The Infiniti QX30 is a higher-riding, all-wheel-drive variant of Infiniti’s recently launched Infiniti Q30 premium compact front-drive crossover. Like that car, it shares its platform, drivetrain and some interior architecture with the Mercedes-Benz GLA. It’s intended for buyers who occasionally drive on firetrails, or in snowy conditions.
- All-wheel drive provides extra traction on slippery surfaces, allowing the car to feel more controllable.
- The QX30 rides 30mm higher than its Q30 sibling, which provides a little extra clearance to potentially negotiate rocky terrain, and may make entry and egress marginally easier.
- Extra body cladding at each end of the car provides more protection against rocks, sticks or anything else off-road that may damage the bodywork.
- The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine provides strong acceleration, while the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission shifts quickly and responds well to either paddle shifters or the driver’s throttle inputs.
- The tall seventh ratio sees the engine turning over at just 1700rpm at 100km/h, which can make for very an economical cruising speed. The car’s combined consumption is 6.9L/100km, which is commendable, albeit 0.6 higher than the Q30, due mostly to the extra weight and drag of the all-wheel-drive hardware.
- The interior imparts a sense of high quality and premium finishes.
- The car is offered with a four-year warranty, one more than Mercedes-Benz.
- The Infiniti brand is relatively new to Australia, so the dealer network is not nearly as extensive as that of the premium European brands.
- The lack of brand awareness may impact on resale value.
- The extra ride height and tyres designed to handle both bitumen and mud means the handling is not quite as sharp and assured as that of the Q30. This is only relevant to hard-driving enthusiasts, however.
- Lack of a reversing camera on the entry-level GT model. (It makes do with beeping sensors.)
- Lack of the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, meaning your phone’s functionality cannot be displayed on the car’s multimedia system.
- Tight for space in the back with four adults onboard.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?
Most obvious is the car on which the Infiniti is based; the Mercedes-Benz GLA. If a high power output is not a priority, consider the entry-level GLA 180. If you want the performance offered by the Infiniti, you’ll need to look at the GLA 250, which starts $3K higher at $59,000. Otherwise the Audi Q2 is worthy of consideration; it’s due in February next year and has been well received in Europe. Great equipment, connectivity and cabin quality, and, by all accounts, a lively, engaging drive. Finally, there’s the BMW X1 - roomy and well-engineered, but starts from around $60K for a comparable mechanical spec to the QX30, and needs expensive options to bring it in line in terms of features.