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2018 Infiniti QX30: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader August 2017

As consumers move away from large SUVs, they've indicated a strong desire to keep the power and features associated with said vehicles, but in smaller, more economical packages. The 2018 Infiniti QX30 is just such an SUV, offering sleek styling, a sporty ride and plenty of the high-tech goodies that help make an Infiniti an Infiniti.

The QX30's creation is the product of a joint venture between Renault-Nissan and German automaker Daimler. Assembled in England, the QX30 is truly a world car, sharing its platform and 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250. Infiniti's contribution can be found in the design, interior and chassis tuning, all areas where the company excels over rivals like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Lexus NX 200t.

Offered as the QX30 Sport (front-drive) or QX30 AWD (all-wheel-drive), Infiniti's smallest SUV is clearly designed to bring younger buyers into the Infiniti fold. And while the QX30's AWD setup and 8 inches of ground clearance might sound like the recipe for an off-road champ, this is one luxury SUV aimed more at upwardly mobile enthusiasts than adventurous weekend warriors.

What's New for 2018?

After its successful launch last year, there are no major changes for the 2018 QX30.

What We Like

Attractive styling; reasonable price; driver-oriented cockpit; excellent sport seats; good balance between performance and fuel economy

What We Don't

Thick C-Pillars block rearward visibility; 19-inch run-flat tires can be noisy; limited rear-seat headroom and legroom; small cargo compartment; missing some advanced driver assists like rear cross-traffic alert and lane-keep assist

How Much?

$30,945-$45,500

Fuel Economy

A direct-injection 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine good for 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque powers the QX30. The only transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shift mode. Front-wheel-drive models earn an estimated 24 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. All-wheel-drive versions see a slightly lower 21 mpg city/30 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2018 Infiniti QX30 is offered with front- or all-wheel drive (AWD). Trims for the front-drive QX30 include the base, Luxury, Premium and Sport, while AWD is only offered on the Luxury and Premium trims.

The QX30 base ($30,945) includes Intelligent Key keyless entry and push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a rearview monitor, Bluetooth, a 7-in touchscreen with Infiniti InTouch apps, an 8-way manually adjustable driver's seat with 4-way power lumbar, 18-in alloy wheels with all-season run-flat tires, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an electronic parking brake, power-folding heated side mirrors, an auto-dimming driver's-side outside mirror and a 6-speaker AM/FM/XM/CD audio system with two USB ports.

The QX30 Luxury ($33,595, FWD; $35,395, AWD) adds Nappa leather seating, 8-way power front seats with 4-way power lumbar for both driver and passenger, memory for the driver's seat and mirrors, heated front seats, a rear-seat pass-through, an auto entry/exit system, Nappa leather-stitched dash inserts and a folding rear center armrest. All-wheel-drive versions add unique front and rear lower fascias, an additional 1.2 inches in ride height, unique side sills and roof rails, and unique 18-in alloy wheels.

The QX30 Premium ($36,295, FWD; $38,695, AWD) adds a 10-speaker Bose audio system, rain-sensing wipers, heated windshield washers, LED fog lamps and roof rails.

The QX30 Sport ($39,495) adds a sport suspension, 19-in run-flat summer tires and alloy wheels, unique body extensions and fascias, a gloss-black grille, a 0.6-in reduction in ride height, aluminum pedal finishers, a flat-bottom steering wheel, cross-drilled front brake rotors, Intelligent Park Assist, sport seats in leatherette and Dinamica fabric and the around-view monitor with moving-object detection.

Options for the QX30 are bundled into packages. Some of the more notable include the Navigation package (7-in touchscreen navigation, Infiniti InTouch Services, front and rear parking sensors), the LED package (adaptive LED headlights and LED interior lights) and the Technology package (blind spot monitoring, forward emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, Infiniti Intelligent Park Assist and the 360-degree around-view monitor).

Additional interior luxury packages include the Gallery White Theme package (FWD models), which includes white Nappa leather seating and door inserts, red stitching, and black headliner and pillar treatment. AWD models offer the Leather package (leather seating) and the Cafe Teak Theme package (Brown Nappa leather seating, brown leatherette console and door trim, genuine wood center-stack and door-handle trim plus a black headliner and pillar treatment).

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the QX30 includes anti-lock brakes, electronic traction and stability control, a rearview camera and front side-impact and side-curtain airbags. Optional safety equipment includes blind spot monitoring and forward emergency braking.

As of the writing of this review, neither the government nor the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crashed-tested the 2018 QX30.

Behind the Wheel

This newest Infiniti is powered by the same 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected 4-cylinder engine found in the Mercedes-Benz GLA and CLA. Thanks to tweaking by company engineers, the QX30 now offers a more distinct ride than the German examples.

We compared the front-drive Sport model to the AWD version, which we think is the better of the two. Buyers get the best of Infiniti's front-wheel-drive and AWD worlds with a powertrain that will take you almost anywhere you want to go.

The 2.0-liter engine offers plenty of get-up-and-go, just as we've seen with its German cousin. It may take 6.4 seconds to go from zero to 60 miles per hour, but it's also a quick-move artist on the fly, able to pass slower-moving traffic with ease and limited passing distance.

When discussing the QX30 Sport and QX30 AWD versions, it clearly comes down to a choice of powertrains. The QX30 Sport front-driver rides on 19-in low-profile run-flat tires. Grippier tires of this type tend to transmit more road noise, depending on pavement surfaces. On the coarse aggregate found in the Pacific Northwest, we were visited by a low-frequency thrum that came on at speeds of over 45 mph. For that reason, we preferred the QX30 AWD, with its standard 18-in wheels. Riding almost 2 inches higher than the Sport version, it's still a competent corner-cutter (or grocery-getter).

The Sport's tuned suspension has been tweaked as well. It rides on a kit that's 7 percent more rigid than the base version's. Under acceleration, the QX30 displays a spirit that matches its good looks. On smoother surfaces, both Infiniti models display a quietness that shows off the interior designer's attention to detail.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 -- While the GLA 250 and QX30 share the same basic architecture, we think Infiniti has done a better job with the engine and suspension tuning, as well as the interior.

2018 Lexus NX 200t -- The Lexus NX 200t is slightly more powerful than the QX30, but it doesn't handle as well in the corners. The QX30 costs less and has a longer standard warranty, but the Lexus offers more optional safety features and a hybrid model.

2018 Audi Q3 -- The Q3 offers less interior room, less horsepower and torque, worse fuel economy and a higher base price. However, we like the Q3's audio and navigation setup better than the QX30's.

Used Lincoln MKC -- A used 2015 -2016 Lincoln MKC will give you more power, more room and more luxury and safety features for about the same price as a base QX30.

Autotrader's Advice

We think the QX30 rides best when rolling on 18-in wheels, so we'd say go with either the Luxury or Premium AWD models. You'll get great handling, added traction and ride height (great for driving in snow) and a few more option package choices. The Sport model has the best handling of the bunch, but its stiff ride and loud interior are definite drawbacks.

Find an Infiniti QX30 for sale

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Used 2017 INFINITI QX30
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Used 2017 INFINITI QX30
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Infiniti QX30: New Car Review - Autotrader