The Sunderland-built Infinity Q30 was delivered to its first British drivers this week and the early reviews are positive. Infiniti has positioned the Q30 to be somewhere between the hatch and crossover segments. The Q30 is a large hatchback with a raised ride height. The sport versions of the car lower the seat, which somewhat confuses the purpose of the huge hatchback. Nevertheless, the Q30 is big enough to allow four 6 ft adults to comfortably sit for long rides.
There was substantial British interest in the hatchback, since Infinity builds them at its plant in Sunderland, England. The cars were designed in Nissan’s Paddington Studios in London, engineered in Cranfield and manufactured locally, with an emphasis on satisfying British tastes. So how did they do?
Drivers have responded positively to the quiet and supple ride. There is little noise from the tyres, air outside the windows, or the engine bay. The seats have special spinal support that reportedly results in 30 percent less driver fatigue, and 40 percent less downward force on the human spine.
Although the Q30 has a smaller rear window, the visibility is still good. The car gives consumers many equipment options, so that you can choose from the features you want, including a 360-degree camera or self-parking system. The camera certainly functions, but is not at the same high-res quality found in Land Rover or Volvo premium vehicles. The six-speed manual gearlever has a short and pleasing movement around the gate.
The centre console boasts a satnav screen that is smaller than it should be with graphics that seem a little stale. Mercedes-Daimler partnered with Renault-Nissan and the result is a switchgear that is mostly adapted from the Mercedes A-class. Driver display has a combination of digital display and plastic dials.
The Q30 is not the vehicle for people for whom fuel economy is paramount. The 2.2 diesel gives you an official 50 mpg, which is mediocre. The 1.5 diesel, sports an official 68.9 combined mpg. The CO2 of 108g/km is a positive, however.
The Q30 has had a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, making it best in class. The safety features that consumers can option, including the self-parking, also help drivers avoid many mishaps.
The Q30 starts at £20,550, but realistically you will want enough options that your purchase price will be closer to £28,000-£30,000. The price is about the same as its direct competitors, the BMW 116d (£22,245), Audi A3 1.6 TDI SE (£21,735) and Volvo V40 D2 (£22,870).
British drivers say the Q30 finally feels more like a European car than an American one. It will satisfy the needs of consumers who truly want a giant hatchback, but may fall short for those who need a more dynamic, low rider.