2018 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD, review, best small crossovers
Denis Flierl's picture

Infiniti QX30 Blends Coupe, Hatch and Crossover in One Smart Package

Infiniti cooked up an interesting blend of coupe, hatchback and crossover with the QX30. It doesn’t fit into the typical crossover SUV mold.
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The QX30 is the newest entry into the Infiniti lineup and the least expensive model from the luxury brand. The small crossover introduced for 2017, is a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti and shares its platform and powertrain with the GLA250. Infiniti designers cooked up an interesting blend of coupe, hatchback and crossover that doesn’t fit into the typical crossover SUV mold.

This week we drive the 2018 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD model.

What’s new for 2018?

The Infiniti QX30 remains unchanged for 2018.

Features and options

The 2018 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD ($37,700) comes standard with high-InTouch infotainment with a 7-inch screen, LED fog lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof and a premium 10-speaker Bose audio system. Premium QX30 all-wheel-drive come with a ride height raised 1.2 inches versus that of the front-wheel-drive models.

A number of packages came on this the Premium trim tester. The Navigation package ($1,850) includes navigation, Infiniti InTouch services and apps, front and rear parking sensors, satellite traffic and weather, and a color center display in the gauge cluster. The LED package ($1,000) includes adaptive LED headlights and interior LED ambient lighting.

The Technology package ($2,200) covers the QX30's natural blind spots because of its raked roof design. It comes with a 360-degree camera system, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams and park assist.

The Cafe Teak Theme package (1,750) features a Brown Nappa premium leather interior with Graphite accents, contrast stitching, a Graphite suede-like headliner, and satin silver mirror caps. Total MSRP including destination: $46,460.

Interior highlights

The cabin of the QX30 is smartly designed and full of high-quality materials. There’s a lot of soft-touch materials, and the Brown Nappa leather looks rich and is worth the extra money. The first thing we noticed was the sweeping asymmetrical dashboard more like a Mercedes-Benz design it shares some pieces with than a Japanese luxury car. It even shares some German knobs with the GLA250. InTouch infotainment features intuitive finger-touch and swipe controls, via a seven-inch touchscreen. It works better than some of the competitors high-tech systems.

cabin

Front seats are sufficiently wide with good legroom for adults, though head space is limited because of the coupe design. Front seats are supportive and we never got tired after a long commute to the city from the mountains. There’s lots of adjustment with the manual tilt-and-telescope steering wheel for any size driver size to dial in the perfect driving position.

The coupe-like exterior design and compact dimensions limit space in the cabin. It’s considered a five-seater, but two adults will be max capacity for overall comfort in this four-door model. Three kids could ride out back but get ready for a fight between siblings. The rear seat is split-folding 60/40 with a rear seat pass-through (ski hatch) and cargo room is rated at 19.2 cubic feet.

Engine and fuel mileage specs

The Infiniti QX30 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, coupled to an automated 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. It gets an EPA/DOT-rated 21/30 city/highway mpg and 25 combined mpg with all-wheel-drive and runs on Premium gasoline.

Driving dynamics

The QX30 2.0-liter turbo engine is responsive from a standstill or during passing, even at the high altitudes where we drove outside of Denver. It benefits in that standpoint from the German engineered engine and transmission combo. Acceleration is quick from 0-60 mph and there’s a nice exhaust note when you hit the gas pedal hard. The cabin is relatively quiet for a compact car and wind noise is kept low with the sleek design language at highway speeds.

The QX30 is a driver’s car with attentive steering and felt light and precise in tight parking lot maneuvers. The sweet paddle-shifting dual-clutch 7-speed shifts quickly and we used it liberally in the tight mountain curves west of Denver. The rear view monitor and extra safety aids helped this week because the coupe-like design does limit the view from the driver's seat.

The QX30 corners with agility. In the twisties near Evergreen, the all-wheel-drive ride is especially favorable even on dry roads. The AWD suspension is a bit stiffer because of its thicker rear anti-roll bar. Infiniti says, the intelligent all-wheel-drive system can transmit up to half the power to the rear wheels, whenever sensors detect traction loss. Intended to conserve fuel, we generally don’t like start/stop systems, but while it’s noticeable, it’s not as intrusive as some rival’s systems out there.

Overall, the QX30 is a ride that’s higher on the fun-to-drive meter than most other compact crossovers. It was easy to maneuver in the city and had has all the driver-assist safety tech to keep you safe on urban roads.

Conclusion

The Infiniti QX30 features the looks of a sporty coupe, the practicality of a small crossover and the utility of a compact hatchback. The cabin is stylish, comfortable and best-suited for two, but will handle four riders occasionally. It’s the most affordable entry into the Infiniti lineup and a good option for urban dwellers looking for a sporty crossover option with all-wheel-drive capability.

Photo credit: Infiniti USA


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