch to drive and feels just as sure-footed as its predecessor. The ride is settled and quiet, with handling easily on par with any category rival and visibility excellent all-round thanks to the commanding driving position.

Steering is light, and although on-centre feel is a little numb, feedback does become more tactile and responsive as you turn-in to corners to offer an adequate level of road feel. Parking is a breeze but reversing sensors or rear view camera are not offered as standard equipment anywhere in the Dualis lineup (can be installed as a dealer fitted accessory).

The brake pedal has a firm but progressive in its action and is complimented by ABS anti-lock brakes, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) on four-wheel discs. As mentioned earlier, the Nissan Dualis Series II offers Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control (TC) and six airbags as standard on all models.

CarAdvice will complete a full road test and review of the new Nissan Dualis Series II over the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

*Pricing is a guide as recommended to us by the manufacturer and does not include dealer delivery, on-road or statutory charges.

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