Car Review: 2017 Infiniti QX30 Luxury In A Small Package - Review By Larry Nutson
2017 Infiniti QX30
Luxury in a small package
- 4 Star Rating by The Auto Channel
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Sometimes the right car comes along at the right time.
We were going to attend a wedding. My wife and I would be road-tripping from our Chicago home to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the event. And, on the wedding day we would have my mother-in-law along too.
As it turned out, the 2017 Infiniti QX30 I was scheduled to drive fit the bill. Our mode of transport should be comfortable for the road trip and also provide reasonable fuel consumption. It should look a bit stylish for our wedding arrival and have an easy access rear seat for “M-I-L.”
Although classified as a compact luxury crossover, the QX30 is very car-like. Its appearance is very much like a coupe. I view it has a very stylized hatchback with increased ride height. With its long nose, low roof, shaped C-pillars and tapered shape the QX30 presents a bold look.
The QX30 draws its basic architecture from the Mercedes GLA-Class as it does for the powertrain too. It’s offered in front-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve turbocharged inline-4 cylinder, rated at 208 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,200 – 4,400 rpm. A 7-speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) automatic with overdrive gets power to the driving wheels. Manual gear changes can be done with the shift paddles. I like DCTs and the QX30’s performed very well, even in the stop-and-go Chicago traffic.
The engine has an idle stop/start system, equipped for the most part to get a benefit in EPA testing. Some of my colleagues really dislike them. I can live with it, but they can be annoying in stop and go highway traffic—so I shut it off.
The 5-seat 2017 Infiniti QX30 is available in four trims -- QX30, QX30 Luxury, QX30 Premium and QX30 Sport. The Luxury and Premium trims are also offered in all-wheel drive. They get just under an inch and a quarter in higher ride height.
Base prices run from $29,950 to $37,700.
Exterior trim varies between trims with unique lower fascias, varying dark chrome or black trim and unique wheels—either 18s or 19s. The Sport has a bit over half-inch lower ride height than other FWD models.
For our road trip we would be driving the top-line $37,700 Premium AWD. This QX30 was optioned out with a $2,200 Technology Package, $1,750 Cafe Teak Trim Package, $1,000 LED Light Package, $1,850 Navigation Package and $540 for Illuminated Kick Plates. The total hit $46,035, including the $995 destination charge.
The Tech Package provides all the latest drive-assistance safety features that I recommend should be purchased by everyone whenever they are offered. Whether it be blind spot warning, lane departure warning, forward emergency braking or the around view monitor with object detection, if just one of these features comes in to play and saves you from a collision it will pay for itself right then and there.
The Tech Package also includes an Intelligent Park Assist system. It uses 12 sensors to determine if a potential parking spot is the right size. If it is, the driver simply presses a button to confirm and operate the accelerator, shifter and brake pedal. The QX30 will park itself smoothly in parallel or reverse-in parking spots. A god-send for the many parking-challenged drivers I see in Chicago.
Even without using Park Assist the compact size and small turning circle of the QX30 further enhances city-driving maneuverability.
My driving experience with the QX30 was quite extensive. Initially I drove it home about 150 miles from Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Before leaving Elkhart Lake I took the QX30 for a drive on some of the twisty-windy roads in the area to feel out the overall dynamics. Handling is crisp and confident with very compliant overall behavior. Steering effort is comfortable with decent feedback.
The somewhat long highway drive home gave me plenty of time to appreciate its overall comfort. Its brown Nappa leather interior trim is nicely elegant. The leather steering wheel has a comfortable rim thickness for my grip. The Nav system worked well and the 10-speaker Bose audio provided some comfortable background entertainment.
A panoramic sun/moon roof lets in the sun/moon light, but doesn’t open. There’s a power sliding shade to keep you cool.
Overall the interior is quite pleasant and comfortable. After both my drive home from Wisconsin and our wedding road trip we found the seats to provide good overall support. We didn’t feel any fatigue after the long drives.
Although the QX30 is compact, the rear seat offered decent comfort. The rear seat folds and expand the 19.2 cuft cargo area to 34 cuft. The overall packaging of the QX30 makes it very suitable for an active-lifestyle empty nester couple who have returned to urban living but need a vehicle to get away on the weekend.
EPA test-cycle fuel economy raring for front-wheel-drive models is 27 mpg combined, with 24 city mpg and 33 highway mpg. The two AWD models are rated at 25 mpg combined, with 21 city mpg and 30 highway mpg. I don’t like stopping for fuel on a 3 or 4 hour drive.
The QX30 is loaded with lots of comfort and convenience features. More info, specs and pricing details can be found at www.infinitusa.com. If you like, cross-shopping the QX30 can be done right here at The Auto Channel.
Infiniti has announced the same pricing for the 2018 model, which has no product changes either.
The QX30 is not only suitable for a more mature couple but younger folks seeking a more premium driving experience while also needing a versatile vehicle. It’s the entry to the Infiniti line and who knows where it could take you.
© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
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