By Patrick James on 2018-08-12 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Infiniti QX30 LUXE
WHILE not exactly a household name in the UK yet, Infiniti, the executive/luxury arm of Nissan, is more recognised than ever before, with the Japanese firm seeing sales growth bucking a national trend at home and worldwide.
The Sunderland-built QX30 is a model leading the charge andhas just upgraded the specifications of both the saloon Q30 and QX30 SUV/crossover here along with the introduction of grading structure, featuring the names of PURE, LUXE and SPORT
The QX30 only features in LUXE and LUXE TECH grades with both packed with equipment and design updates and include optional 19in resurfaced, five double spoke light alloy wheels, attributing to a more commanding look.
Is it a crossover or an SUV? A bit of both actually withcrossover appearance with signature Infiniti design cues, but it adds intelligent four wheel drive system an increased ride height for the rougher stuff.
It has an almost-wedge shape, muscular yet sleek withlow-slung roof-line, standing 30mm higher than the Q30 with satin chrome roof rails fitted as standard and wider wheel arch cladding.
Other nice touches are the the double-arch grille with its three-dimensional mesh giving it a real road presence.
The interior is real premium quality with a combination of heated leather seats and quality soft touch trim together with chrome inserts to doors, multi-function steering wheel, dials and gearshift lever.
It is packed with equipment, all you would expect from a premium brand, but with the auto parking camera system a real bonus as well as neat touches like auto dimming rear view and driver's door mirror and intelligent cruise control.
The centrepiece is a seven-inch touchscreen which can also be controlled for a rotary knob on the centre console. This controls sat nav, connectivity including mirroring of smart phones, climate and the excellent 10-speaker Bose sound system. Dials and switches are logically laid and feel sturdy.
Head and legroom is good at the front, but definitely at a premium in the rear because of the low roofline, this also impairs visibility.
The QX30 will not spoil you for engine choice comes with a 168bhp, 2.2-litre diesel mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox.
It has hatchback capability with folding rear seats, a ski tunnel and various little cubby holes.
The 170ps 2.2-litre diesel is lively enough, hitting 60mph in 8.5 seconds. For a sportier drive, sport mode can be selected and the drive can then use the steering wheel paddles for a more engaging drive.
Claimed economy is around 52mpg, although emissions are not great at 143g/km, placing in the 33 per cent bracket for benefit in kind taxation.
The diesel is smooth and fairly refined with any clatter largely absent, as is wind noise. It does ride well and even sits pretty well on corners despite the higher ride.
Infiniti QX30 LUXE TECH
Mechanical: 70ps, 2,143cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 127mph
0-62mph: 8.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 52.3
Insurance Group: 13
C02 emissions: 143g/km
Bik rating: 33%
Warranty: 3yrs/62,500 miles
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