Editors note 29/05/07 - The Dualis will be coming to Australia with the maximum 5-star Euro NCAP rating. The Dualis has managed to obtain a score of 37 which is the highest score ever recorded in Euro NCAP tests!
We promised you a preview of the new Nissan Dualis in an earlier post and it was recently announced by Nissan that their new Dualis would find its way to Australia, possibly even before the end of this year.
Thankfully, Australians will know the Nissan Dualis as the Nissan Dualisâ€¦and not the Nissan Qashqai as it is known in Europe. Qashqai is pronounced Cash-keye which is a stupid name much like Tiida. We still speak English in Australia and Nissan has decided to recognize this fact and provide a name for their new SUV that is wellâ€¦English. At least there are no â€˜Qâ€™s without â€˜Uâ€™s.
No doubt they are trying to avoid a situation similar to that experienced with the Nissan Tiida. The average Aussie struggles to pronounce names that arenâ€™t real English. If you canâ€™t work out how to pronounce Tiida (Tee-dah) how the hell can you buy one? Iâ€™ll have one of thoseâ€¦over thereâ€¦the green oneâ€¦ Suffice to say the Tiida is not selling as well as the Pulsar it replaced.
Getting back to the Dualis, it is important to note that it has been a big sales success overseas. In fact there is a waiting list to purchase the Dualis in Europe where it has only been on sale for a few months. Nissan are no doubt hoping it will repeat that trick in Australia.
The Dualis is due to debut at the Sydney Motor Show in October this year and we will be there to take some happy snaps for you. Manufactured in the UK at Nissanâ€™s Sunderland factory it uses the same platform as the upcoming X-Trail but in a more compact format with all of the X-Trail sharp edges smoothed off.
The Dualis that we expect to see in Australia will use the same 2.0-litre all-aluminium 16 valve engine that develops 103kW/200Nm as seen in the Euro spec X-Trail (Australian X-Trails use a 2.5-litre). It will be available with either a conventional 6-speed manual or 6-speed CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission) automatic. As is always the case a diesel engine is available in Euro spec cars but not, initially at least in the Australian delivered cars. When will they wake up to the fact that more and more Australians want diesels?
As you can see from the pictures while the Dualis uses the X-Trails platform its styling shares more in common with the sleeker and larger Nissan Murano. We like the look. It is stylish and well balanced and based on this alone we would expect the Nissan Dualis to sell well. We have always said itâ€™s 80 per-cent styling and 20 per-cent ability that sells a car.
Where the X-Trail has definite off-road ability Nissan freely admit that the Dualis is aimed squarely at the small suburban family and inner-city dwellers who want a smaller lighter car with the benefits of an SUV without the size and associated running costs.
What a great idea and what a stylish carâ€¦if only they would bring over the diesel. There is no word on pricing but think $30k or so. We will provide more details as they become available.