Ac­cep­tor

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

the power dives un­til the turbo has wound up.

The car’s around-town man­ners are pre­dictable and gen­er­ally poised. Larger bumps can catch the sus­pen­sion bob­bing but it rides well over typ­i­cal ur­ban ob­sta­cles. And that sums up the Dualis— it’s an all-rounder that does a va­ri­ety of jobs and does them all com­pe­tently.

The switchgear is ro­bust and easy to learn and the sat­nav and re­vers­ing cam­era are wel­come real-world stan­dard ad­di­tions. The price is the kicker, though, and at $30,000 the Dualis ST has no real com­pe­ti­tion.

Turbo diesel ri­vals in­clude the Hyundai ix35, Skoda Yeti and Mit­subishi ASX. With all­wheel-drive and big­ger en­gines, they are at least $5000 more. Nis­san’s other ace is the X-Trail, a more rugged al­ter­na­tive to the Dualis soft­roader for those who want an SUV that will go bush.

VER­DICT

The diesel Dualis is a good thing that could have been done bet­ter with an auto. Nis­san Aus­tralia has al­ready put up its hand for a self-shifter and the sooner it ar­rives the sooner buy­ers will grav­i­tate to the ul­tra-ef­fi­cient com­pact SUV.

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