Road test: Infiniti Q30

Posted on May 30th, 2016 by James Luckhurst

The Q30 is smooth and civilised, though not as dynamic as some rivals.

 

Road test: Infiniti Q30

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What is it?

A new model from Nissan’s prestige offspring, Infiniti. The Q30 is an upwardly mobile hatchback to rival prestige German models such as the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3.

How safe is it?

It has a full five-star rating from Euro NCAP, so its crash test credentials are sound. It performed particularly well for pedestrian safety, with a high 91 per cent result.

Who should buy one?

Someone who doesn’t want to be categorised by a predictable car badge, and is looking for something a bit different in a stylish upper-crust but moderately sized hatchback

Road test by Sue Baker published 31 May 2016

 

 

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Road test: Infiniti Q30

This car is an interesting international mix: Japanese badged, German based, French engined and British built. Structurally it is very similar to a Mercedes A-Class, using the same chassis. So it is no surprise that the driving experience feels remarkably similar to that of an A-Class. The Q30 is assembled at Nissan’s UK factory in Sunderland.
This smallest model in the Infiniti range comes with a choice of petrol and diesel engines with varying power outputs, and either six-speed manual or seven-speed twin-clutch auto transmissions. Our test car’s engine is a Renault 1.5 dCi unit. This is a familiar power unit also used in several Renault and Nissan models and also in the Mercedes A-Class and B-Class.
Performance is quite perky from an engine with a 107bhp power output and 192lb ft of torque. The car is only averagely quick off the mark though, with a 0-62mph acceleration time of 12 seconds. It pulls strongly across the power band, does a decent job of propelling a car weighing around one and a half tons, and performs efficiently without making too much fuss about it. Mechanical noise is generally well supressed and cabin refinement is good.
The Q30 doesn’t feel particularly sporty but has tidy manners with grippy road-holding and drama-free handling. On a twisty road there isn’t much body lean to unsettle you, and although the car’s ride is a bit on the firm side on big 18-inch wheels, it cushions adequately. The steering has quite good feedback, although not quite as informatively pert as some of its rivals.
If towing is of interest, it is worth noting that the Q30 has a pretty reasonable towing weight for its size, at 1200kg for most versions, and 1500kg for the 2.2 litre diesel model.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Road test: Infiniti Q30

Size-wise, the Q30 is very similar to the Mercedes A-Class on which it is largely based, although it is just slightly larger in length, width and height. Interior room is pretty much on a par too, with comfortable space in the front seats and reasonable rear accommodation, but it is a bit on the cosy side for three large adults in the back. There is enough legroom in the rear seats, but it isn’t generous, and headroom is quite snug for tall passengers.
There is a quite reasonable provision of spaces for sundry bits and pieces to be stowed in the cabin, including in the centre armrest, quite generous door pockets and an under-dash tray ahead of the gear lever.
Boot room isn’t at all bad for a car of these exterior dimensions. The Q30’s 368-litre boot is a little larger than those of its main rivals, and that includes an advantage of some 27 litres over its close cousin the A-Class.

SAFETY
Road test: Infiniti Q30

The Q30 comes decently equipped with safety kit. All versions have seven airbags, including one for the driver’s knees. Forward collision warning and braking is a standard fitment on all but the base SE model. The car is available with a speed limiter on the cruise control, lane departure warning and adaptive lighting. Automatic park assistance with moving object detection is an optional extra.

EQUIPMENT
Road test: Infiniti Q30

Standard 18-inch alloy wheels give the Q30 a meaty look, and black plastic mouldings are a useful anti-scuff protection. The base SE version comes equipped with air conditioning and an audio system with CD player. From next-level Premium trim and above the air supply is automatic dual-zone climate control, and the front seats have heaters. Up-scale models have standard touchscreen navigation.

COSTS

Road test: Infiniti Q30

With CO2 outputs ranging from 108 to 156g/km, and combined fuel figures from around 42 to 69mpg, depending on engine and trim level choice, the Q30 should be reasonably economical to run. Insurance costs are moderate too, with this mid-range model in group 14. But some desirable options can be pricey. On versions that do not have it as standard kit, satnav comes as an expensive add-on at £1,400.

WE SAY
The Q30 is smooth and civilised, though not as dynamic as some rivals.

AT A GLANCE:
Price: £26,430 as tested
Performance: 0-62mph in 12 seconds
Economy: 68.9mpg combined
Insurance: Group 14
Tax: Band B (£0 first year)

Figures for the Infiniti Q30 Premium Tech 1.5d