Infiniti Q30 Sport

2.0T

Infiniti Q30, front
Infiniti Q30, front
Infiniti Q30, front
Infiniti Q30, front
Infiniti Q30, rear
Infiniti Q30, rear
Infiniti Q30, rear
Infiniti Q30, interior
Infiniti Q30, interior
Infiniti Q30, interior
Infiniti Q30, boot
Infiniti Q30, wheel

INFINITIi will be familiar to Formula One fans thanks to the company's tie-in with Red Bull between 2011 and 2015 - during which time the team, with Sebastian Vettel as No.1 driver, was the dominant force in the sport.

Outside of F1 devotees though, the name is still unfamiliar in the United Kingdom despite the company having sold cars here for a number of years now.

The Q30 is the motor which is charged with changing all that.

Launched last year, this eye-catching hatchback has the task of bringing the luxury arm of Nissan to the attention of the masses - and hopefully onto their driveways.

But while launching into one of the most crowded areas of the car market brings the possibility of good sales, it also means competition is stiff, even at the upmarket end that Infiniti is targeting.

The Q30, though, does have a trick or two up its sleeve in the bid to win over UK, and European, buyers - it is built at Nissan's Sunderland plant and is actually based on the same platform as a car many will regard as one of its key competitors.

As the most tangible result yet of a partnership between the Renault-Nissan alliance and Mercedes, the Q30 sits on the same platform and shares some engines with the A-Class. Mercedes drivers slipping behind the wheel would also see striking similarities in the instrument panel and even the ignition key.

In the looks department, though, the Q30 strikes out on an individual path that is typical of Infiniti, who seem to revel in producing designs which tend to polarise opinion.

In contrast to the smooth panels and angular lines of most of its rivals, this motor is all curvaceous bulges and sculpted character lines - giving it a bold and distinctive appearance that's further accentuated on Sport spec models by racy body kit and a ride height 15mm lower than the rest of the range.

Despite the dynamic looks though, the Q30 is set-up very much for comfort.

The 2.0-litre diesel, mated to a slick seven-speed automatic gearbox, offers an impressive 0-62mph sprint time of 7.3 seconds and top speed of 143mph - and throttle response, suspension and steering all sharpen up noticeably if you select ‘sport' mode.

Progress, however, always seems more smooth and languid than urgent and aggressive - and the same goes for the driving experience. That's not a bad thing, it just means anyone looking for a hot-hatch adrenaline rush should probably look elsewhere.

Similarly the suspension, even on the 19-inch alloys on this range-topper, copes well with imperfections in the road surface - ensuring all inside float along in relaxed comfort.

Grip is good, the handling precise and there's plenty of high-tech safety kit on board for extra peace of mind. including traction control, adaptive brake assist, cruise control, lane departure warning and forward collision warning with emergency braking.

The Q30 cabin certainly lives up to premium expectations, with Sport versions boasting plush leatherette and alcantara upholstery with matching alcantara trim on the doors and dashboard as well as a flat-bottomed leather multi-function steering wheel and aluminium pedals.

While not the roomiest car in class there is ample head and legroom for four but the middle seat on the rear bench is a little uncomfortable, so you'd probably only want to carry five on short journeys.

At 430 litres, the boot offers practical load carrying capability and includes a concealed area beneath the floor.

Generous kit levels also befit the Q30's premium aspirations with heated sports seats, touchscreen satnav and multimedia interface, Bluetooth, digital radio, automatic park assist, reversing camera, around view monitor and voice recognition all included.

For those looking for a slightly left field option to the typical offerings in this class, the Q30 is a luxurious, well-equipped option that is easy to drive and easy to live with.

FAST FACTS

Infiniti Q30 Sport 2.0T

Price: £31,930

Mechanical:211ps,1,991cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:143mph

0-62mph:7.3 seconds

Combined MPG:42.2

Insurance Group:25

C02 emissions:156g/km

Bik rating:28%

Warranty:3yrs/62,137 miles

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