Infiniti Q30 has poise and panache
Our test car is the latest, and most affordable, model in the upmarket Japanese Infiniti Q30 five-door hatchback crossover SUV.
It’s also the company’s most important model, sitting as it does in Australia’s most popular, and most competitive, segment.
Interestingly, because Infiniti’s parent company Renault-Nissan has a technical partnership with Daimler, the Infiniti Q30 shares a number of components, including its engines and transmission, with the Mercedes-Benz GLA.
Infiniti Q30 comes in three variants (GT, Sport and Sport Premium) with the choice of three turbocharged engines: two petrol and one diesel.
There is also an all-wheel-drive version called QX30 that comes in GT and Premium levels.
From any angle Q30 is a classy looking and stylish vehicle with a blend of coupe, hatch and SUV, depending on the angle from which it is viewed.
The front is dominated by the Infiniti family grille, an eye-catching double-arch sculpted unit fringed by narrow headlights.
The profile features a deep and sharp shoulder line that runs through both the front and rear door handles together with a similar, more curvaceous line near the bottom of the door.
With the exception of the headlights in the entry-level GT, which are halogen, all other exterior lights are LED, including daytime running lights, fog lights, tail lights and brake lights. The Sport Premium models have a fixed-glass sunroof with powered sunshade.
The GT runs on 18-inch alloy wheels, Sport and Sport Premium get 19-inch alloys.
Inside the Q30 the sculpted styling continues with a series of intersecting curves along the dashboard. We particularly like the narrow A-pillars, which greatly assist exterior visibility.
The cabin features high-quality materials with a super-soft, tactile material used to line many of the surfaces, such as door trims and the centre armrest.
Sport Premium models get eightway powered front seats with three memory settings.
There is reasonable passenger space although the rear is tight in all dimensions for taller adults.
Boot space is better, at 430 litres, with a wide opening and square interior.
Drink-holders take up most of the space between the front seats, meaning that loose items need to be stored in the smallish centre console which also houses the twin USB sockets.
The entry-level GT comes with a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, while the Sport and Sport Premium are available with either a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine or 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel. The 1.6-litre petrol engine in the Q30 GT delivers 115kW of power and 250Nm of torque from 1250 rpm.
The bigger turbo-petrol has maximum power up to 155kW and torque of 350Nm from 1200 revs.
Our test car, the 2.2-litre Sport turbo-diesel, comes up with 125kW of power and peak torque of 350Nm from an accessible 1400 to 3400 rpm.
All models share a Mercedes seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that has been retuned to suit the Infiniti.
Standard safety features include seven airbags, enhanced braking systems, forward collision warning, rear parking sensors, two ISOFIX child seat anchors, and tyre pressure monitoring system.
Sport models add lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition, while the Sport Premium also gets intelligent cruise control, intelligent brake assist with distance control, blind spot monitoring, front parking sensors; 360-degree camera with moving object detection and intelligent park assist.
Infiniti Q30 gets the maximum five-star ANCAP rating.
The Q30 uses the Infiniti InTouch infotainment system with a tablet-style 7.0-inch touchscreen.
Other features include voice recognition, speed-sensitive volume control, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and twin USB socket. Sport Premium models get a premium 10-speaker Bose audio system which is also optional with the Sport. The first thing we noticed was how quiet it was, courtesy of an Active Noise Cancellation system, which emits sound waves through the door speakers to counteract engine and external noises.
The seats are especially comfortable, thanks to a new feature Infiniti calls “zero gravity seats” that mould to the curvature of the occupant’s spine.
Steering is nicely weighted, responsive and linear, while the ride is firm yet comfortable.
Infiniti Q30 is a stunning looking car that attracted plenty of admiring looks during our week.
The crossover tag means the Q30 will appeal to those looking for a pragmatic urban vehicle with the added convenience of an SUV and the availability of all-wheel drive.
Curves and sculpted lines make the Infiniti Q30 a real head-turner.
A deep, sharp shoulder line runs through front and rear door handles.
Infiniti “zero gravity seats” mould to the curvature of the occupant’s spine.