The Q30 uses roughly the same underpinnings as the A-Class but instead of focusing on sportiness, Infiniti decided to make its car more comfortable.
The cheapest engine option for the Q30 is a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder developing 119hp. It’s not fast, but it’s quiet, refined and wont be too expensive to run with fuel economy of 47mpg. It’s 0-62mph time of under nine seconds is a decent pace for an entry-level engine.
Those looking for more power get it from the 2.0-litre option – it comes with 211hp which is good for a 7.2 second 0-62mph time. That’s a decent pace for a small hatchback without any sporting pretensions. It won’t break the bank either with a fuel economy of 42mpg.
If comfort tops your list of priorities, the Q30 is a pretty good bet
The entry-level diesel is expected to be the bestseller due to its low running costs and impressive fuel economy – it may not be fast at 11.9 seconds from 0-62mph, but it compensates with a combined fuel economy of 68.9mpg.
The larger diesel is a 2.1-litre four-cylinder that is available across the Mercedes range. For some reason, Infiniti has designated it as a 2.2-litre unit. The 170hp engine has a broad spread of pulling power and is frugal at 67.3mpg combined, but it pumps a lot of vibration and noise into the cabin. These are constant criticisms of the engine in other cars, and it’s a shame they are still present here – despite claims it’s the quietest and most refined it has ever been. An Audi’s 2.0-litre diesel is quieter.
There is a choice between a six-speed manual and a DSG auto with the same number of gears. Both are good, but the automatic offers a driving experience with less hassle. A four-wheel-drive system is also available and it increases grip in slippery conditions, but at the cost of slightly increased fuel consumption and a marginal loss of straight-line performance.
As many as 50 different suspension set-ups were rejected by the engineers who made the Q30 until they were convinced it was as cosseting as possible.
There isn’t much criticism on the way the Q30 drives apart from a bit of suspension thumping over the biggest pot holes and a bit more roll in corners than rivals. It’s still easy to drive fast, but far from sporty.
Steering is criticised on many new cars, but in the Q30 it has received special attention and it’s accurate and predictable if a bit heavy. Top of the range models can be specified with four-wheel drive that helps the Q30 dig into bends and adds extra grip when the going gets wet or slippy.