SPORTS PRE­MIUM

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Head To Head -

Essen­tially a Bri­tish-built, softer ver­sion of the Benz, it is cheek­ily priced at near par­ity but goes with­out all-wheel drive and AMG in­put for wheels, dy­nam­ics and other de­tails. In its favour are am­ple lux­ury fea­tures and com­pre­hen­sive safety gear. There are Nappa leather up­hol­stery, 10-speaker Bose au­dio and “in­tel­li­gent” cruise con­trol. Capped ser­vic­ing is $1620 for three years. Swoopy styling and “as­sertive’’ face grab at­ten­tion but the Q30 can’t de­cide whether it’s a hatch or an SUV. The pert back end lim­its rear­ward vi­sion but the boot is a good size. Func­tional, classy cabin has some un­mis­take­ably Benz switchgear. In­fo­tain­ment screen is a rea­son­able size and con­trols nu­mer­ous func­tions. De­cent per­for­mance from the 2.0-litre turbo (155kW/350Nm) driv­ing the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. Don’t ex­pect rapid progress. In sport mode it clocks 7.3 secs for 0-100kmh sprint and claims 6.3L/100km. Min­i­mal noise and vi­bra­tion en­ter cabin and the en­gine feels tractable and un­ob­tru­sive. Seven airbags aid a swag of driver as­sis­tance kit: au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, ac­tive cruise con­trol, speed sign recog­ni­tion and 360 de­gree re­verse cam­era. Other use­ful tech in­cludes adap­tive LED head­lights and pop up bon­net for pedes­trian pro­tec­tion. Qual­ity rub­ber on 19-inch wheels gives im­pres­sive grip. Ac­cel­er­ate out of cor­ners in lower gears and the wheel tugs at your hands. Push through the bends, and the nose will drift wide and scrub the tyres. The sus­pen­sion is soft and the over­all feel is cruisy rather than sporty. Select Sport mode and it goes a bit harder. The Q30 makes a good fist of ev­ery­day driv­ing. Ex­haust note lacks soul.

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