Beneath the hood
For the smallest Infiniti, the power is respectable. The 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine has an output of 208 horsepower and a boosted 258 lb-ft. of torque. The transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch offering that come with standard paddle shifters.
Strangely, all-wheel drive is only available on the mid trim (which was our tester and is expected to be the big volume seller) and with the Canadian climate, I would’ve expected to see all wheel drive standard across the board.
What is standard is the auto start/stop function to save on fuel as you crawl through rush hour traffic.
Fuel efficiency rates are impressive for a turbocharged engine and come in at 10.6 city and 8.0 highway for L/100 km.
This sister car to the Mercedes Benz GLA series bears a striking resemblance, which makes sense seeing as this was a joint project. I see it more as a raised hatchback opposed to a crossover. The car does have striking qualities with flowing design lines, thinner headlights and an attractive stance that are sure to turn a few heads on the road.
Our tester came with standard 18” wheels and if you bump up to the top “Sport” trim, you’ll pick up an extra inch.
Another quirk is that only the mid-trim gets standard roof rails, so if you’re like my pal Michael who has a kayak (that he keeps claiming to use) and want to rope it on the roof, you’d be out of luck on the low and high end.
Overall and with my attachment to hatchbacks/wagons, I like the body style of the QX30 and there’s enough good looks to attract younger buyers as their first dip into the Infiniti lineup
It’s not quite an exact replica of the GLA but it’s pretty close…and that’s certainly working in favour of the QX30. The gear shifter is a bit unusual as the Park selection is a button opposed to a spot on the gearshift. I had a few phantom “Park” shift moments but after a couple of days, it became second nature.
The interior is unmistakably premium with soft touch materials and leather surfaces. Following the GLA, seat adjustments are located on the door panels opposed to the seats themselves.
The 7-inch infotainment screen is recessed a few inches and easy to navigate and as a nice touch (in absence of the standard all-wheel drive) the QX30 comes with standard heated seats and 8-way power drivers’ seats.
If you’re looking for a QX30, there are three primary options to choose from.
QX30 - $35,990 MSRP
The entry-level trim includes a rear view camera, dual-zone HVAC controls, regular cruise control, halogen headlights and a few other items you expect to see on a luxury vehicle.
QX30 AWD - $38,490 MSRP
Adding to the base model, you obviously get all-wheel drive, roof rails (only on this trim, interestingly) and aluminum alloy wheels.
QX30 Sport - $46,490 MSRP
At the top trim comes 19” wheels, LED lights, an around-view monitor, a Bose 10-speaker audio system, navigation, automatic high beams, rain sensing wipers, lane guidance, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminum pedals and a few other goodies.
Available as standard fare only on the top trim (and available as options on the mid-trim), the QX30 gives you front and rear parking sensors, park assist, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and forward emergency braking.
For $2,500, your mid trim AWD can be decked out with the aforementioned without ponying up the extra $8,000 to go from mid to high.
On the road
Infiniti makes some great vehicles that offer responsive and strong handling and the QX30 for the most part follows suit. With its low center of gravity and higher seating point, there’s more of a car-feel opposed to a CUV-feel to be had.
The boost in torque certainly gives the “get-up-and-go” factor a strong lift to keep the excitement level behind the wheel high.
Twists and turns responded well in my AWD tester (the other trims get front-wheel drive) so it’s not a mundane experience for the driver. Yet, it’s not as exciting as the Q50. However, for this market, performance takes a backseat to luxury and Infiniti has done strong work in executing this.
Strangely, there's only Eco, Sport and Manual modes for driving, with a clear absence of Normal. Expect the Eco mode to be the popular setting to save fuel and not thoroughly compromise drive quality.
As a daily driver, this will serve you and your one or two passengers well (the rear seat is a bit cramped) and if you do have a full backseat, the already small rear window will see a further reduction in outward visibility.
Enjoy the full gallery below: