Infiniti's

four-wheel-drive

hatch

Infiniti QX30, front
Infiniti QX30
Infiniti QX30, front
Infiniti QX30, rear
Infiniti QX30, interior
Infiniti QX30, rear
Infiniti QX30, rear
Infiniti QX30, front
Infiniti QX30, rear, action

COMFORT is the name of the game when it comes to the Infiniti QX30 - a smaller executive all wheel drive hatch that should keep anyone going in the worst of winter.

But don't take it too far off the beaten track because while it has raised ground clearance over its two wheel drive stablemate, it still rides quite low.

As well as excellent ride comfort over virtually all surfaces at slow or fast speeds, it's also a very easy car to drive and to live with thanks to a standard automatic gearbox and a very high level of equipment.

I drove the 2.2 diesel and found the performance much to my liking. Not only is it decently quick, but excellent soundproofing means the Mercedes engine - normally not the quietest - is virtually inaudible.

In fact, the high quality cabin is a lovely place to ride or drive in.

The standard four wheel drive certainly helps with sticky roadholding, although the softness of the suspension means there is a fair amount of roll when it's pressed.

The seven speed auto kicks down reasonably quickly and as well as the normal Drive setting, has Economy, Sport and Manual to suit the driver's mood.

Manual uses paddles behind the steering wheel to make the changes, but they move with the wheel - a system I always find wanting.

Infiniti could learn a lot from the latest Alfas, which have superb fixed paddles that work brilliantly.

The steering is surprisingly good, reacting quickly to driver input, but there is little feedback to what is going on at the wheels.

Driving it quite hard, I managed to get 43mpg, which has to be pretty good for what is quite a heavy car - while nowhere near the ludicrous government figure.

The only noise at motorway speeds is a little thrum from the engine and some wind noise from the door pillars.

I don't find the Infiniti pouting grill very pretty but this is a personal thing and you might well think it the bees knees!

The driving position, in the top Premium Tech model I drove, was excellent, with loads of electric adjustment for the sumptuous leather armchairs.

Rear legroom is reasonable and the boot is also a decent size.

As I said, there is no need for extras, because everything most drivers could want is included as standard, from sat nav with an excellent bird's eye view, to a multi-function steering wheel, DAB stereo, keyless entry and starting, rear view camera, reading lights front and rear, puddle lights and footwell lights, start/stop, automatic headlights and wipers, and auto-folding door mirrors.

FAST FACTS

Price: £34,225

Mechanical: 165bhp, 2,143cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 134mph

0-62mph: 8.5 seconds

Combined MPG:57

Insurance Group: 23

C02 emissions: 128g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

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