Big bro’s beefed up

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan


THE QX30 is the SUV-style big brother to Infiniti’s cur­rent Q30 fam­ily hatch­back. Built at Nis­san’s UK plant in Sun­der­land, they are both based on the Mercedes A-Class but the QX30 is taller and more mus­cu­lar with beefier cladding on the wheel arches as well as satin chrome roof rails.

There is also sil­ver-coloured trim front and rear hint­ing at an off-road abil­ity that an in­tel­li­gent all-wheel drive sys­tem al­lows - but not to the ex­tent of any se­ri­ous jaunt into the wilder­ness.

The ex­te­rior fea­tures sweep­ing curves front to back with the dis­tinc­tive Infiniti face fea­tur­ing a large grille and badge as well as swept back head­lights while the rear is sim­i­larly all swoop­ing curves and clever de­tail­ing.

Infiniti is the posh arm of Nis­san and it shows in the plush in­te­rior ac­cen­tu­ated by op­tional ex­tras cost­ing £380 al­low­ing Choco­late Nappa leather seats with graphite in­serts and black stitch­ing as well as pri­vacy glass for the rear win­dows to make guest ap­pear­ances. Shiny wood-ef­fect in­serts and pi­ano black around the small au­to­matic gear stick add glam­our to pro­ceed­ings. The driv­ing po­si­tion is good thanks to power ad­just­ment and mem­ory func­tion via con­trols on the door and when win­ter rears its ugly head the seats can be heated.

There are two trim lev­els with the more ex­pen­sive Pre­mium Tech model of­fer­ing the usual mod cons for a mo­tor cost­ing in ex­cess of £30,000. These in­clude key­less en­try, auto head­lights and wipers as well as LED day­time run­ning lights, cruise con­trol and dual zone cli­mate con­trol with vents in the back al­low­ing rear pas­sen­gers to con­trol air­flow.

One slight bug­bear is the con­trols f or the air con fan via two but­tons in front of the gear stick that are a lit­tle awk­ward to ac­cess while you are driv­ing.

There are steer­ing wheel-mounted con­trols to switch ra­dio sta­tions and vol­ume as well as the abil­ity to change the dig­i­tal dis­play in front of the driver from speed to fuel con­sump­tion – which in­ci­den­tally was just over 40 miles per gal­lon for my week of mixed motoring.

The well laid out dash­board fea­tures a colour screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with voice recog­ni­tion giv­ing ac­cess to, amongst other things, a dig­i­tal ra­dio/ CD player with Bose speak­ers – in­clud­ing a natty pair in­set into each cor­ner of the front door frames.

Hand­ily, the sys­tem is ac­cessed via con­trols set next to the driver that take you straight to the sat nav map, ra­dio, park­ing cam­era and smart­phone link up.

In the rear there is room for two adults to sit in rea­son­able com­fort with ad­e­quate head and legroom – but a third pas­sen­ger would be a bit of a squeeze, es­pe­cially with the raised trans­mis­sion tun­nel tak­ing up legroom.

The boot can han­dle a fam­ily’s weekly su­per­mar­ket shop without too much fuss. The golf clubs can also be ac­com­mo­dated if you split and fold one of the rear seats via an easy-to-use han­dle.

There is only one en­gine avail­able – a 170ps, 2.2-litre diesel linked to a slick seven-speed au­to­matic gear­box which pro­duces punchy per­for­mance al­low­ing the QX30 to sprint from 0-62mph in 8.5 sec­onds on its way to a top speed of 134mph.

There are Eco, Sport and Man­ual set­ups avail­able which do ex­actly what they say on the tin with the last of these giv­ing full man­ual con­trol over the trans­mis­sion via steer­ing wheel­mounted pad­dles.

The han­dling is as­sured with well­weighted steer­ing while the ride is pretty com­fort­able.

The nar­row rear win­dow could make park­ing a bit of a chore so it might be worth in­vest­ing in the £1,800 safety pack which in­cludes au­to­matic park as­sis­tance with Infiniti’s Around View Mon­i­tor. The pack also in­cludes blind sport warn­ing, mov­ing ob­ject de­tec­tion and in­tel­li­gent cruise con­trol.

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