2017 Infiniti QX30 Review

2017 Infiniti QX30 Overview

The Infiniti QX30 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 share engines, transmissions, suspension systems, interior switchgear, and overall body structure. And yet, the QX30 is distinctly Infiniti in terms of its exterior appearance, interior design and the way it goes down the road. A true world car, the 2017 Infiniti QX30 wears the badge of a Japanese brand owned by a French company. Further, the QX30's underpinnings were designed in Germany and the model is built in the UK.  For 2017, it's offered in three models; QX30 FWD, QX30 Sport and QX30 AWD.

Exterior styling is largely the same for each with but minor trim differentiation. On the other hand, ride height varies considerably between the three. The QX30 FWD is considered the standard with a 16.4-inch step-in height for the driver. The Sport is .6” lower, while the QX30 AWD is 1.2” higher. Distinctly Infiniti, the company’s styling language translates nicely to the QX30. While slightly busy of line (as are most contemporary Japanese cars) the appearance is fluidly muscular seen in profile and decidedly saurian viewed head on.

While we do like the appearance of the car, we’d appreciate it even more if Infiniti dropped the crossover pretense and used the QX30 Sport’s ride height across the board. Categorized entry-level luxury crossover, our time with the Infiniti led us to consider it more luxurious five-door hatch than crossover SUV. Labeling the QX30 a crossover SUV is a stretch. If we bought one, the first thing we’d do is lower it to a car-like ride height, especially the AWD model. After all, by Infiniti’s own admission, the QX30 isn’t intended for serious offroad use.

Inside, the asymmetrical dash repeats the exterior styling. A contrasting leather covered faceplate with French stitching adds a luxurious touch. If you’ve been in a contemporary Benz, you’ll immediately recognize the layout and switchgear of the center stack, instrument cluster and doors. Available tech includes forward emergency braking and collision warning, intelligent cruise, around view monitoring, automated parking and Infiniti’s InTouch infotainment system. Featuring a seven-inch touchscreen, the InTouch system also responds to voice inputs and has a dial interface. This is a good thing because the recessed mounting of the screen places it just out of easy reach.

Interior comfort ranks highly, thanks to the terrific support provided by the  “Zero Gravity” spinal support seats inspired by NASA technology. The rear seats—while the rakish profile of the QX30 might suggest otherwise—are reasonably comfortable in both head and legroom, if front seat passengers give up some legroom.

Let’s be clear though, we’re talking compact hatchback here, so it’s snug, but not unbearable for short drives. Cargo capacity measures 19.2 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks deployed. While Infiniti doesn’t quote a figure with them folded, it’s likely just under twice as much.

Power comes from a Benz-designed and built 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four. Output is 208 horsepower and 258 ft-lbs of torque. The transmission is Mercedes’ seven-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic, which along with the engine’s throttle response, is calibrated to Infiniti’s specs. Acceleration is brisk—if not exactly enthralling. Shifts are smooth and quick with minimal loss of momentum. QX30 FWD and QX30 Sport are front-drive, while QX30 AWD powers all four wheels. Fuel economy has yet to be officially announced as of this writing, but is expected to be similar to the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250, which comes in at 29 mpg overall with front-drive. The QX30 AWD should be capable of approximately 28 mpg overall.

On the road, the 2017 Infiniti QX30 feels suitably light on its feet, though well planted. Steering is a tad on the heavy side at lower speeds, but just right at elevated velocities. The Infiniti loves fast corners, even with the elevated ride height the AWD package forces upon it. Body roll is kept soundly in check and throttle tip-in is delightfully responsive.  Overall, the vibe is suitably sporty, even while reflecting the comfort expected of an entry-level luxury car.

Ride quality is also good, though we did note a bit of harshness from the run-flat tires. (These are standard equipment—no spare tire is offered.) With that said, our test drive was conducted in Washington State, which uses a particularly aggressive aggregate in its highways. Consequently, road noise was higher on the freeway than it would be anywhere else. As proof of this, the QX30 was pleasantly quiet on asphalt. Pricing starts at $29,950 for QX30 FWD. QX30 AWD starts at $34,400, while QX30 Sport starts at $38,500.

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