Infinti QX30 2.2d

Premium Tech

Infiniti QX30, 2017, front
Infiniti QX30, 2017, front, static
Infiniti QX30, front, static
Infiniti QX30, side, static
Infiniti QX30, side
Infiniti QX30, rear
Infiniti QX30, tail
Infiniti QX30, interior

INFINITI is now in on the act in the premium hatchback and compact crossover markets with the Q30 and a more rugged version - the QX30.

They're essentially British cars too - being built at Nissan's factory in Sunderland.

The Q30 represented Infiniti's first UK entry into the compact segment and has premium competition firmly in its sights.

The competition is stiff as it's up against the likes of Audi's A3, the BMW 1 Series and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, while the QX30 is up against cars like the Q2, X1 and GLA.

The Q30 and QX30 also represent a determined effort by Infiniti to grow sales in Europe.

Interestingly they're based on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and GLA, sharing the same platform and many components.

The Q30 and QX30 are pretty closely related but some cleverly designed and relatively simple differences help set them apart.

The QX30 sits higher thanks to its raised suspension and is wider. It also has design touches like wheel arch cladding and roof rails to give it a more purposeful off-roader kind of look. To reinforce this from an engineering perspective the QX30 comes with intelligent all-wheel drive.

While there are a range of petrol and diesel engines to choose from with the Q30, the QX30 only has a 2.2-litre diesel. To be honest this is probably the most capable all-rounder from the engine range, so it represents a good choice.

An interesting feature is Active Noise Cancellation, which emits sound waves from the door speakers to minimise engine noise.

There are just two trim levels to choose from - Premium and Premium Tech and both are generously equipped.

The QX30 certainly looks distinctive, with curves in all the right places to deliver a muscular look that's easy to like.

Its look is also a pretty individual one, so if you like something a bit different it could be for you.

Add in the fact that Infiniti vehicles are far from being two-a-penny on UK roads and you raise the exclusivity factor further still.

The cabin is well done out and has a real premium feel throughout. Instrumentation and switchgear are top notch and user-friendly too.

It also features Infiniti's upgraded InTouch infotainment system which offers touch and swipe control through the seven-inch touchscreen.

Space-wise it's reasonably big and certainly up front is a very comfortable car from a driver's perspective.

Ideally it could offer a little more space in the rear but it's still comfortable and relatively spacious.

A 430-litre boot means it's pretty practical for family requirements too.

Build quality is another strong point and it feels rock solid.

To drive the QX30 is decent enough. While its driving dynamics don't necessarily inspire, the ride quality is excellent meaning it's a hugely comfortable car to be in on pretty much any kind of road for any journey.

The seven-speed automatic gearbox, which is standard, is noticeably compact and super smooth too.

It also has the advantage of a selection of driving modes, ranging from Eco to Sport.

I spent most of my time in the Standard mode in between the two, but switching to Sport for a trip on winding B roads proved more than satisfactory and sharped things up nicely.

I also liked the added grip and reassurance the four-wheel drive system added to the driving experience.

FAST FACTS

Infinti QX30 2.2d Premium Tech

Price: £34,225

Mechanical: 168bhp, 2,143cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 134mph

0-62mph:8.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 57.6

Insurance Group: 23

C02 emissions: 128g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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