In­finiti aims higher

Herald Sun - Motoring - - LAUNCH PAD -

IN­FINITI QX30

A slightly el­e­vated ride at a mod­er­ately el­e­vated price is ex­pected to be the ra­tio­nale when the In­finiti QX30 goes on sale next week. The com­pact SUV is based on the MercedesBenz small car plat­form and is the higher-rid­ing sib­ling to In­finiti’s just-launched Q30 hatch. In­finiti gets to cal­i­brate the soft­ware and sus­pen­sion, so there are sub­tle changes to the way the QX30 op­er­ates and the re­vised spring rates make it a more re­laxed drive.

In­finiti Aus­tralia is promis­ing a high level of stan­dard spec but won’t — as it did with the Q30 — launch at a higher price point than the com­pa­ra­ble Benz. Cars­guide ex­pects the price to start at about the $50,000 mark, de­pend­ing on how much kit In­finiti packs into the small SUV. The QX30 will only sell here in all-wheel-drive con­fig­u­ra­tion, un­like over­seas mar­kets. Of the en­gines avail­able only the 2.0-litre tur­bocharged four-cylin­der matched to a seven-speed au­to­matic has been con­firmed.

MINI JCW CON­VERT­IBLE

If the Mini con­vert­ible is the ul­ti­mate ex­pres­sion of your in­di­vid­u­al­ity, the John Cooper Works ver­sion is for those whose ex­tro­ver­sion has a hooli­gan bent. It isn’t su­perquick but it is an en­gag­ing drive, es­pe­cially by con­vert­ible stan­dards — and they’re in deal­er­ships now. The 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo cranks out 170kW/320Nm and is good for a 0-100km/h sprint time of about 6.5 sec­onds while of­fi­cially us­ing just 6.2L/100km.

The smart front-end sus­pen­sion lim­its torque steer on take­off and with the top up you can en­ter­tain no­tions of driv­ing a sports car. Rais­ing or low­er­ing the soft-top lid takes 18 sec­onds and can be per­formed at speeds up to 30km/h. Prices for the JCW con­vert­ible start at $54,900. Stan­dard gear in­cludes a sixspeed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with pad­dle-shifters, 12-speaker Har­man/Kar­don sound sys­tem, DAB ra­dio, sat­nav, re­vers­ing cam­era, a head-up dis­play and LED lights.

VOLK­SWA­GEN TIGUAN

The Tiguan has grown up to help VW grow its SUV sales in a seg­ment up more than 12 per cent so far this year. The Mazda CX-5 com­peti­tor is big­ger and bet­ter equipped and it needs to be with a start­ing price of $31,990 for the 1.4-litre turbo matched to six-speed man­ual. The six-speed auto adds $2500.

Safety soft­ware helps off­set the high en­try price, with cityspeed au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing in­clud­ing pedes­trian de­tec­tion, lane-keep as­sist, fa­tigue de­tec­tion and an ac­tive bon­net to pro­tect pedes­tri­ans.

The cabin has an eight-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen with Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto con­nec­tiv­ity, auto head­light and wipers and cruise con­trol.

Head­lin­ing the range is the High­line DSG 4 Mo­tion with a choice a 162kW/350Nm 2.0litre petrol en­gine ($48,490) or 140kW/400Nm diesel en­gine ($49,990) paired with a sev­en­speed dual-clutch auto.

In­finiti QX30, main pic­ture; Mini JCW Con­vert­ible, be­low cen­tre; Volk­swa­gen Tiguan, bot­tom

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