Car reviews - Nissan - Dualis - Ti 2WD 5-dr wagon
Nissan Dualis - the super hatch that wears its briefs on the outside ...
5 May 2010
A FAVOURITE of ours for more than two years, the original Dualis has been wildly underrated in Australia yet an astounding success in Europe. Now the British-built small-car alternative has undergone a significant facelift, scoring a new nose, improved sound insulation, better instrumentation and a rise in standard specification. And it is better than ever, but will buyers continue to overlook Nissan’s proper Pulsar replacement?
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WISELY, realising that the old Pulsar could never cut it in Europe against the established VW Golf, Nissan decided to go down the crossover route with its next small hatch – the Qashqai/Dualis. Using a modified second-generation X-Trail platform, the high-riding five-door hatch arrived in Australia in late 2007 wearing the latter nameplate, brandishing all-wheel drive, a 102kW/198Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, six-speed manual or CVT gearbox options, and two model variants – base ST and luxury Ti. But sales tanked, as Australians struggled to make head or tail of a Nissan without the popular Pulsar badge in Australia, so from August 2009 significantly cheaper front-drive versions were introduced, improving sales somewhat and getting Nissan back in the small-car game that it has failed to play properly in with the oddball Tiida. Being European developed and British built, the Dualis has won praise for its benign handling and smooth (if not exactly fiery) performance. It remains one of our most underrated cars.
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