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Mike Stevens | Aug 5, 2009

TMR is attending Nissan's launch of the Dualis 2WD Hatch today, and a full First Drive review will follow.

NISSAN AUSTRALIA HAS TODAY launched the 2009 Nissan Dualis 2WD Hatch, introduced for sale alongside the existing all-wheel-drive model.

When the Dualis 2WD Hatch goes on sale later this month, prices will start at $24,990 for the front-wheel-drive model - $2000 lower than the $26,990 starting point of the Dualis AWD.

The differences between the 2WD and AWD models are minimal, with only the drivetrain and price separating the two.

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Nissan Australia has restructured the features of the Dualis range, still offering the ST and Ti grades, but now adding the ST Option pack as standard equipment in the ST model. The Ti grade remains unchanged.

The entry-level Dualis 2WD ST Hatch is paired with a six-speed manual transmission and begins at $24,990. Its all-wheel-drive twin, the Dualis AWD ST, with six-speed manual transmission, begins at $26,990.

Fitted with Nissan's Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with six-speed M-MODE, the Dualis 2WD ST Hatch is priced at $27,490 and the Dualis AWD at $29,490.

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The Dualis 2WD Ti Hatch starts at $27,990 paired with the six-speed manual transmission. The equivalent Dualis AWD Ti is priced at $29,990.

Dualis 2WD Ti Hatch models fitted with the CVT transmission begin at $30,490, and the Dualis AWD Ti CVT tops out the Dualis range at $32,490.

Powered by the same 2.0 litre petrol engine as the Dualis AWD, the Dualis 2WD Hatch develops 102kW and returns a fuel economy figure of 8.2 l/00km with the six-speed manual, and 8.3 l/100km with the CVT.

According to Nissan Australia CEO Dan Thompson, the affordability of the entry-level Dualis 2WD Hatch is expected to prove attractive to younger buyers.

“The genius of the DUALIS 2WD is that it meets the needs of hatchback buyers who want more space and flexibility but don’t need an AWD vehicle,” Mr Thompson said today.

"Many small car buyers have grown out of their regular hatchbacks and they appreciate the SUV-like styling, commanding driving position and safety engineering and features the DUALIS 2WD delivers."

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Nissan expects the Dualis 2WD Hatch to be most appealing to young urban-based couples, especially those with small children.

Safety features of the Dualis 2WD Hatch, as with the Dualis AWD, include six airbags, active head restraints, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Traction Control System (TCS).

Both the 2WD and AWD models offer a five-star ANCAP rating.

For storage, the Dualis range offers 410 litres of luggage space, extendable to 1513 litres with the 60/40 split-fold rear seats laid flat, and 860 litres with the seats folded.

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The Dualis, sold internationally as the Qashqai, has accounted for over 70 percent of Nissan's sales in Europe.

Nissan had expected around 350 sales per month when the Dualis launched in Australia in 2008, but actual sales have been closer to 150 per month.

TMR is attending Nissan's launch of the Dualis 2WD Hatch today, and a full First Drive review will follow.

Note: All prices plus dealer delivery and on-road costs.

Dualis 2WD Hatch
ST Manual $24,990
ST CVT $27,490
Ti Manual $27,990
Ti CVT $30,490
Dualis AWD
ST Manual $26,990
ST CVT $29,490
Ti Manual $29,990
Ti CVT $32,490
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