Tuesday, April 4, 2017

2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport: The Brand’s Mercedes-Benz-Like Hatchback Crossover

Highlight: Infiniti’s newest entry shares a platform with the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $43,695 (base model $30,974)

Seating Capacity: 5 (tight squeeze in the rear)

Standard Safety Features: ABS; a tire pressure monitoring system; a traction control system; a vehicle dynamic control system; an automatic rearview mirror; heated outside mirrors; a tire pressure monitoring system; and a rearview camera

Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheels; a 7-speed manual transmission; a rear wheel drive system; a dual zone temperature control system; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; cloth seats; manually operated front seats; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a push button keyless ignition system (built after October 2016)

Standard Equipment Sport Model: 19-inch wheels; black outside exterior trim; LED foglights; sport grille and front and rear fascia; chrome exhaust tip finishers; power front seats with memory setting for driver; rear seat center armrest with cupholders; leather-like seats; sport-like steering wheel; front seat passenger storage under drawer; speed sensitive wipers; parking sonars; an around view camera; a moving object detect system; and a 10-speaker audio system

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: an oversized sunroof; a power sunshade; an automatic headlight beams; an adaptive front lighting system; a touchscreen navigation system; a radar-activated cruise control system; a blind spot electronic lane changing system; a lane departure warning system; a forward emergency braking system; and pearl paint

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD with satellite

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/208-hp

Recommended Fuel: Unleaded

Standard Fuel Mileage:


What’s New: The QX30 is the newest addition to the Infiniti portfolio. The entry level, sporty-looking compact shares a platform with Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Why: The QX30 is available in a rear wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. The sporty compact is available in a variety of trims.

While the QX30 is basically a Mercedes-Benz GLA, with a 2.0-liter engine, the Infiniti is gifted with a lower price point, saving buyers several thousand dollars.

The QX30 also offers a youthful and stylish curvaceous exterior, too. Infiniti’s design team managed to differentiate the vehicle both inside and out from its Mercedes-Benz sibling, the GLA. The QX30, depending upon the trim, with its detailed, but very contemporary interior can be outfitted with the latest features. Buyers can expect everything from a CD player to a radar activated cruise control system. All of this and more can be had, when wrapped in the swoopy, but extremely supportive front seats.

And, for those seeking a sporty looking premium compact vehicle that’s not necessarily a traditional crossover, but offers loads of appeal, the QX30 seems to feel that sweet spot. Lastly, while we’ve only driven the sports models, we found it to have that precise steering and fun-to-drive nature that has become the hallmark of the Infiniti brand.

But: Ironically, models that were built before October 2016 were outfitted with a traditional key to start the vehicle, as opposed to a push button keyless starter.

Moreover, the rear seats with the center headrest activated impedes the driver’s vision. Also the rear center armrest, with the flimsy cupholders, is only available for higherline trims. Added to that, the rear seats do not recline, making it somewhat uncomfortable for tall adults and/or long distance commutes.

Furthermore, the vehicle has to be manually unlocked, when exiting the vehicle. Unfortunately, the doors do not automatically unlock when the vehicle is placed in park.

Lastly, pricing for this sporty hatchback crossover is quite steep. Buyers willing to pay over $40,000 and want to stay in the family, while not being deprived of the precision steering and sporty handling, should consider the Nissan Maxima. The Maxima offers more bang for the buck including overall room.

Verdict: While Infiniti classifies the all-new QX30 as a premium compact crossover, it really is in a league by itself. The sporty vehicle is more in line with Lexus’ all-dedicated hybrid, the CT200h, as far as size. Unlike the Lexus, the QX30 is a gasoline model, which offers precise handling and a spirited driving expereince.

Infiniti like Mercedes-Benz, which shares a platform with this vehicle, should attract a more youthful buyer to its family. So for hatchback buyers who wants something more of a premium feel and look than what’s being offered by VW and Mazda, the QX30 should be on the short list.

Indirect Competition: Audi Q3; BMW X1; Buick Encore; Lexus NX and Mercedes-Benz GLA

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