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2017 Infiniti QX30 Overview
The compact luxury market is currently one of the hottest new-car segments, including both small sedans and hatchbacks and red-hot compact luxury SUVs. Somewhere in the middle is the all-new 2017 Infiniti QX30--part crossover, part hatchback, and 100% different from anything else available to luxury car buyers.
The QX30 is even different from other models in the Infiniti lineup in terms of its original naming conventions. Infiniti recently overhauled its entire nomenclature: all crossovers and SUVs will start with QX, while all sedans and coupes will start with just Q. The QX30 was supposed to be broken out into the Q30 (the lower-to-the-ground version) and the QX30 (the raised model). But sensing that this would confuse buyers, Infiniti combined both under the QX30 model name.
The QX30's striking hatchback shape is capped by a flowing front end with menacing headlights and a gaping front grille. The looks are distinctly Infiniti, but the DNA is actually shared in part with a German automaker. The QX30's platform is sourced from a chassis developed for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, a compact hatchback sold in Europe. As such, the QX30 maintains all of its Infiniti-family styling, but with the underpinnings of a composed European compact capable of carving up both back roads and city streets.
The distinctive front clip is bookended by sculpted, flowing lines along the side of the body. These lines give way to the rear fenders, which boast strong angles and floating elements that give the QX30 the impression of being in motion even when it's at rest.
Inside, the QX30 features an interior that would make even the owner of a Mercedes A-Class jealous. The flowing dash panels frame an ergonomic center stack that puts all the controls front and center, and the shifter features a shift knob with a short stock, calling to mind the type of short-throw shifter you might find in a more performance-oriented sports car.
At the center of the interior is the InTouch system, with its digital screen. This system includes navigation, hands-free access to a Bluetooth-paired smartphone, and various other voice controls. It is also capable of hands-free text messaging and accessing Google searches or Facebook apps. The driver is also treated to a steering wheel that, like the chassis, appears to have some Mercedes-Benz DNA, including a directional pad that controls the full-color monitor set into the instrument panel.
On a more practical level, the QX30 delivers 19 cubic feet of space in the rear cargo area, accessible through the convenient rear hatch, and the 60/40 split-fold rear seats provide ample additional storage capacity. The driver and front passenger are treated to sculpted sport seats with integrated headrests, available in either leather or suede (suede comes in the Sport trim, which is more comfortable while driving hard).
Behind the menacing front fascia of the QX30 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four. The engine makes 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, sent through a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox to either front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). The QX30 AWD incorporates a taller ride height and trim-specific protective cladding set around the fenders.
The QX30 lineup also includes the QX30S, which features an even lower stance and a more aggressive appearance, backed up with cross-drilled brake rotors, 19-inch wheels, and grippy performance tires.
The QX30 is available with the latest high-tech safety features, including intelligent park assist, an around-view monitor with moving-object detection, blind-spot monitoring, auto high-beam assist, and intelligent cruise control. The QX30 also has forward-collision avoidance, which helps keep you safe in case you miss an obstruction or stopped car ahead of you.
Pricing for the 2017 Infiniti QX30 has not been announced at the time of this preview, but we estimate that it will cost around $31,000; options could push the price up another $5,000, if not more. That's very competitive pricing for the compact hatch segment, placing the QX30 in similar territory as competitors like the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz CLA, and even the Mercedes-Benz GLA compact crossover.
Whether you opt for the competent FWD model, the sporty S version, or the taller AWD model, the QX30 is a car like nothing else on the market. It's paving the way for the future of the luxury segment with its aggressive looks, sharp interior, and robust infotainment and safety technology.
From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.
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