This week, I bring you the new 2017 Infiniti QX30, which Infiniti says is a compact luxury SUV, and I suppose it actually is by definition. However, it’s more of a hatchback sedan to me based on the interior room and lack of ground clearance.
I try my best to like every vehicle I review and there are certainly some wonderful things about the QX30, but there is some weirdness going on here. We have a Japanese car company, which uses the German-made Mercedes GLA engine and transmission in it, the GLA chassis, and assembles it all in Los Angeles.
Under the hood is a 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that is putting out 208-horses and 258 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that you can shift from paddles on the steering wheel. My test vehicle is all-wheel drive, but you can get it in front-wheel drive if you wish.
From the outside, there is no doubt this is an Infiniti with its dual-arch front and rear end and sculpted body lines. It rides on 18” aluminum wheels and has a swooping roofline.
This particular QX30 is the top-of-the-line Premium package but there are also base, Luxury, and Sport levels available.
One thing you have to give accolades to with this vehicle is it has a very nice interior.
This one has an optional $1750 interior called the Café Teak Theme Package. You get brown Nappa leather, black contrast stitching throughout, real wood, and brown leatherette console and door panels. Leatherette is fake leather if you are not aware.
The seats are comfortable and the driver gets an 8-way power seat controlled from switches on the door panel that I recognize from other Mercedes vehicles I have tested. I like the gauges and there is a nice-sized driver information center that sits between them. The dash formation creates a sun visor to help with glare.
The center console area is nicely done, with a short gear shifter that is a bit untraditional. Reverse is forward, drive is backwards, and you push a button to put it in park. A compartment in front of the shifter houses two USB ports.
On the console is a round knob that controls the 7” Infiniti InTouch information screen. This is where you control the navigation system, Bluetooth, a host of apps, traffic information, fuel economy information, and much more. Air conditioning and Bose audio controls are under the screen and that is where you turn off the auto start/stop system, which is unusually annoying in this car.
Although this car has a lot of technology, it is not overly burdensome to operate and learn, and it has one of the better camera systems I have seen.
The Premium trim level gives you a lot of standard equipment including heated seats, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, leather interior (except where there is fake leather), rain-sensing wipers, and remote keyless entry.
My review vehicle has a number of packages including the Technology Package which gives you blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, forward emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, high beam assist, and Intelligent Park Assist, which will parallel park the car for you.
It has the Moonroof package with a power sliding cover and the LED package that gets you LED headlights and interior ambient lighting. Finally, the Navigation package which is predictably the nav system and you also get parking sensors.
Handling is good on the QX30, acceleration is fine and there is virtually no turbo lag. It’s actually got a pleasurable ride and drive.
Now let’s get to the issues and why I don’t think this vehicle will be very successful.
The interior is cramped and if you are six feet tall, your head is going to hit the ceiling. Even just slightly shorter than that – like me – the sun visor is unusable, it completely blocks your view due to the low roofline. The back seat headroom and legroom are even worse. It is also short on cargo area too, only 19 cubic feet is available.
The next problem is I am picking up more road noise than I think is acceptable, and there is some wind noise as well.
Fuel economy is mediocre for its size. It’s rated at 21 city and 30 highway, but I’m not getting there, actually not even close.
Finally, the biggest issue for me is the price.
This QX30 has a list price just of over $46,000 and I can’t make the case unless some really hefty rebates come along. It amazes me that for that kind of money, you don’t get a power liftgate or air- conditioned seats.
As mentioned, I try to like every vehicle I review, and I am still a fan of Infiniti overall, I just can’t make the case for this one.