Here’s something I didn’t realize: the Infiniti QX30 shares a lot of switches with Mercedes-Benz models. I suppose this shouldn’t be surprising, considering the QX30’s tie-in with Mercedes-Benz, but I only just got in a QX30 for the first time recently, and it felt like climbing in a Mercedes-Benz.
For those of you who don’t know the situation with the QX30, the basic gist is that Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz decided to work together developing it. Mercedes-Benz makes the platform, the engine and apparently a lot of the switchgear, while Infiniti actually assembles the vehicle. Infiniti must’ve seen this partnership as a quick way to enter the rapidly growing subcompact crossover segment without years of development, since the QX30 is based on the Mercedes-Benz GLA — and even shares the GLA’s powertrain. The two cars are roughly the same size, and they even share the same overall look, though the QX30 includes Infiniti’s own distinctive exterior touches.
On the inside, however, you really see the partnership in place: the QX30 uses a Mercedes-Benz gear lever, a Mercedes steering wheel, door-mounted Mercedes seat controls, Mercedes window switches, a Mercedes headlight dial and more. The entire interior feels like you’re sitting inside a Mercedes-Benz until you glance down at the horn pad and realize it’s an Infiniti.
Maybe even stranger than all this is the fact that Infiniti builds the vehicle at Nissan’s factory in the UK — so you have a German brand providing much of the pieces for a Japanese car that’s made in the U.K. and primarily sold in the U.S.
This whole thing is a bit of an odd partnership, and apparently it’s one that Infiniti is already trying to undo, citing "insufficient sales." In the years to come, we may look back at the QX30 as an especially bizarre meeting of two automakers, much like how it’s weird now that the Mercury Villager and Nissan Quest were ever jointly developed. It’s certainly odd to glance inside the car, and I thought others might be interested in the Mercedes-Benz Infiniti.
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