Competes with: Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, BMW X1, Audi Q3
Looks like: The Infiniti Q50 spawned a compact SUV
Drivetrain: 208-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission; front-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Spring/summer 2016
Infiniti is on the hunt for new buyers with the all-new 2017 Infiniti Q30 premium compact SUV that it hopes is a golden ticket to global growth for the brand. The Q30 represents a number of firsts for the brand; it’s Infiniti’s smallest SUV as well as the first to be manufactured in Europe (Sunderland, United Kingdom).
Infiniti has been dribbling out teases of the Q30 since the 2013 concept, and the small SUV finally makes its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show Tuesday. Design and individual expression are a prominent theme throughout the Q30’s introduction, and the Q30’s Base, Premium and Sport trim levels showcase unique designs and features in an effort to appeal to premium shoppers seeking “urban individuality.”
The production Q30 stays true to the concept with Q50-like inspiration in some areas while charting new design territory in others. Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti executive design director, said in a statement, “The Q30 is not the little brother or sister to siblings from larger segments.” The Q30 certainly doesn’t look like any other Infiniti SUV with its low-slung roofline combined with a Q50-like front grille and flowing curves over the hood, fenders and profile.
The Premium and Sport trim levels are separated aesthetically by wheel and color combinations. The Premiums have LED fog lights, body-colored side mirrors, chrome exhaust finishers and 18-inch wheels. Sport trims wear 19-inch wheels and a gloss black front grille, body-colored side-sills and a sportier rear bumper design with dark chrome exhaust finishers. In Sport guise, the Q30 also sits about a half inch lower.
The Q30 offers a modern and interesting interior design just like the exterior, featuring the color combinations Caf‚ Teak, City Black and Gallery White. Caf‚ Teak interiors wear brown and black upholstery with black stitching; City Black blends black upholstery with purple stitching; and Gallery White pairs white leather with red accents.
Infiniti says the Q30’s interior is the quietest in the segment and features active noise cancellation to counter outside noises up to 10 percent better than leading competitors.
The Q30’s standard seats are designed for comfort with soft cushioning and a wide-fitting shape to distribute weight more evenly, while sport seats with integrated headrests are available. Sport trims feature a flat-bottom steering wheel as well as aluminum pedals and footrests.
Like the Q50 sedan, the Q30 uses Infiniti’s InTouch multimedia system but with updates to the tabletlike experience.
Under the Hood
The Q30’s sole powertrain is a 208-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that pairs to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and front-wheel drive only for the U.S., which is strange given the Q30’s SUV shape. An all-wheel-drive version of the Q30 could very well be coming in the form of the QX30 concept.
Base and Premium trim levels have a suspension tuned with the city in mind to absorb inconsistent and broken roads, while Sport models ride on a unique suspension with a firmer ride and lower ride height (about a half inch) to improve body control.
Safety features include auto park assist with Infiniti’s signature Around View Monitor camera system as well as blind spot warning, forward collision warning with emergency braking plus automatic high beam assist and adaptive cruise control.