For a definition of the difficult to define Infiniti QX30, I’ll let Infiniti do the talking. They’re calling it a premium active crossover, and describing it as unique in the segment because it combines the sportiness of a coupe, the convenience of a five-door and the stance of a crossover.
The 2017 QX30 is a new model for the Infiniti brand, with a selection of six different trim levels: the front-wheel drive QX30 base model, Luxury, Premium and Sport, and the all-wheel drive Luxury AWD and Premium AWD.
Base pricing, including a $995 destination charge, starts at $30,945 and inches upward to $39,495 for the QX30 Sport.
Infiniti’s claim of coupe sportiness for the car isn’t just marketing hyperbole, especially regarding the model I tested, the QX30 Sport. Its ride height is about half an inch lower than the other front-drive models, which are already 1.2 inches lower than the models with AWD, and suspension is sport-tuned.
The Sport version is dressed for the part. It has a unique front fascia with LED fog lights, black-colored exterior features, dark chrome dual exhaust tips, 19-inch alloy wheels with run-flat summer tires, and Infiniti-branded brake calipers.
The QX30 Sport also comes with a park assist system that enables the car to park itself, parallel or reverse-in, with the touch of a button. The feature is optional on the other models as part of a technology package.
All models in the QX30 lineup have a fun, frisky 208-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 258 lb-ft of torque and paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Interior distinctions of the QX30 Sport include a flat-bottom steering wheel and sport front seats with integrated headrests. Standard seat materials are leatherette and simulated suede. The stitched trim on doors and the instrument panel is also crafted of simulated suede.
QX30 has a dramatically styled exterior that stands out against the competition, but that aggressive styling takes its toll on the car’s interior. I was fine with the limited amount of head room, but six-footers aren’t likely to be delighted. Some drivers, regardless of height, might object to the way visibility is diminished by the C-pillar, that area in the back between the second-row side windows and the rear window. Again, it didn’t cause me any suffering but it does require an extra bit of vigilance.
Designers faced with the challenge of providing stowage space within the compact cabin did an admirable job. One example is the door panel pockets, which had to be shorter than average. So, they’re much wider than average, effectively offsetting the length deficit.
The sport front seats with their integrated headrests nearly overwhelm the cabin with their bold styling and big dimensions, but they’re supremely comfortable and perfectly suited to keeping the driver snug during twisty turns.
Infiniti’s InTouch infotainment and connectivity system is nicely intuitive, and the dials and buttons for the climate control system are well placed. There’s one small oddity. Instead of one Mode button for selecting which vents you want the heat or air conditioning to come from, there are two, one above the other in a double bank of buttons. I couldn’t think of any reason for there to be two buttons other than to make the banks symmetrical.
Space in the rear cargo area is typical for a compact, useful for a reasonable amount of goods but not a Costco haul.
My tester was loaded to the gills with options: a Sport Technology Package adding a suite of driver assistance features; a Sport LED Package; and a Sport Leather Package. A Sport Navigation Package, radiant illuminated kick plates and a panoramic moonroof with power sunshade were listed among the options but were included in the base price.
2017 INFINITI QX30 SPORT
Base price, including destination charge: $39,495
Price as driven: $43,660
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.