The INFINITI QX30 was first presented to the public as a concept car in Geneva in March of 2015 and was created as a muscular, yet elegant crossover. The beauty about this particular project is that the concept remained almost intact as a production model. This does not happen very often and reflects the company’s desire to boldly go into new directions.
Infotainment and interior features
The infotainment system is fine when searching for radio stations, but it wasn’t an easy task to configure the door-locking parameters. The interface itself should be more user-friendly.
Another issue I had was that I could not find the release button for the tailgate. Additionally, the model I was driving did not show the Bluetooth connection (graphically) on the central screen, so it was difficult to know when my phone or media device was connected or not.
On the other hand, I really appreciated the adjustable headrests with fore and aft adjustments in addition to the normal up and down. Personally, I think they should be standard on all vehicles.
From the exterior there is the perception that the INFINITI QX30 is a rather small vehicle, but don’t be fooled because interior space is actually quite good. The front and rear seats are comfortable with plenty of leg and head room. I’m of average height at 5’9”, so maybe a very tall person (like 6’6”) will be a tight fit because of the low roofline.
One thing that is disputable are the seat adjustments located on the upper part of the door panel. Let’s just say that it is not a natural reflex to look for them on the door instead of on the side of the seat.
I hate it when you have controls that you don’t see, like when the horizontal spokes of the steering wheel hide certain buttons. As I turned the steering wheel I discovered that the cruise control button in the QX30 is right under the turn-signal stalk. Honestly, there are too many functions on that stalk. I understand the purpose of it: designers didn’t want to add any more clutter to the dashboard. Ergonomically speaking, cruise control should reside on the steering wheel. After all, how can you activate something that you cannot see? There is certainly some work to be done in this area.
The HVAC controls on the centre stack are very low, forcing the driver to take their eyes off the road longer than they normally should. It would be safer to move these functions a little higher.
Design and handling
The INFINITI QX30 looks like it is ready to pounce, just like a predator, and handling is impressively fun. This crossover is nimble, has a good feel to the steering with rapid response and there is no body roll when cornering or going through quick direction changes. The suspension and chassis are the result of top-notch work.
There is plenty of power in Sport mode with the 2.0L turbo engine pumping out 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. It is not a very heavy vehicle, so obviously much easier to move. The ride proved surprisingly comfortable given the road conditions in and around Montreal—no rattling and no chassis or body squeaks. Bravo!
Compared to Eco modes that are usually sluggish on other vehicles, this one feels “torquey” and has quite a bit of power. This raises the question as to how fuel-efficient the QX30 really is. Start-stop technology is nicely integrated, though.
The QX30 comes equipped with some great safety features but one that is impressive and well thought out is that objects that are close to the vehicle will be identified via a sound through the right or left speaker. This helps the driver better recognize the obstacle’s position. It’s a system that works very well, although it is very sensitive to objects moving all around the car.
Will the QX30 enjoy success?
Overall, I think it still needs some minor adjustments inside, but the general feeling is one of joy because of its sporty drive. The QX30 put a smile on my face and it has some dynamic lines that make it pleasant to look at, too.
The base price for the 2017 INFINITI QX30 AWD is $38,490. My tester, which included the premium and technology packages as well as metallic paint, was worth $48,635.