For cham­pagne tastes

Be­neath the In­finiti’s swoopy pan­els is Mercedes A-Class run­ning gear

Herald Sun - Motoring - - THE TICK -

LIT­TLE things mean a lot in the In­finiti Q30. You could ar­gue it’s the same in ev­ery car, be­cause you need to feel good at the wheel and as a pas­sen­ger.

The In­finiti is a spe­cial case be­cause the Q30 is re­ally a Mercedes-Benz A-Class in a sharp lit­tle party frock. It ar­rives as part of a share deal between Daim­ler and Re­naultNis­san that will also spin off a Mercedes ute with Nis­san Navara un­der­pin­nings.

Given the donor ve­hi­cle, the Q30 comes as a com­pact fron­twheel drive with three turbo en­gine op­tions, in­clud­ing a diesel, and in GT, Sports and Sports Pre­mium pack­ages priced from $38,900 to $52,900. It is built in Bri­tain, con­ve­niently close to Daim­ler sup­pli­ers in Europe, de­spite com­ing from a Ja­panese brand.

In­finiti is launch­ing a ma­jor at­tack with the Q30 (and the QX30 all-wheel drive that sells along­side it), be­cause it fi­nally has a car with the right size and price to tempt buy­ers from other brands. Po­ten­tial tar­gets are un­com­mit­ted younger shop­pers and those who aren’t rusted on to the Ger­man pres­tige brands.

So the Q30 is the car that In­finiti des­per­ately needs to get the brand mov­ing in Aus­tralia, af­ter im­port­ing lack­lus­tre mid­sized mod­els and SUVs that worked in the US but strug­gled to make an im­pact here.

The car comes with five-star safety, de­spite the base GT lack­ing a re­vers­ing cam­era, and the five-door hatch dis­plays impressive qual­ity. Sus­pen­sion and steer­ing have been tuned to give a dif­fer­ent feel to the equiv­a­lent Ben­zes.

On that score, the Q30

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