Looking for a small SUV that rides and drives like a compact sport sedan? The 2019 Infiniti QX30 may be the perfect solution. Sharing its basic platform and engine with the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250, the QX30 is designed by Infiniti, assembled in England and sold here in the U.S. It’s a true world car, delivering a sporty ride and loads of high-tech features in a stylish and affordable compact luxury SUV. It’s every bit as desirable as the Audi Q3, the BMW X1 and the Lexus NX 200t.
Offered as the QX30 (front-wheel drive) or the 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 eight 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 2019?
For 2019, the Luxe trim can now be equipped with Infiniti’s InTouch navigation and InTouch services, as well as a new 19-in wheel package.
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-in 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
$31,145 — $45,500
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. FWD models earn an estimated 24 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. AWD versions see a slightly lower 21 mpg city/30 mpg hwy.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 Infiniti QX30 is offered with FWD or AWD. Trims for the FWD QX30 include the Pure, Luxe, Essential and Sport, while AWD is only offered on the Luxe and Essential trims.
The QX30 Pure ($31,145) includes Intelligent Key keyless entry and push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth seating, forward emergency braking, 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 Luxe ($33,995, FWD; $35,995, AWD) adds a panoramic moonroof, 8-way power front seats with 4-way power lumbar for both driver and passenger, leatherette seating, memory for the driver’s seat and mirrors, heated front seats, a rear-seat pass-through, an auto entry/exit system and gloss black interior accents. AWD 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 Essential ($40,195, FWD; $42,395, AWD) adds a 10-speaker Bose audio system, rain-sensing wipers, heated windshield washers, adaptive front lighting, LED fog lamps, Nappa leather seating, blind spot warning and roof rails.
The QX30 Sport ($42,095) 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 suede-like 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 (a 7-in touchscreen with navigation, Infiniti InTouch Services, front and rear parking sensors), and the ProAssist package (lane-departure warning, Intelligent Cruise Control, high beam assist and Intelligent Park Assist). Other packages include the City Black package (Sport) and the Café Theme Teak package (Essential AWD).
Standard safety equipment on the QX30 includes anti-lock brakes, electronic traction and stability control, a rearview camera, forward emergency braking and front side-impact and side-curtain airbags. Optional safety equipment includes blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
As of the writing of this review, neither the government nor the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crashed-tested the 2019 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 the CLA. Thanks to tweaking by company engineers, the QX30 now offers a more distinct ride than the German examples.
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 0-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 vs. the 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 two 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
2019 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.
2019 Audi Q3 — The Q3 is all-new for 2019 and offers more horsepower and torque, a more spacious interior and a higher base price. However, we like the Q3’s audio and navigation setup better than the QX30’s, as well as it interior design.
We think the QX30 rides best when rolling on 18-in wheels, so we’d say go with either the Luxe or the Essential 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.