Classy com­pact

The Galloway News - - MOTORS -

Ger­man man­u­fac­tur­ers have dom­i­nated the com­pact ex­ec­u­tive sec­tor for many years but a Bri­tish-built new­comer is out to chal­lenge their rule.

The In­finiti Q30 is man­u­fac­tured at Nis­san’s Sun­der­land plant and boasts strik­ing looks,fan­tas­tic build qual­ity and pre­mium ma­te­ri­als.

The In­finiti brand is to Nis­san what Lexus is to Toy­ota and it is still striv­ing to make its mark in Europe.

Its Q30 joined an ex­pand­ing range ear­lier this year and I have just sam­pled the small­est diesel pow­ered ver­sion in Pre­mium Tech Trim.

Fin­ished in a very at­trac­tive Liq­uid Cop­per the Q30 cer­tainly gets bags of at­ten­tion.

From just about any an­gle it looks strik­ing. It may be a com­pact five-door hatch­back but there is noth­ing tra­di­tional about its sporty, ath­letic looks.

Its curvy ex­te­rior is com­pli­mented by nice 18-inch al­loys, a large front grille, hand­some head­light clus­ters, chrome ex­haust pipes, and LED lights front and rear as well as a con­sid­er­able amount of chrome.

In­side the plush cabin there is plenty of room for four adults to travel in com­fort and there is no short­age of tech­ni­cal fea­tures and equip­ment.

The test car had heated leather front seats with elec­tri­cal ad­just­ment, a stylish leather dash­board with smart in­serts and a host of tech­nol­ogy in­clud­ing In­finiti In­Touch nav­i­ga­tion (£1,400 op­tion), Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity, a drive se­lect mode and a touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem.

There is a raft of safety equip­ment and fea­tures on all mod­els in the range, so oc­cu­pants are well pro­tected and the rear view cam­era com­bined with front and rear park­ing sen­sors make it easy to park in tight spa­ces.

The cabin of­fers nu­mer­ous stor­age op­tions and the boot is fairly gen­er­ous at 430 litres and this can be in­creased by fold­ing the 60:40 split rear seats.

The Re­nault sourced 1.5 diesel may be the least pow­er­ful in the range but it is tried and tested and is al­ways will­ing.

Of­fi­cial fig­ures claim it can sprint to 62mph in a rea­son­able 12 sec­onds be­fore go­ing on to 118mph. It cruises com­fort­ably at mo­tor­way speeds and al­ways had enough punch for over­tak­ing.

I av­er­aged over 55mpg dur­ing my time with the car and the claimed com­bined fig­ure is 68.9mpg with emis­sions of 108g/km.

The han­dling and ride im­pressed on out of town jour­neys and the steer­ing was sharp and ac­cu­rate.

For those who want even more sure-footed road hold­ing, four-wheel-drive is avail­able on some mod­els.

The only draw­back I found was the elec­tronic hand­brake - which is not lo­cated in a great po­si­tion - and was some­thing of a pain to use.

The range starts from £20,550, while the test car cost £26,430 be­fore op­tions, so the Q30 is not cheap but it does bring much-needed style to the pre­mium com­pact sec­tor.

In­finiti Q30 looks strik­ing from ev­ery an­gle in Liq­uid Cop­per

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