The launch of the 2017 Infiniti QX30 didn’t come as a shock to anyone. Infiniti prepared us for the prospect of a small, luxury SUV with the first concept at the Geneva Motor Show, as well as the Q30 hatchback which shares most of its components with the QX30. Both the Q and the QX are actually built on the underpinnings of the A-Class hatchback and GLA-Class crossover from Mercedes. It’s not just a simple rebadged job however. They’re built in a different Nissan factory, by different people. Most of the software and indeed, hardware, apart from the undercarriage, is all Infiniti.
The 2017 Infiniti QX30 comes to the market as a direct rival to the compact BMW X1 and Audi Q3. The small crossover SUV segment has been gaining in popularity a lot recently, so much so that it’s even starting to take over the mid-size SUV segment. It’s only a matter of time before every car manufacturer offers a vehicle of this type just to stay relevant and make sales. Drivers seem to really like these type of vehicles, and as long as there’s fierce competition, the vehicles will just keep getting better.
The first thing you immediately notice with the 2017 Infiniti QX30, is just how much it resembles the Geneva concept. Infiniti has, thankfully, delivered on the exterior styling front. Most production cars deviate from their concepts so much that they become almost unrecognizable. Not the QX30. Now of course, some changes had to be made in order to comply with regulations and laws, as well as to decrease the production costs and make it more car-like, but the basic lines are all there. The wheels are smaller, the mirrors are bigger, but the body shape and size is the same.
Size wise, it’s slightly taller than the hatchback Q30 because it’s a crossover, and increased height is normal for that particular niche. The design is bold, with chiseled creases on the sides and sculpted fenders and arches. It’s rather different to what we’re used to seeing from Infiniti, but no one’s complaining when it looks as good as it does. Nissan seems to have this market figured out. It seems people like a unique car, not just a blown up hatchback. Remember the Juke? It was quirky and weird, but that’s exactly why it sold so well. The same will probably prove to be true for the 2017 Infiniti QX30.
The interior of the 2017 QX30 is a really special place. It’s Infiniti’s design, and apart from a few Mercedes buttons and switches, we’re glad to report it to be unique. The center console is dominated by a large 7-inch screen which is fast and responsive, unlike the older Infiniti touch screens which were slower and sometimes clunky.
The 2017 Infiniti QX30 doesn’t scrim on quality. The materials are all premium, from the soft Nappa leather to the high-end plastics. You can have your choice of a black or beige interior color. The whole thing is put together amazingly well. Nothing squeaks or rattles, and you get the impression that it was built to last. At speed, there’s hardly any road or wind noise. It’s genuinely the quietest interior in the entire segment. The seats offer a lot of lateral support, but don’t sacrifice comfort by doing so. Both enthusiasts and long-distance drivers will enjoy them no doubt.
ENGINE & PERFORMANCE
The 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine has been lifted straight out of the GLA, but with 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, you can’t fault it nor blame Infiniti for opting to use it. Attached to a seven-speed automatic, the base model sends power to the front-wheels only, or to all four if you choose to go for the all-wheel drive option. Note that only Luxury and Premium trims get the optional AWD system which also comes with a 1.2-inch increased ride height compared to FWD variants.
Two-wheel drive QX30s save a bit of weight since they’re not using the heavier AWD system, but unless you want to save money, we suggest going for it. It’s not just more capable in the snow and rain, but offers extra security in dry conditions as well. It’s reassuring knowing the rear wheels will never get away from you, as the system is capable of automatically sending up to 50 percent of all engine power available to the rear axle, inspiring confidence in the driver.
The 2017 Infiniti QX30 drives more like a car than an SUV. The high center of gravity or massive body roll associated with taller SUVs is not present here, so all you’re left with is a car-like feeling where you sit a little higher and have an even more commanding presence of the road ahead.
The QX30 feels lively and nimble at low speeds and stable and smooth at higher speeds. The turn-in is amazing for a crossover and it offers decent punch out of the corners thanks to that Mercedes-derived unit up front. Arguably, it’s one of the best driving crossovers currently on sale.
The QX30 comes equipped with traction control, stability control and antilock brakes as standard. Inside, there’s a wide array of airbags, such as front-seat side and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera comes on all trims, and the optional safety equipment on Premium and Sport models consists of blind-spot monitoring, a full 360-degree parking camera system, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. In other words, it isn’t just the sportiest, but the safest crossover out there.
Starting at $35,990, the 2017 Infiniti QX30 is very nicely equipped or you can add the technology package many more safety systems as well as the self parking feature. With this being the first entry from Infiniti into the compact crossover SUV, we are eager to see how well it does in the market place.