The Infiniti QX30 is a compact SUV that feels quiet and smooth on the road, but doesn’t provide much space for rear passengers.
If you’re in the market for a premium small SUV, you have a huge amount of choice. As such, the Infiniti QX30 needs to be of exceptional quality if it hopes to join the ranks of alternatives like the Audi Q3, Mercedes GLA, Mini Countryman and BMW X1. And while the car is quiet and smooth to drive, it suffers from unresponsive handling and a lack of rear space.
Although, credit where it’s due, the QX30 looks good from the outside. However, the rear half gets a slap on the wrist for the awkward and squashed-looking chrome trim around the passenger side windows.
Inside, it’s clear the QX30 has borrowed many elements from the luxurious Mercedes A-Class. Without exaggeration, the infotainment, climate controls and seat-positioning controls are all identical to the GLA’s. Of course, with the GLA having such a well-built cabin, this won’t elicit many complaints. What will, however, is the lower half of the interior trim, which is made up of cheap and nasty-feeling plastic. Visibility for the driver is pretty poor, as well.
Space inside is a mixed bag. The driver is well-catered-for with decently lined-up pedals and a widely adjustable steering wheel position. Meanwhile, passengers in the back seats will not have a fun time – the low roofline will provide a tough time for an adult, as will the lack of legroom.
Most people buy SUVs for comfortable, family-orientated driving. With its body roll, poor infotainment and cramped back seats, the QX30 doesn’t provide this anywhere near as well as its alternatives – but still costs around the same price.
The infotainment is subpar, too. Even though both QX30 trims – the Luxe and Luxe Tech – have a 7-inch touchscreen with voice recognition and a built-in satnav, it’s unintuitive and fiddly to use.
Beneath the bonnet, both the Luxe and Luxe Tech versions of the QX30 get the same four-cylinder, 2.2-litre diesel engine, which returns 170hp and will manage 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds. Official fuel consumption varies from 39.2 to 40.9mpg, which – despite the QX30 being 0.8 seconds faster off the line – is poor when compared with the 61.4mpg of the base-level diesel X1.
The seven-speed automatic gearbox is smooth and the QX30’s ride is relaxed on the bumps of Britain’s roads, with only the deepest potholes causing discomfort. On the other hand, this soft suspension leads to an excessive amount of body roll, meaning that passengers prone to car sickness could have a rather difficult time floating and listing about in turns. The heavy steering will quickly make precise manoeuvres like parallel parking tiresome.
Because of its cramped passenger space, unresponsive and ‘floaty’ driving, and hefty price tag, it is difficult to recommend the QX30 over the GLA or X1. Not only are these cars better-equipped for a very similar price tag, but they look and feel superior inside, and are more adept in towns or on the motorway.