Entry Price: $29,950
Price as Tested: $42,815
This week, we’re behind the wheel of the 2018 Infiniti QX30, one of four SUV/crossover models that carry the Infiniti badge. QX30 is Infiniti’s entry-level five-passenger compact crossover that delivers a nice combination of opulence and sporty handling. As for looks, you can list the 2018 Infiniti QX30 as one of the best looking small crossovers on the market today, hands down.
Most important to note is a new working relationship between Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz. When the all-new QX30 debuted as a 2017 model it arrived with the chassis, suspension and powertrain all obtained from the Mercedes-Benz MFA compact car platform that produces the GLA- and CLA-Class Mercedes vehicles. So, in reality, you get the best of both worlds of Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz when you slip behind the wheel of the brand new QX30.
Updates for 2018 are minor, including a few tweaks to the front and rear fascias, but basically it’s pretty much the same all-new QX30 that appeared in 2017. A total of four distinct models are available ala QX30 ($29,950); OX30 Luxury ($32,600); QX30 Premium ($35,300) and QX30 Sport ($38,500). If you want an AWD model, add from $1,800 to $2,400 more depending on model choice.
Infiniti’s prospective consumers include higher income families with hopes of moving these happy Infiniti owners into the QX50, QX60 and then the granddaddy of them all QX80, the latter Infiniti’s full size SUV that can go over $90,000 if equipped to the hilt.
However, don’t let that near six-figure QX80 price scare you. The QX30 starts at just $29,950 for the base model and then climbs to $37,770 base to get into our tester for the week, the Premium AWD. Additionally, with rivals from Lexus, Cadillac, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Acura and Lincoln also competing here, look for the all-new QX30 to do very well (if not better) than the foes in this popular luxury compact class.
Offering an uncompromising expression of crossover style and car-like sporty handling, QX30 now shows off the corporate dogma in better style. Specifically, Infiniti’s entire QX line is tied more so to rewarding the consumer that demands opulence yet does so by not going overboard on artificial or unwanted appearance gimmicks. With QX30 consumers can expect a long list of amenities, powerful 4-cylinder turbocharged engine and a mechanical build quotient that will impress everyone with its handling, more aggressive appearance and zero to 60 mph performance.
Infiniti QX30 utilizes a durable and traction hungry independent suspension with secure handling in mind. It works in tandem with the aforementioned and powerful 2.0-liter, 208 horsepower, 258 torque turbo 4-cylinder that mates to a dual clutch, high-tech 7-speed automatic with selectable driving modes. The result is a compact crossover in AWD dress that delivers 21 city and 30 highway MPG while the front drive delivers better fuel mileage at 24 city and 33 highway thanks to its lighter curb weight.
Infiniti’s intelligent fully automatic AWD system assures excellent traction when the weather turns nasty. Large 4-wheel disc brakes and sturdy stabilizer bars front and rear assist in the handling with little or no lean in the turns. Safety features found on every Infiniti include all the airbags, brake assist, traction control, vehicle dynamics and much more. All season 18-inch Continental tires assist in the traction abilities and come mounted to nice alloy wheels.
QX’s cabin is very inviting and features lavish comforts and high-grade appointments. The Nappa leather cockpit includes intuitive controls and a great 10-speaker Bose audio system with SiriusXM Satellite, Bluetooth, MP3 and the latest tech toys. A rear view safety camera is standard as is a large 7-inch display screen. The back seat is a bit cramped, especially for taller passengers.
Options include a $1,850 Navigation Package with In Touch Navigation and complimentary trial access to safety, security and convenience features. Included are front and rear parking sensors and SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link with complimentary trial access to traffic, weather, fuel prices, stocks, sports and movie times. I’d pass on this option as most offered here can be accessed on a smartphone sans the parking assist.
I do like the $2,200 Technology Package that adds Round View all-around-vision monitor with moving object detection, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, forward emergency braking, intelligent cruise, intelligent park assist and high beam assist. Overall, all of these Infiniti safety options are worth every dollar. With $995 destination, our tester came in at a final $42,815 retail.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 106.3 inches, 3,475 lb. curb weight, 14.8 gallon fuel tank, 36.6 turn circle, and 19.2 to 34 cu. ft. of cargo space with second row seat up or down, respectively.
Assembled in Sunderland, United Kingdom, (another surprise) Infiniti’s QX30 is a work of art in motion and should be on your test drive list if shopping this category. Currently, your Infiniti dealer has special incentives on both the all-new leftover 2017s and the 2018s.
In summary, I’ve always liked both Infiniti and parent Nissan all through the years when it comes to producing reliable and impressive looking vehicles. Throw in the Mercedes-Benz connection and an entry price below $30,000, and now might be your best time to drive an Infiniti QX30 and see for yourself.
Likes: Infinity/Mercedes-Benz co-op, looks, powerful engine, handling.
Dislikes: Back seat tight, less cargo space than competitors.
Next week we drive the 2018 Volkswagen Golf.
— Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and other Gatehouse Media publications.
Test Drive: All-new Infiniti QX30 has Mercedes-Benz connection
Entry Price: $29,950