New models - Nissan - Dualis
Nissan’s diesel-fed Dualis drops in
New engine, price hikes mark shake-up of Nissan’s Dualis soft-roader range
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15 Apr 2013
By BARRY PARK
NISSAN will add a diesel model to its Dualis compact soft-roader on May 1, in a mild shake-up of what will become a broadly more expensive model range.
The Japanese car-maker today announced that while the 1.6-litre “TS” turbo-diesel version joins the range, prices have gone up and the richly-kitted “Ti” variant has been culled as part of a model consolidation.
Nissan says the new engine is available with an idle-stop system that can automatically switch off while the Dualis is stopped in traffic, and automatically re-start it as soon as the driver’s foot lifts off the brake pedal.
The engine produces 98kW of power, not far off the 2.0-litre petrol engine’s 102kW, and gains a meaty 320Nm of torque from just off idle to help get the small soft-roader rolling, compared with the petrol engine’s 198Nm.
While the diesel is a welcome addition in a segment of the market where the acceptance of oil-burning engines is high, the engine is only available mated to a six-speed manual transmission and is not shared with the stretched wheelbase, seven-seat Dualis+2 – both factors that may dampen its appeal.
However, where it will shine in the eyes of many buyers is fuel use. Officially the Dualis will consume 4.5 litres of diesel for every 100 kilometres it travels, compared with figures ranging from 8.1-8.4L/100km for its petrol-engined sibling.
Nissan says this is enough to give the diesel-engined Dualis a 1445-kilometre range between refills, and the best fuel economy in its price and size class.
The diesel Dualis is based on the petrol-engined entry-level ST model, which has had an equipment lift to include 17-inch alloy wheels as well as a reversing camera and satellite navigation as standard.
Going diesel also adds fog-lights, privacy glass and extra chrome features as part of its $4000 price hike over the entry-level manual Dualis.
It could have been a $5000 price hike, though, had Nissan not also added $1000 to several variants in the Dualis range, including the entry-level ST, which now starts from $25,990 before on-road costs.
The entry-level Dualis+2 also adds $1000 to its bottom line.
Up at the top of the range, the front-wheel-drive Dualis Ti-L adds $450 to its base price, while the all-wheel-drive version remains unchanged.
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