What the experts say about the 2017 Infiniti QX30

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2017 Infiniti QX30

A Mercedes-Benz-engineered crossover for less than $30,000?

Meet the all-new Infiniti QX30, the smallest and least expensive SUV from Nissan’s upscale sister brand – and the only sub-$30,000 luxury crossover on the market. Through a partnership between Nissan and Mercedes parent company Daimler, the QX30 shares a platform with the Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover but gets its transmission and tuning from Infiniti.

The blend works, positioning the five-passenger QX30 alongside luxury competitors such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. Driven by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 208-horsepower QX30 corners, passes, and merges as well as any other German-engineered crossover. It comes in four trims: base, luxury, premium, and sport. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available for between $1,800 and $2,400, depending on the trim level.

Inside, the compact crossover features a sense of understated refinement, with some of the sleek styling touches found in a Mercedes. The base model is equipped with Bluetooth, a pair of USB ports, and a 7-inch touchscreen. The luxury trim replaces cloth upholstery with leather and comes with heated front seats and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat to configure cargo space. Premium adds rain sensing windshield wipers and a Bose 10-speaker premium audio system, and the sport trim gets sportier exterior styling, aluminum pedals, and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

The QX30 not yet been tested for crashworthiness by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The crossover comes with a rearview camera, and higher trims add adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, and adaptive LED headlights.

The base model achieves 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. All-wheel drive models return 21 mpg around town and 30 mpg on the highway.

The Infiniti QX30 starts at $29,950. The luxury and premium trims begin at $32,600 and $35,300, respectively. The top-of-the-line QX30 Sport starts at $38,500.

What the experts are saying

An instant bestseller

“The Infiniti QX30 has only been on the market since last fall, but it has already become one of Infiniti’s top-selling vehicles. While its small size may put its true SUV status in question, it’s proven very popular with consumers. More importantly, it has helped drive a 26 percent year-over-year sales increase for Infiniti in 2017, which is no easy feat in a stagnating market.” – Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds

Mercedes-Benz partnership

“Infiniti’s sporty new entry level crossover is essentially a re-bodied Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class that is built in Nissan’s assembly plant in the U.K. Though the two share no sheetmetal between them, they wear similar proportions. Both are sleek and expressively styled, and their looks promise plenty of fun behind the wheel. Inside, it’s much the same story; their interiors are unique from each other (despite lots of shared buttons and controls) but both look sporty and fun. The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class has been criticized for lacking some of the top-notch materials, quality, and refinement expected from the brand, but somehow these faults seem less offensive when the same basic vehicle is branded as an Infiniti. Add to that very compelling lease deals on the Infiniti version that undercut the GLA-Class by quite a bit, and the QX30 looks more and more like a shrewd buy.” – Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis at marketing research and consulting firm AutoPacific

Easy to park

“The QX30 is a small, compact, versatile crossover that combines practicality and performance in one package. It provides an invigorating ride while maintaining phenomenal fuel economy with its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It comes in several trim packages and is the first Infiniti to offer Intelligent Park Assist.  Customers who want a smaller SUV than the mid-sized QX50 or QX60 pick the QX30 because of its size. Think of narrow European streets, or even better, parking in the Back Bay. The buyer for this car wants compact versatility, and it definitely delivers in that regard.” – James Bulger, general manager at Herb Chambers Infiniti of Westborough