Big bro’s beefed up
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.