2017 Infiniti QX30 AWD

February 27th, 2017

Score: 28/40

As Tested:
2017 Infiniti QX30 AWD Premium
$48,635

2017 Infiniti QX30

Source: Nissan Image Library

This week we got the chance to drive around in Infiniti’s new crossover the QX30. It’s a 4 cylinder turbo charged AWD machine matched with a 7 speed automatic with a manual mode. The Infiniti actually has Mercedes Benz architecture based off of their GLA platform, a practice not too uncommon between auto manufacturers, borrowing designs from a pre-existing vehicle then putting their own spin on it to make the vehicle their own. The QX30 is an interesting crossover because it tries to play several roles in one vehicle. It has an AWD system and o.k. ground clearance to go off in mild offroad situations, but it also has the seating position and roof line like a sports sedan and with the hatchback like design in the rear it can accommodate a decent amount of luggage. This vehicle definitely blurs the line of car/ wagon/ SUV re-enforcing the crossover category.

Driving Impressions (6)

With 208HP, 258 lb feet of torque and having forced induction you figure the QX30 is a fun little vehicle. And it is. When the turbos spool up and the vehicle hit’s its power-band it does not disappoint in the acceleration department. I don’t think it was their intention to build a fast straight line vehicle, but with that much torque and having 7 gears it moves surprisingly well. Even though it’s small it’s not that light weighing in at 4,277lbs but like more vehicles it feels light on its feet. The suspension has aluminium parts and is fully independent allowing the vehicle to conform to the road and really take corners well. Also being a smaller vehicle makes it very easy to park in the city, especially with the 360 degree camera system. But after getting past that and driving the vehicle at city speeds it begins to annoy you in little ways. The vehicle has an auto shut off feature that will shut off the motor when you come to a stop once it is warmed up. What I don’t like about this system is that it engages within 3 seconds, so when you are driving in stop and go traffic the car feels rough because you can feel it starting and stopping. What I would do to correct this is either up the time to a minute or two so you don’t feel the engine turning off and on so much, or Infiniti figures out a means of improving how the engine is mounted so you don’t feel it transmit into the cab, I prefer to just leave this feature off.

Visibility is decent all the way around. The roof line does come down low and the rear view mirror does take up a lot of space not giving a ton of vision forward but it is sufficient. Also in the rear the center passenger has a headrest which is good for safety and comfort but it does block a lot of your view from behind, not really able to see vehicles in the rear view mirror. The HVAC controls are relatively simple and the radio controls are up high which I like since those are the controls driver’s manipulate the most on a regular basis.

I wasn’t able to test the QX30 offroad but tried some hard acceleration pulls in the wet, and it had plenty of grip. The vehicle was equipped with dedicated winter tires which would also help on the slick roads. What I did like about the drivetrain was it’s smoothness and ability to seamlessly transfer power. Whether in a straight line or accelerating out of a corner it was well composed and smooth. Sometimes I worry about vehicles that have a good amount of torque that the driver is going to have to fight with torque steer. Don’t get me wrong I like wrestling with the steering wheel in some cars I find it fun, but I find torque steer irritating, which thankfully the QX30 does not suffer from.

Steering is precise but very light and vague, I’d prefer to feel a little more resistance getting more of a feel for the road. Also the paddle shifters attached to the steering wheel are nice that they rotate with the wheel but I don’t like that when you use them they feel more like pushing the button like on a video game system. It’d be a nicer touch to give it something more like a quarter inch throw make it feel like I have to put a little more effort in.

The performance is fun and pretty impressive but it’s little driving quirks outweigh its performance.

Safety (8)

The QX30 definitely has a lot of features in the safety department. First it came equipped with winter tires for the season which I thought was number one and a good idea. Also being a smaller more nimble vehicle it should be able to help drivers avoid accidents when it comes to manoeuvring around them. As far as other passive safety items like good size brakes, and forward emergency braking to help you avoid rear ending another motorist. The 360 camera and sonar system work very well making parking a breeze. I did however encounter a little snow and got a warning message telling me the sensors were dirty, so they can be affected by the weather, so you have to be mindful of that. I did feel that light output from the factory L.E.D.’s was a little on the low side. I’m not sure if it needed to be aimed better, or the height of the vehicle played a factor, because the week prior I had a 2017 Pathfinder with factory L.E.D. lights and they seemed more than sufficient. Like most modern vehicles it has airbags pretty much everywhere that it’ll turn into a bouncy castle in case things go wrong.

Gofasthavefun Infiniti QX30

Interior (8)

Inside the QX30 the materials are higher end compared to entry level SUV’s and crossovers, you start to see why you spend a little more money for something like this. I do like all the displays, as they’re easy to read and as far as basic functions, easy to manipulate. If you get deep into all the features and settings you can sit in the vehicle for a while initially trying to learn everything. The sound system is decent. I do like the clarity and the balance of the higher frequencies and feeling the mid-range bass. On lower tones the factory sub doesn’t sound sufficient to me and could definitely improve from something from the aftermarket. I think the interior can also benefit from some sound deadening to tighten up the sound system and reduce some road noise.

Space wise the vehicle is limited in some ways which is understandable. It being a compact video you for go leg room space if occupants are over 5’10″. Also because of the sleek roof line you do lose a little bit of headroom. Cargo space is ample in the back and if there’s only 2 of you, you can fold the rear seats down really opening it up.

Styling (6)

Styling is definitely a preference. There are some appearance features I really like, like the lighting treatment and the indentation of the rear glass into the rear hatch, all very nice touches. I also like the plastic molding that runs along the fenders and the rocker protecting the paint. The overall shape I’m not a big fan of. It still has that futuristic/ spaceship look going on that a lot of consumers seem to be fond of. Call me old fashion but I think a traditional looking station wagon if done right looks better and is more practical. I think I would be more o.k. with the looks and could appreciate the lines of the vehicle if they put nicer wheels on. The wheels really look similar to the Korean auto manufacturers and Nissan and Infiniti have designed some really nice wheels in the past; I think this crossover can benefit from a more traditional 5 spoke concave design. If they made the wheels from the concept version standard, I would probably like it a lot more.


Infiniti QX30 Concept makes North American debut in New York

The QX30 concept is Infiniti’s design vision for a new premium compact crossover, targeting at a new generation of individualistic premium customers.


2015 LA Auto Show: Infiniti press conference

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 17, 2015) – The Infiniti QX30 premium active crossover is making its simultaneous global debut at the 2015 Los Angeles and Guangzhou international motor shows – signalling the next phase of the company’s global growth strategy.

Conclusion

The QX30 delivers on performance and capability but comes with some driving quirks. It’s practical and has styling that will appeal to a lot of people. It’s compact size and full list of technology will definitely satisfy buyers who want something that is reasonably fuel efficient. easy to park, go on adventures and has the ability to pull decent on the highway making for an entertaining drive.

Specifications:

Mechanical

ENGINE Type – DOHC 16-valve turbocharged inline-4 cylinder
Orientation – Transverse-mounting
Cylinders / configuration – Inline 4 with resin coated pistons
Block / Cylinder Head composition – Aluminium-alloy/Aluminium-alloy
Displacement (litres / cc) – 2.0 litres / 1,991 cc
Horsepower – 208 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque – 258 lb-ft @ 1,200 – 4,000 rpm
Bore x stroke (mm) – 83.0 x 92.0
Compression ratio (:1) – 9.8
Maximum engine speed – 6,300 rpm
Induction system – Direct fuel injection
Valvetrain – 4 valves per cylinder, Variable Valve Timing Control system
Mounts Front Rear -2 liquid-filled, 2 solid
Idle stop-start system – Standard
Required fuel – Premium unleaded
Emissions system – Closed loop feedback system with 2 catalysts
Emission certification level – LEV3-ULEV125
Exhaust – Dual with finishers

ELECTRICAL

Electronic (direct) ignition system
110 amp alternator
1.7 kW starter
Battery – 80 Ah
Platinum-tipped spark plug

BODY, SUSPENSION AND STEERING

Body type – Unibody High-strength steel corrosion-resistant, aluminum hood
Front suspension – MacPherson strut w/23 mm stabilizer bar Twin-tube shock absorbers
Rear suspension – Multi-link independent w/ stabilizer bar S- front Monotube shock absorbers
Steering type – Electric Power Assisted
Steering ratio – 14.4:1
Turns (lock-to-lock) – 2.5
Turning diameter curb-to-curb (feet)- 37.3

BRAKES

Power-assisted vented disc (in.) 12.6 x 1.1 (cross-drilled, Infiniti branded on Sport)
Power-assisted solid disc 11.6 x 0.4
Electronic Brake force Distribution
Brake Assist (BA) S
4-wheel/4-channel/4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) S
Parking brake – Electric parking brake switch

- Anthony Jarantilla

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