Around a year ago, we got introduced to the INFINITI QX30 via Mervyn Stewart Ltd in Belfast – QX30 is a premium crossover and a new kid on the block for the Northern Ireland market – it impressed greatly and most recently we spent more time with it.
Its all well and good getting to drive a new model for a couple of hours, however you don’t get a true appreciation for a car until it has been put through the daily duties for a few days and as such, last month I got to drive the QX30 for a week.
INFINITI’s QX30 is what you get when you take a Q30 2.2 diesel with 7 speed automatic gearbox and add four wheel drive, larger wheels, roof rails, wider arch mouldings, more ground clearance and a wider track and I imagine sits against the likes of the Mercedes GLA and Lexus’ NX.
This model tested thanks to Infiniti UK is finished in metallic ‘Chestnut Bronze’ (£670 option) which looks fantastically rich against the satin chrome mirrors, roof rails and window surrounds as well as the rear privacy glass (£300 option).
The satin chrome continues onto both bumpers as skid guards – to protect the car for those adventurous owners who take advantage of the all wheel drive system. With signature styling around the front as well as the C-Pillars, I think the QX30 looks absolutely fantastic.
Despite not being an overly large car, front and rear parking sensors are welcomed as a convenience more than a necessity whilst safety is helped with front and rear LED lighting incorporating automatic activation as well as self-levelling and high beam assist.
Spec wise – the QX30 offers more quality over the Q30 with no ‘entry level’ as such, meaning two models are available. Firstly a ‘Premium’, starting from £29,490 and secondly a ‘Premium Tech’, as tested, starting from £33,370.
This seems like a hefty price in comparison to questionable rivals such as the Mini Countryman or Volvo V40 Cross Country, however by the time you spec the others up to a similar level of equipment, they are all much the same price and on that basis the QX30 wins for its looks alone.
When pitched against more realistic, premium rivals as mentioned at the start of the article, pricing is very much similar but again the QX30 would win my vote due to it being much more stylish and not as common on our roads.
Standard technology on this model tested includes Lane Departure Warning, Hill Start Assist, Forward Collision Warning & Stop with Adaptive Brake Assist amongst a plethora of other smaller features to aid safety and convenience.
This model tested is fitted with an £1800 optional safety pack which further adds Blind Spot Warning, Automatic Park Assist, Around View Monitor and Moving Object Detection along with Intelligent Cruise Control keeping things as safe as possible.
Load space is pretty good if a little shallow for some owners needs, but with a ski hatch and split/fold as standard it is a practical space for many.
Inside the INFINITI QX30 is a lavish place to be, I absolutely love the chocolate nappa leather upholstery on this model tested against the piano black trim and black suede pillars and headliner, a gorgeous combination it was.
The heated electric seats offer plenty of comfort and support with decent room in the front whilst the rear may get a little cramped with four six footers on board over a long journey, for the older generation with grand kids or the younger generation with kids – its more than perfect.
A 7 inch touch screen is the hub of infotainment in the QX30 whilst additional controls come in the form of voice control and a drive wheel which is in a very awkward position in front of the central armrest. A pair of USB ports allows phone connectivity with Bluetooth calling and streaming on offer also.
AM/FM and DAB radio feature along with CD playback and with noise cancelling technology the QX30 is a quieter place to be than the Q30. Sound quality is second to none thanks to BOSE speakers on the model tested with a sub woofer in place of a spare wheel aiding optimum sound quality.
The 2.2 turbocharged diesel power-train provides just shy of 170bhp and close to 260lb/ft offering more than enough ‘get up and go’ for most owners, however for those that want a little more the 2.0 turbocharged petrol engine is available offering 208bhp with the same torque as the diesel.
Both engines are combined to an all-wheel-drive system via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and on the model tested the diesel engine is great, accelerating from 0-62mph in just 8.5seconds with the added luxury of paddle shift and drive mode select.
Driving modes include ‘Eco’, ‘Manual’ and ‘Sport’; Eco is self explanatory and is where most users will keep the QX30 for the vast amount as it offers the best balance of performance and economy – Manual mode is handy to have, though won’t get used the most whilst Sport I found to be great at predicting the correct gear, as well as holding the right gear when on a spirited back road jaunt.
Driving wise the QX30 isn’t as firm as the Q30 and as such absorbs bumpy roads with absolute ease and in snow, mud or on mountainous trails I imagine the QX30 will cope just fine with its all-wheel-drive. With stop/start technology activated, I found the QX30 a little slow to fire up and move off, but I generally drive without this active in any car.
Another gripe with QX30 is the overly complicated (to me anyway) cruise control stock, I think I only managed to actually activate and adjust the cruise control once in the whole week I tested the car – it’s as awkward as a teenage lad trying to remove his good lady’s brassiere, single handed, for the first time.
A combined cycle will likely see 50mpg on this diesel with the model tested including all its options coming in at £37,725.
Overall I rather quite like it – if you need premium and ability in all weathers, the QX30 most certainly ticks the boxes, and despite looking a little expensive, against like-for-like rivals, it’s actually about right with great incentives for monthly payment plans.
Words and Photos: Graham Curry
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