It must be said the Infiniti QX30 is certainly a different move for both Infiniti and compact luxury cars.
You’d be hard-pressed to identify it as anything other than an Infiniti, which is odd because it’s very much a Mercedes-Benz (GLA) in lots of places. But does a Mercedes dressed up as an Infiniti work for any of the parties involved – including anyone who buys one?
I recently drove the 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport (Q30S for those of you not in the U.S.). Here are some initial thoughts.
Who are you?
What’s known as the Q30 in Europe is called the QX30 in the U.S., and what’s known as the QX30 in Europe is called the QX30 AWD in the U.S. Now that I’ve properly confused you, take into consideration that Infiniti likes to think of all of these cars as small crossovers, like the Mercedes-Benz GLA on which lots of the Infiniti’s pieces come from.
Except that no Infiniti is considered an SUV by the EPA, but rather, a “compact car.”
Let’s call the QX30 what it is: a hatchback. And if you like quirky, it’s a good-looking hatch. The design is a lot of Infiniti cues on something smaller, but it’s at least trying to do something different. And it doesn’t look like an A-Class or GLA.
I’m warming up to it. I think.
Stuttgart got blurry #infiniti #QX30A photo posted by Zac Estrada (@zacestrada) on Jan 23, 2017 at 10:09am PST
Unlike any other
The Mercedes connection is an important disclosure, because the QX30 rarely feels like any other Nissan or Infiniti product. The seat controls are on the door, like a Mercedes’. Even the gauges and steering wheel come from a GLA. Only the lumpen infotainment system has Infiniti graphics and a rotary controller like the brand’s other vehicles.
Things start slowly for the QX30, thanks to a dual-clutch transmission that stumbles as many of them do at lower speeds, but everything livens up once underway. The 208 horsepower from the 2.0-liter turbo four are decently strong and move the car well.
The ride, however, could be better. Blame this “Sport” model.
Price of entry
The QX30 Sport, at $39,495 to start, sounds pricey because it is. For reasons I don’t understand, both a moonroof and navigation are no-charge options (neither of which were fitted to my test car), but once so equipped, you get a lot of stuff for what’s reasonably competitive with a similar Audi A3 – or Mercedes-Benz GLA250.
This small, turbocharged hatchback from an underdog luxury brand should be my jam. I’m still on the fence about it, however.
But what questions do you have about the Infiniti Q(X)30 Sport? Sound off in the comments.
Photos: Zac Estrada/Carscoops