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2018 infiniti QX30

Infiniti entered the subcompact crossover market with a hatchback on stilts named QX30. This premium entry is the product of a platform sharing venture with Mercedes-Benz, meaning it shares its underpinnings with the CLA and GLA crossover.

Overview
Infiniti's smallest crossover offers a conventional five-seat, two-row configuration with a rear liftgate. While it may share a lot mechanically with its Mercedes-Benz cousin, the QX30 has been differentiated enough that it's not simply a case a badge engineering.

For starters, the sheetmetal is entirely Infiniti's, from the squinty front headlamps and signature grille to the sharply cut rear pillar and everything in between. While the proportions may give away the underlying connection, there's no mistaking the QX30 for anything but an Infiniti.

It's also worth noting that while the QX30 may share the Benz's suspension hardpoints, the components and their tuning are unique. Infiniti's powertrain programming was also handled in-house.

Infiniti offers its new luxury CUV in three configurations: A base, front-wheel drive model with 6.7 inches of ground clearance; a step-up AWD model with a 1.2-inch increase in ride height and a slightly stiffer rear anti-roll bar; and the Sport, which is lower than the base model (6.1 inches of clearance) and rides on springs and anti-roll bars that are slightly firmer than the AWD model's. The Sport model is also equipped with summer tires wrapped around 19-inch wheels; the base and AWD models are equipped with all-season tires on 18-inch wheels.

The QX30's powertrain is lifted entirely from the Mercedes-Benz parts bin. The 208-horsepower four-cylinder produces 258lb-ft of torque and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Front- and all-wheel-drive configurations are available, and while the GLA's AWD variant may be branded as a 4Matic, the underlying system was co-developed with Infiniti.

Trim Level Breakdown
One of the QX30's variants makes a cameo again in its grade walk (the breakdown of trim levels).

The QX30 is offered in Base, Luxury, Sport and Premium trims, with packages available for each.

The Base model is offered exclusively to front-wheel-drive buyers. It comes standard with dual-zone climate control, a six-speaker audio system, wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a rear-view camera, power folding and heated exterior mirrors with puddle lamps, auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors, and LED running lamps.

Stepping up to the Luxury adds Nappa leather seating, a matching stitched dashboard insert, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with memory, four-way power front lumbar support, heated front seats, a rear bench pass-through, and footwell lamps. The Luxury is available in both front- and all-wheel-drive.

The next tier up is the Premium model. This upgrades the audio system to a ten-speaker Bose unit and adds a universal garage opener, rain-sensing wipers, heated washers, LED front fog lamps, aluminum kick plates and a chrome trunk finisher. Like the Luxury, the Premium is available in both front- and all-wheel-drive.

Infiniti's alternative to the Premium is the Sport model. It is exclusively available in front-wheel-drive (for reduced curb weight and improved dynamics). In addition to the aforementioned mechanical differences, the Sport receives the Premium's Bose audio system, 19-inch wheels with summer tires, cross-drilled brake rotors branded with the Infiniti logo, and the around-view monitor with Intelligent Park Assist.

Options and Packages
The QX30 is available with a handful of stand-alone options and several packages.

A panoramic moonroof is available on Sport and Premium trims, and while it is a stand-alone it must be bundled with, at minimum, a set of roof-mounted cargo rails on FWD models. Navigation can also be added to vehicles equipped with the moonroof on Premium and Sport models.

A 19-inch wheel package is also available on FWD premium models equipped with the moonroof, navigation and roof rails.

And LED package is available on Sport and Premium models. It includes LED headlamps, active front lights and LED interior ambient lighting. A Technology package is also available on both. It includes blind spot warning, lane departure warning, forward emergency braking, intelligent cruise control and high beam assist. On Premium models, it also adds intelligent park assist and the around view monitor.

Sport model buyers can also add a unique leather package which includes heated front seats and a black Dinamica (similar to Alcantara) headliner.

Premium models are also available with a Wood trim package (which is exactly what it sounds like) or a Gallery White interior "Theme" package which adds white Nappa leather seating and dash inserts, red contrast stitching, a red key fob, red kick plate accents, a black Dinamica headliner, unique 18-inch wheels with red accents and satin silver mirror caps.

Unique the AWD Premium model is a Café Teak Theme, which is similar to the Gallery White package but features brown Nappa leather and genuine wood trim on the center stack and door handles, a black Dinamica headliner, and satin silver mirror caps.

Occupant Safety
All QX50 models come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability and controls systems.

A number of optional safety systems are available as part of the Technology Package (detailed above)

Key Competitors
The Infiniti QX30 competes with other premium subcompact crossovers, such as the BMW X1, the Audi Q3, the Volvo XC40, and the Mercedes-Benz GLA.