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