Do you begin with the outside or the inside?
The Infiniti Q30S is an eye-catcher alright, with its sharp yet curvy lines, and the interior is a high-quality cabin, beautifully fitted out.
Underneath it all, however, is a Mercedes-Benz drive train, plus obvious Mercedes similarities like the instrumentation. Nothing wrong with that, of course — that sort of thing has been done many times before over the history of the motor car.
The Q30S is a hatchback four-seater, with the rear seats just about offering enough room for a couple of average-size adults. The test car was the Sport model, at £33,890 plus £500 for the glass roof with electric sunshade, and £670 for the Graphite Shadow metallic paint. It’s more or less fully-equipped with safety and convenience features, with an occasional exception.
For luggage, it’s boot is reasonable, nicely-carpeted as you should expect for the money, and it’s dead simple to fold the rear seats forward to extend the boot capacity over a flat floor. At the price, though, I would have expected to have found an electric tailgate, but it’s a manual operation.
The black interior could be described as sumptuous, with part Alcantara, part leatherette seat facings and the dashboard top in black Alcantara with mauve stitching, immaculately finished…a touch sombre, if not a little funereal, perhaps, although the colours neatly matched the wheels.
The seat adjustments were mainly manual, again, a bit surprising considering the car’s price, but the powered lumbar support was appreciated. Nice touch: lighting to the rear passengers’ footwell so they could see if their shoes were nicely-polished, or if they had possibly dropped something on the floor there.
The instruments and controls were all well-done and the switches felt classy and tactile, with the exception of the air-con’s that were plasticky and imprecise to the touch. The gear selector is a little aluminium sculpture that is a pleasure to use; paddles behind the steering wheel provide an alternative.
On the road, the Q30 is a good performer. The 190 PS, 2.2 (actually 2143 cc) diesel is not the quietest on the market and as you go through the first three or four of the seven gears you get a distinctly ‘busy’ feel before the sounds dissipate once you get up to whichever cruising speed.
I spent most of my week driving the Q30 in Eco mode; changing to Sport or Sport plus is easy via a tiny button by the gear selector.
The Q30 is easy to drive, solid-feeling, although thick pillars front and side do restrict your outward visibility somewhat. There is an Around View Monitor (AVM), useful in tight situations.
It steers and handles well enough, of course, and brakes excellently.
Plenty of technology is all part of the package, including touch-screen navigation with traffic sign recognition. This sometimes showed me 30 mph in a 50 mph zone and such like mistakes, as I have found on several of these systems in other manufacturers’ cars.
On the performance side, acceleration from start to 62 mph takes 8.5 seconds, plenty brisk enough, with good mid-range acceleration. I found I was generally seeing 47-50 mpg on the trip computer, with around 33 mpg in busy town traffic. The official combined cycle figure is 57.6 mpg and the emission rating is 129 g/km.
If there is an Infiniti dealer near you, then the Q30S provides an interesting alternative to what must be regarded as its Mercedes A-class cousins.
The Infiniti Q30 Sport 2.2D 7 DCT 4WD Price as tested: £33,890
Maximum speed: 134mph,
combined mpg: 57.6
Engine layout: 2143cc 4-cylinder EU6 diesel, AWD.
Transmission: AWD dual clutch man sequential auto mode.
Max power: 170bhp@3400rpm.
Max torque: 350Nm@1400rpm.
CO2 emissions: 129g/km
VED Band: D
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