• 2017 Infiniti QX30

Road Test: 2017 Infiniti QX30 AWD

Stylish Compact Luxury Crossover and 30 mpg

2017 Infiniti QX30

2017 Infiniti QX30

Want to step-up your game a bit and go for luxury in a compact crossover? Look no further than the all-new 2017 Infiniti QX30 AWD that Infiniti says “was created for a new generation of premium buyers.” Sharing the platform, engine and transmission with the Mercedes-Benz GLA, Infiniti is off to a great start, bringing style, comfort and luxury to a small SUV.

Driving Experience: On the Road

The all-wheel drive 2017 Infiniti QX30 is powered by a smooth and responsive turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The seven-speed automatic dual clutch transmission with paddle shifters has driver selectable settings of Eco, Manual and Sport. Using premium gasoline, EPA fuel economy rates it at 21 City/30 Highway/25 Combined for the AWD models. In 300 miles of 75-percent highway/25-percent city driving, Clean Fleet Report averaged 28.6 mpg, exceeding the EPA combined numbers. The 30 mpg highway mileage is impressive for a 3,475 lb. compact crossover (the model we drove). Infiniti achieved this by using a non-jarring idle stop-start system and .32 drag coefficient (Cd).

2017 Infiniti QX30

Infiniti edges into the growing small SUV/crossover segment

Out on the road the QX30 AWD has a stable nature that, when opting for the Sport mode, provides a more aggressive and engine-responsive driving experience. While Sport is good for quicker acceleration and on mountain roads, this setting holds the gears too long for all-around driving. The Eco mode is where you will spend most of your driving time as it is an important element of getting optimum fuel economy.

The four-wheel independent suspension has MacPherson struts with a stabilizer bar and twin tube shocks up front, and the rear has a multi-link with stabilizer bar and mono tube shocks. The electric power-assisted steering was set to deliver good road feel, if not on the bit heavy side. Our QX30 AWD was equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels and 235/50/18 Continental Pro Contact SSR run-flat tires, resulting in confident handling with moderate body roll and understeer.

Driving Experience: Exterior

There are six QX30 models, with the all-wheel drive version Clean Fleet Report drove having the highest ride height at 7.9-inches. All new for 2017, the QX30 was first revealed a short two years

ago as a concept car and now, according to Infiniti, is a “mix of artistry in the flowing lines…elevated stance, confident look” in what “makes a bold visual statement.” The final result is a very attractive crossover sporting a beautifully designed grill with an unique mesh insert that leads to the wide-set LED headlights and lower fascia LED fog lights. The sculpted fenders give the impression of motion, while the low-slung roofline and tapering rear side windows lead to a visually pleasant integrated spoiler over the rear hatch. The rear is finished-off with LED taillights and twin bright exhaust tips.

Driving Experience: Interior

2017 Infiniti QX30, interior

The driver-oriented dash has tech and knobs

Slipping into the QX30, you will quickly notice the superior materials, especially those we found in the Premium model. The black dash with white top stitching has an asymmetric design where the driver receives the attention. Gauges, knobs and levers are convenient to read and use. The black faces and white lettering on the large, round speedometer and tachometer sandwich the driver information center.

Infiniti has spent considerable time on the front seats, incorporating their Spinal Support and Zero Gravity technology. They’re engineered to match the curvature of the spine for support and body weight distribution, wider shape with soft cushions. It all leads to firm, but comfortable seats. The heated, eight-way power adjustable front seats, all clad in a very rich and soft Nappa leather, have four-way power lumbar support adjustments and excellent thigh bolsters. Add in the tilt and telescopic steering column and the driver can easily find a perfect seating position for those long road trips.

The 60/40 split-folding rear seat has a center armrest with cup holders, pass-through for long items and folds flat. The rear seat is best suited for two adults as shoulder space can be tight and the slopping roofline reduces head space for taller passengers. Otherwise the leather-trimmed seats were comfortable and the vents on the rear of the console were a nice touch.

The center dash finds a seven-inch color display, which is the access point to the infotainment (information and entertainment) center. The entertainment element includes the excellent 10-speaker Bose sound system with AM/FM/CD/MP3/AUX HD radio, 2 USB ports and SiriusXM. Our QX30 had the Infiniti InTouch connectivity system that included navigation. The leather-wrapped steering wheel has mounted controls and voice recognition for hands-free telephone, audio, navigation and vehicle information systems.

2017 Infiniti QX30, storage

The QX30 has plenty of the reason you buy an SUV

Convenience comes your way with a panoramic power moonroof and sunshade, push button start/stop, interior lighting front and rear, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink and a universal garage door opener, dual zone automatic climate control, cargo and floor mats, power automatic keyless door locks, power windows with one-touch up and down, rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers with heated washers, rear window wiper, power and heated side mirrors with turn indicators and an electronic parking brake.

Of special note and available on many Infiniti models is their Around View Monitor system, which is a series of cameras strategically located on the exterior that allow the driver to see completely around the vehicle, as if looking down from above. This is a technology that should be on all vehicles from all manufacturers.

Safety, Pricing and Warranties

The 2017 QX30 comes with an extensive list of standard safety features including eight airbags, four-wheel power disc ABS braking system, forward emergency braking, intelligent (adaptive) cruise control, blind spot monitoring, park assist with front and rear sensors, vehicle dynamic control, traction control, hill launch assist, tire pressure monitoring system, antitheft engine immobilizer, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert.

Clean Fleet Report’s 2017 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD, with optional equipment, had a MSRP of $42,750 excluding the $995 destination charge. Front-wheel drive QX30’s start at $29,950 and AWD models start at $34,400.

The 2017 QX30 comes with these warranties:

  • Basic – Four years/48,000 miles
  • Powertrain – Six years/70,000 miles
  • Roadside Assistance – Four years/48,000 miles

Observations: 2017 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD

2017 Infiniti QX30

The back end does the wave

The compact crossover segment is only a few years old, but demand for this size vehicle is growing. There are compromises when dropping in size from a midsize or full-size SUV as rear passenger and cargo space can be limited. The benefits of the compact crossover are many, including easier parking, maneuvering and better fuel economy.

In the case of the 2017 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD, you are buying into a luxury package where expectations are high. The power is smooth, if not spectacular, and the handling (for a tall vehicle) is adequate. The fit and finish is excellent, the fuel economy is good, the interior is quiet and made of high-quality materials and the Bose sound system is top notch. (It’s standard on the Premium model.)

The QX30 competes with the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA and the Buick Envision. Therefore, if you are stepping up to a luxury small crossover, take advantage of the various models to cross-shop and you will be treating yourself to a well-earned new ride.

Whatever you buy, Happy Driving!

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Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.

Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class. We also feature those that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.

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About Author: John Faulkner

John Faulkner is an automotive marketing professional with more than 30 years experience branding, launching and marketing automobiles. He has worked with General Motors (all Divisions), Chrysler (Dodge, Jeep, Eagle), Ford and Lincoln-Mercury, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota on consumer events and sales training programs. His interest in automobiles is broad and deep, beginning as a child riding in the back seat of his parent's 1950 Studebaker. He has a keen appreciation of Art Deco design, no bias for domestic versus foreign makes and loves competition - whether that be F1, IndyCar, Sports Cars, NASCAR or participating in Track Days at places such as Laguna Seca, Thunderhill or Willow Springs. John lives in Dana Point, CA, and enjoys a top-down drive on PCH on an early Sunday morning.

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