Infiniti Q30 1.6t

Premium

Infiniti Q30, side
Infiniti Q30, front static 2
Infiniti Q30, front static
Infiniti Q30, side static
Infiniti Q30, front
Infiniti Q30, front
Infiniti Q30, front
Infiniti Q30, rear
Infiniti Q30, rear
Infiniti Q30, interior

FANCY a change from the massed ranks of German premium compact hatchbacks - then join the Q.

For those who like to buy British-built cars the Infiniti Q30 ticks all the boxes.

It is a measure of the regard our motor industry is now held in that when it came to building a car capable of taking on top-notchers like the Audi A3, Mercedes' A-Class and the BMW 1 Series, Infiniti's owner Nissan turned to its Sunderland operation and invested £250 million on a new production line creating 300 jobs.

It should prove money well spent as Infiniti takes on the big boys in a competitive sector of the market.

The Q30 is impossible to ignore thanks to sharp lines, dual chrome-finished exhausts, swooping curves and smart alloy wheels. These give the impression it wants to get somewhere quickly and indeed it does - but you need to keep the pedal to the metal on the 1.6-litre petrol turbo engine under the bonnet of the car I drove to get the performance suggested by the exterior.

Running costs are reasonable - if a bit higher than some rivals - with fuel economy claimed at 47.1mpg and emissions at 138g/km. There are three other engines available - a 2.0-litre petrol plus 1.5 and 2.2-litre diesels.

When the Q30 ventures on to the open road there is much to like. The ride is comfortable and the handling is sure-footed so country lanes can be taken on with confidence as there is plenty of grip available while motorway journeys are handled without any fuss. The six-speed manual transmission is efficient with smooth gear changes guaranteed.

The Q30 boasts lots of kerb appeal and if black lacquer is your thing then this is the car for you as it is liberally splashed inside and out with interior trim, fog lights, roof-side spoiler, wheel arch mouldings and side sills all benefiting from the treatment.

There are also body-coloured door handles and powered heated door mirrors with embedded indicators that are snazzy, while the satin chrome window trim is easy on the eye.

The interior is similarly well appointed with the driver getting a fully adjustable, slightly raised seat while the multi-function leather steering wheel can also be adjusted to attain the perfect position.

The story in rear is a little less pleasing as leg room is a touch tight and a prominent transmission tunnel makes life for a third passenger a bit awkward - but dual-zone climate control ensures the atmosphere in the cabin is always pleasant.

The Q30 is smartphone friendly with two USB ports also allowing your iPod and MP3 players to be connected, while a touchscreen infotainment system provides access to goodies like the six-speaker sound system with digital radio and CD player.

If you want satellite navigation then it is a £1,400 optional extra on the Premium model.

There are the usual suspects included for your £21,600 including cruise control, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, plus a host of safety kit with forward collision and lane departure warning systems plus a plethora of airbags all making an appearance.

The boot handles a family's weekly supermarket shop with aplomb and if you need room for bulkier items then the rear seats split and fold to create more space.

FAST FACTS

Infiniti Q30 1.6t Premium

Price:£21,600

Mechanical:122ps, 1,595cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:124mph

0-62mph:9.4 seconds

Combined MPG:47.1

Insurance Group:16

C02 emissions:138g/km

Bik rating:24%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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