Meaty baby

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

AMEATY makeover has trans­formed Nis­san's lack­lus­tre Dualis soft-roader.

Al­though al­most 500,000 Dualises, called Qashqai in the UK, have been sold in Europe the cross­over has been over­shad­owed lo­cally by the X-Trail, Navara and Mu­rano.

How­ever, the re­fresh, which should ar­rive lo­cally mid-2010, gives the baby off-roader some much­needed vis­ual clout. Among the changes are a new, more ag­gres­sive fron­tend, re­vised tail-lights and up­graded in­te­rior.

Nis­san also has fo­cused at­ten­tion on the sus­pen­sion to im­prove the car's ride, as well as low­er­ing cabin noise.

The big­gest change is ahead of the A-pil­lar, where a new grille, head­lights, bon­net and mud­guards give the car a dra­matic lift. At the back, the over­all shape of the lights car­ries over but they now in­clude an aero­dy­namic fea­ture to re­duce drag. The brake and tail lights also use LED lights and there is a more trans­par­ent lens de­sign.

Vis­ually, two new fivespoke al­loy wheel de­signs have been in­tro­duced for Europe. In­side, the Dualis gets new up-mar­ket di­als and more stor­age space. A re­designed trip com­puter is now po­si­tioned be­tween the speedo and tachome­ter.

Its white LCD screen shows in­stan­ta­neous and av­er­age fuel con­sump­tion, mileage, time, cruise con­trol and speed lim­iter set­tings.

Low-level lighting has been added around the front footwells. More in­su­la­tion around the front bulk­head has re­duced the trans­mis­sion of en­gine noise to the cabin.

The Dualis also gets an acous­tic wind­screen, which helps re­duce wind noise. There is also bet­ter win­dow seal­ing on the front doors.

In Europe a new model has been added called the 1.5-litre dCi Pure Drive, a model than emits just 129g/ km of CO2. Pure Drive gets aero­dy­namic wheel cov­ers, blank out fog­lights, low rolling re­sis­tance tyres and the higher fi­nal drive ra­tio for bet­ter econ­omy. The Dualis is built in the UK at Nis­san's Sun­der­land plant.

Nis­san Aus­tralia spokesman Jeff Fisher said the new wagon will ar­rive around June.

More ag­gres­sive: The new Nis­san Dualis is ex­pected in June next year.

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