Shared technologies help all-new Infiniti QX30 stand out

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The first-generation Infiniti QX30 is a refresh of sorts that Infiniti hopes will help position the brand higher up in the luxury-minded buyer’s consideration. Among all the Infiniti “Q”-branded vehicles, the 2017 Infiniti QX30 stands out.

The QX30’s chiseled lines and crisp styling have a Mazda-meets-Lexus look, but it’s a good look. QX30 features an elevated stance and rides on new 18-inch wheels. My AWD also featured a blunt nose, roof rails, and flat black fender flares. The finished design takes clear cues from the recent Infiniti Etherea concept. Additional, and crucial, “borrowing” comes courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, as Infiniti worked a deal to use the GLA-class platform and drivetrain as the basis of the 2017 Infiniti QX30.

Under the lightweight aluminum hood resides a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with peak 258 pound-feet of torque at a very usable 1,200 rpm. Mercedes’ fuel-saving start-stop system is retained and noticeable, yet not as intrusive as some. The test QX30 came with an M-B seven-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission massaged by Infiniti engineers. AWD models send up to 50 percent of the torque to the rear wheels, transitioning power back to the front after you maintain a steady state.

The new first-gen Infiniti QX30 has a MacPherson strut front end and a multilink rear setup. The electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion setup was not as communicative as I would have liked. On the road, the QX30 lags a little in Eco mode, but a more energetic side shows up in Sport mode with quicker shifts and suspension settings. Acceleration is nothing special, but it’s not sleep-inducing either — and torque steer is a non-issue. The QX30 AWD sits 1.2 inches higher than the base and Sport QX30. Over varied surfaces I found the Q’s ride to be a little firm, but the interior was quiet. While it is an AWD model with 7.9 inches of ground clearance, I would not recommend any off-roading.

Inside, my test car’s interior (and I) benefited from welcoming Nappa leather seats and liberal use of contrast-stitched leatherette and faux suede on dash, arm rests and headliner. My test car came chock full of technology; highlights included Infiniti InTouch 7-inch screen for vehicle information, Infiniti InTouch Apps, the excellent Bose audio system, Bluetooth phone system with streaming audio, navi and voice recognition.

According to Infiniti, the seats are designed to match the curvature of your spine and minimize back muscle pressure by spreading load more equally. For front passengers, the ride is comfortable, but I felt a little cramped in the driver’s seat. The rear has seating for three, but two is realistic. I was disappointed by the inexpensive plastic used throughout, small cargo space of 19.2 cubic feet with the rear seats up and the vertical rear seats.



Previously from Autos