If you like the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, and you generally should, take a look at the Infiniti QX30. Doug already ran you through the odd marriage, or collaboration, or whatever you want to call it. They’re largely the same vehicle with a different body style — but did you know that used QX30s are a screaming deal on the used market? Plus you can do some simple modifications to make it even hotter! Let’s take a closer look at this odd hot hatch.
Brand new, both the QX30 and the GLA 250 are pretty affordable. New, the Mercedes GLA 250 4MATIC SUV starts at $33,950 for the front-wheel-drive version and $35,950 when equipped with all-wheel drive. The Infiniti QX30 starts at $30,250, with the AWD model at $35,100. So if you want AWD, and you should, the new prices are pretty comparable. Max out the Infiniti QX30 to get the Sport version and it’ll be $40,200. To max out the Mercedes you have to opt for the AMG GLA45, which will cost you $53,350. Of course, you get a more massive 375 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque — so it’s not in the same league as other cars with just 208 hp.
The real story is in used pricing, though. A nationwide search for the QX30 here on Autotrader shows pricing under $20,000 for 2017 and 2018 AWD models, whereas comparably priced GLA 250 models generally come from the 2015 to 2016 model years. Get specific and go for a 2017+ Certified-Pre-Owned Premium-trim AWD QX30, and you’re still talking under $21,000 like this white CPO from Austin, TX. A similar CPO AWD GLA 250 will run you almost $25,000, like this white one in Littleton, CO. So you’re looking at a $3,000 to $4,000 difference in used pricing for similarly spec’d cars. Details on specific packages on those two cars weren’t posted in those two ads, but you get the idea.
So the Infiniti QX30 is cheaper, but did you know it can also be modified using stuff intended for the Mercedes version? I have a colleague who just picked a Premium spec AWD 2017 for around $21,000 with the upgraded "teak" interior and other goodies and has proceeded to modify it. He and his son added an AEM cold air intake and a DINAN Sport Performance Tuner, which bumped horsepower from around 208 to close to 260 — and torque from 258 lb-ft to over 300! The boost controller tricks the ECU into believing the turbo is starved of 3 to 4 pounds, of boost and compensates by providing more. The Infiniti uses a Nissan ECU, but after some internet research he found that the Mercedes spec modifications should work — and so far it has.
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