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Infiniti QX30: Dynamic-Driving Compact Crossover

By Arv Voss, February 3rd, 2018

The 2018 INFINITI QX30 is a category-defying compact luxury crossover that displays a dramatic curvaceousness with swirling, sculpted character lines. It makes an emotion-stirring statement, showcasing new dynamic shapes for a more purposeful appearance.

Manufacturer photo: The 2018 Infiniti QX30 makes a bold visual statement, one that's backed by premium interior appointments, responsive performance and an extensive suite of advanced safety, security and driving assistance technologies
Manufacturer photo: The 2018 Infiniti QX30 makes a bold visual statement, one that's backed by premium interior appointments, responsive performance and an extensive suite of advanced safety, security and driving assistance technologies

The QX30 serves up a balance of coupe sportiness, crossover, utility and five-door versatility. Is it a mini-SUV or a crossover? However you choose to categorize it, it is certainly a radical departure from Infiniti's other two QX stable mates, which are respectively medium and humongous in size, purpose, and functionality.

strong>Four front-wheel-drive trim levels are offered: the base QX30 model, the upscale Luxury and Premium models, and the top-of-the-line Sport. The Luxury and Premium models also come in an AWD configuration, making for a total of six variations.

The overall design combines a low, sleek roofline with a high stance and crossover appearance to create a striking visual impact. Up front are Infiniti's signature double-arch grille with three-dimensional mesh panels and a double-wave aluminum hood. The QX30 profile showcases deeply sculpted fenders and bodysides along with slim A-pillars and crescent-cut C-pillars.

The exterior of the QX30 Sport includes unique front and rear lower fascias, a gloss-black grille, body-color side sill panels, a chrome trunk finisher, dark chrome exhaust tips, and special 19-inch Gun Metallic aluminum-alloy wheels. It also features a slightly lower ride height than the other QX30 FWD models.

Manufacturer photo: The 2018 Infiniti QX30 makes a bold visual statement, one that's backed by premium interior appointments, responsive performance and an extensive suite of advanced safety, security and driving assistance technologies

The exterior's bold styling statement continues with the interior treatment, featuring a modernistic and dynamic expressionism. Infiniti's InTouch infotainment system provides user-friendly finger touch and swipe control through a 7.0-inch touchscreen human machine interface.

Power for the QX30 lineup is delivered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection and idle stop/start. The efficient turbo makes 208 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, while developing 258 lb.-ft. of torque in a range from 1,200 to 4,400 rpm. Motive energy is geared via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with a drive mode selector (Eco, Sport, and Manual) and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

My test Infiniti QX30 was a front-wheel-drive model in Premium trim with a base sticker of $35,300. The four-cylinder engine is ideally suited to the QX30, delivering a satisfying power level and energetic acceleration on demand. The seven-speed DCT auto gearbox with its drive mode selector does its job nicely, while paddle shifters allow the driver to manually interact according to his or her particular driving mood at any given time.

The handling characteristics lean to the sporty side of the chart, with a pleasing on-center feel, and the ride quality falls into the firm category, though not on an uncomfortable level.

The interior ambience is outstanding, carrying out the "swoopy" nature of the QX's exterior aura. Versatility is heightened by the fold-down 60/40-split rear seat and rear center armrest pass-through; three 12-volt power outlets for charging personal devices are conveniently placed throughout the cabin. The multiple camera views on the screen display are exceptionally handy when parking.

Manufacturer photo: The 2018 Infiniti QX30 makes a bold visual statement, one that's backed by premium interior appointments, responsive performance and an extensive suite of advanced safety, security and driving assistance technologies

Second-row passengers will experience limited legroom when seated behind tall front seat occupants, but an ideal driving position is readily obtainable thanks to infinitely adjustable seats.

The 2018 Infiniti QX30 is capable of doing yeoman's duty as a small crossover and is ideal for a small family or active solo owner.

Specifications

Base price $35,300 (as tested: $43,560)
Curb weight 3,346 lbs.
Displacement 2.0-liter
Engine type 16-valve turbo 4-cyl. w/DI
Epa mileage rating 24 mpg city, 33 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 14.8 gal.
Horsepower (net) 208 at 5500 rpm
Overall length 174.2 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 258 at 1200-4400 rpm
Transmission 7-speed automatic
Vehicle type 5-passenger FWD compact CUV
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