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Nissan Dualis+2 released

12th August, 2010 (copyright image) (copyright image)

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New to the Nissan crossover 'family' in Australia

• Longer and taller than Dualis
• Seven seats always on board for permanent flexibility
• Stow away third row
• Sliding middle row
• Under floor storage in larger load area
• Silver roof rails
• VDC standard across range
• Choice of two trim levels
• CVT automatic transmission standard
• Manufactured in UK

On the crest of a new Dualis design, Nissan Australia announces the arrival of a 7-seat family wagon version, dubbed Dualis +2.

Based on the innovative Dualis hatch concept, the Dualis +2 makes its showroom debut this week.

Nissan has moved the goalposts again, introducing the stylish family crossover, the Dualis+2, with more space and a flexible seven-seat configuration and adding even more strongly to the appeal of the new Dualis range.

Dualis+2 combines the best of both three-row people movers and the family hatchback with none of the drawbacks. So it enjoys the driving dynamics, ride comfort and refinement of a finely tuned hatchback with the added benefit of the practical interior of a bigger car. But what it has that MPVs and hatchbacks don’t have is a striking, attractive exterior and interior design. At the same time previous compact SUV customers will appreciate the third row of seats.

The SUV-influenced styling, ‘command’ seating position and driving enjoyment are all carried over from the standard Dualis, but the greater length is aimed squarely at busy families seeking practicality without sacrificing style.

Dualis+2 joins the original five-seat Dualis and the Murano to cement the company’s status as the ‘Crossover Brand’.

More Seats – More Space

Dualis+2 will be available in ST and Ti variants equipped with a CVT transmission.

A little longer and higher than the 5-seater Dualis, Dualis+2 is priced from $29,990* (for the ST 2WD) to $36,890* (for the AWD Ti model).

Design 'DNA'

Although sharing clear family design DNA with its 'sibling', Dualis+2 is nonetheless subtly different from virtually every angle. Originating at Nissan Design Europe in London’s Paddington, the new model is essentially identical to Dualis from the A-pillar forward… but everything else behind has been changed.

Longer and taller, Dualis+2 has been designed to provide greater interior space and more practicality. External changes include new front and rear doors, side glass, a new tailgate and new-look grille.

Panoramic Roof

Like its 5 seat sibling, Nissan Dualis+2 Ti models come with a huge fixed panoramic glass roof that opens up the cabin to provide a sense of airiness – if the sun becomes too intense, then a sunshade will glide into place at the touch of a button.

A 135 mm extended wheelbase and a 211 mm increase in length bring added space for larger families and the ingenious third row of seats can be used by children or for occasional use by adults. Their reclining backrests – with seven adjustment settings – will fold completely flat without the need to remove the head restraints first, opening up the luggage space to give 550 litres (VDA), an increase of 140 over Dualis.

The standard full-depth roller-blind tonneau cover can be stored beneath the boot floor when the third row seats are being used, while the under-floor storage lid can double up as a cargo divider if you need to keep fragile items separated from heavier objects.

Second row passengers enjoy increased kneeroom and the 40/20/40 split backrest reclines over a range of 15 degrees. Added versatility is provided by the centre ‘20’ portion which can be folded forward to act as a large multi-function armrest, complete with two cup holders, a lidded storage box large enough to hold personal music players and a power outlet.

The whole second row seat now slides (in a 60/40 split) fore and aft to improve ingress and egress, whilst also offering the added benefit of more second row seat legroom or conversely more cargo area.

Mechanically, Dualis+2 follows the lead set by the original model with strut-type front suspension and a fully independent multi-link rear set-up.

Suspension settings have been revised to take account of the extra weight and payload potential, while steering assistance has also been re-tuned.

Chassis and Transmission

Two versions of the chassis are available, offering the choice of front-wheel drive (ST and Ti) or sure-footed ALL-MODE 4X4 (in Ti only). Nissan Dualis+2 is powered by the familiar, lightweight all-alloy MR20 2.0 litre engine.

The Dualis+2 comes standard with the highly efficient, fuel-saving CVT auto transmission, offering a choice between ‘stepless’ changes or a manual over-ride with six fixed ratios.

The new Dualis+2 ST is well-equipped featuring power windows with driver’s one touch operation, air conditioning, a drive computer, steering wheel mounted Bluetooth® handsfree phone, audio and cruise controls, plus a four speaker CD audio system with MP3 connectivity.

A full safety package mirroring that of the five-star ANCAP rated five-seat Dualis includes VDC, six airbags plus front seat active head restraints and seatbelt pretensioners.

In addition, the Ti model features an expansive panoramic glass roof, leather trim seats and steering wheel, unique 18 inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, upgraded in-dash six-disc changer with six speakers, intelligent key and dual zone auto climate control air-conditioning.

The Marketplace

“Against rivals that tend to appeal to the head more than the heart, Dualis+2 combines practicality with genuinely attractive design and a fun to drive attitude,” said Nissan Australia’s, Dan Thompson.

“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,” he said.

Sunderland Production

Dualis+2 is built alongside Dualis at Nissan’s Sunderland UK plant. Together, they represent a $A365 million investment including design, research & development, vendor tooling and plant preparation.

Dualis and Dualis+2: What’s Different

Although visually and mechanical similar, there are a number of fundamental changes that have been made to the structure of Dualis to provide the practical seven seat +2 version.

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The Main Dimensional Changes are:

• Wheelbase extended by 135 mm to 2,765 mm
• Height increased by 40 mm to 1,645 mm
• Overall length increased by 211 mm to 4,541 mm
• Headroom increased by up to 10 mm
• Knee room increased by 15 mm
• Luggage space increases to 550 litres (VDA)
• Rear loading height lowered by 13 mm to 770 mm

The Nissan Dualis+2 shares obvious design elements with the original, but when placed side by side the differences between the two are equally clear. Longer overall by 211 mm, Dualis+2’s wheelbase has been extended by 135 mm to ensure ample room in the cabin for seven passengers.

To provide good headroom in the middle and rearmost sets of seats, the roof has been lengthened and has been restyled towards the rear of the vehicle, providing a flatter, taller profile. Both front and rear side doors have also been altered: the window frames of the front door are squarer in line with the reprofiled roofline, while the rear pair is completely new – longer by 135 mm and also with squarer window frames.

Lengthening the rear doors has increased ingress to the passenger compartment while access to the rearmost pair of seats is further eased by revisions to the middle seat, which slides fore and aft.

New Tailgate

Other styling changes include larger side windows at the rear of the vehicle to provide a light and airy environment for occupants of the third row of seats.

Further differentiation between five and seven-seat versions is provided by a new tailgate with a deeper rear window and revised bumper profile at the rear.

The tailgate opening increases from 962 mm in the Dualis to 1,186 mm in the seven-seater; loading height has been reduced by 13 mm to 770 mm for ease in loading heavy items.

The Ti model features a huge panoramic glass roof – 140 mm longer than the equivalent feature offered on Dualis – with a one-touch electrically operated sunshade.

Sliding 2nd Row

The main interior changes relate to the provision of a third row of seats. To ease access to the rear, the middle seat now slides through 240 mm (in a 60/40 split) and the seat backs are split 40/20/40: the five-seat version is split on a 60/40 basis. The backrest also reclines and has no fewer than nine adjustment positions.

The centre ‘20’ portion doubles as a seat or a generously wide multi-function armrest.

Folding 3rd Row

Designed for children or adults up to approximately 1.6m tall, the angle of the backrest has seven adjustment settings and can be folded completely flat to increase luggage space. The seats split on a 50/50 basis and each can be folded away simply by pulling on a single strap: there is no need to remove head restraints first.

When folded away, there’s a large flat loading area left behind which provides 550 litres of potential luggage capacity, an increase of 140 litres over 5-seat Dualis.

Folding both 2nd and 3rd rows opens up a van-like 1,520 litres.

Clever Stowage

Nissan Dualis+2 has a full depth roller-blind style tonneau cover. With the rearmost seats folded it can be used conventionally but if the third row of seats is to be occupied, it can be removed and stowed in a special compartment under the boot floor.

The lid of the underfloor stowage area, meanwhile, can also double as a cargo divider so fragile shopping – eggs or bottles for example – can be safely loaded where it won’t be damaged by heavier items. The load area is set off by a stylish stainless steel kick plate which offers protection to the leading edge of the boot floor when loading heavy items.

Revised Settings

Because it is larger than the five-seat Dualis, the new seven-seat version is a little heavier – kerb weight increases by approximately 100 kg, depending on variant. Taking account of the extra weight, and the higher payload potential, suspension settings have been revised and steering assistance retuned. The braking system is essentially unchanged from Dualis, though larger front brakes have been fitted to take into account the additional weight.

Lightweight 2.0-Litre

The 2.0-litre petrol engine – another all-aluminium 16 valve design – displaces 1,997 cc and develops 102 kW power and 196 Nm torque. Some 90 per cent of that torque is available from 2,000 rpm providing the accelerative ‘punch’ more usually expected in larger engines.

The engine is available with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) only. Fuel consumption over the combined cycle is 8.5 l/100 kms in two-wheel drive form, while CO2 emissions are 199 g/km.

CVT Efficiency

CVT is a computer controlled ‘stepless’ transmission providing a virtually limitless number of ratios, ensuring the engine is always working as efficiently as possible, resulting in smoother acceleration as well as better fuel economy and lower emissions.

It’s more comfortable, too: a long uphill drive in a conventional automatic will invariably be accompanied by regular down shifts as the engine hunts for power.

With CVT, the engine revs stay constant as the transmission itself adjusts seamlessly to ensure momentum is maintained. CVT also ensures less power loss, resulting in better efficiency and acceleration.

For a more sporty drive, the CVT system has a manual override. Operated via the central gear stick, six set ratios can be accessed manually by nudging the lever forward or back.

Dualis+2 Prices (MLP*)
ST 2WD $29,990*
Ti 2WD $34,690*
Ti AWD $36,890*

NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the various statutory charges.


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