Hip hatch is roomy and cute as a but­ton

The Advertiser - Motoring - - Girl Torque - JOANNAVAUGHAN loves­thestyle­ofthe Nis­sanDualis.

THIS car looks like a smaller ver­sion of a four-wheel-drive, but without the off-road ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Al­though the Nis­san Dualis is tech­ni­cally a hatch, it’s cer­tainly not a small car.

Such is its size, it has even been dubbed by some as a ‘‘mini wagon’’.

It’s sporty and stylish and, as the car dealer put it when I picked it up, ‘‘it’s as cute as a but­ton’’. One of the things I loved about the size and height of the car is that the driver sits up a lot higher on the road than in most small cars.

This gives you a sense of safety, se­cu­rity and im­proved vi­sion.

An­other ben­e­fit of the size is that it has plenty of cabin room.

Not just for the pas­sen­gers, but also in the stor­age room.

The boot is roomy, there are plenty of lit­tle spa­ces to fit all of your lug­gage, in­clud­ing cup hold­ers, CD hold­ers, and there is even a front-passenger un­der-seat stor­age drawer that is great for keep­ing valu­ables hid­den.

The leather seats, fit­ted with seat warm­ers, also make for a comfortable ride. While the car isn’t packed with fea­tures, it re­ally has most things you need.

The stan­dard equip­ment list for the ST model in­cludes air­con­di­tion­ing, cruise con­trol, sin­gle-CD au­dio, al­loy wheels, cooled glove box and power win­dows.

One thing I didn’t re­ally like about the model I drove is that it didn’t have steer­ing-wheel con­trols for the ra­dio. While this is not a must in a car, I think most peo­ple have come to ex­pect it in new-model cars.

It cer­tainly pro­vides a good safety fea­ture, not to men­tion con­ve­nience.

But other mod­els of the Dualis do have the con­trols. An­other plus is the price. Start­ing from $24,990, the Dualis is priced like a small car, but it re­ally doesn’t feel or act like one. The car also has many safety fea­tures, in- clud­ing six airbags, side in­tru­sion bars, crum­ple zones, halo­gen head­lights, ve­hi­cle dy­namic con­trol, brake as­sist and brake­force dis­tri­bu­tion.

The Dualis also has newer fea­tures such as auto sens­ing head­lights and rain­sens­ing wipers.

Over­all it’s a cute lit­tlebig car that won’t blow you away, but is safe, stylish and comfortable.

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