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Compact Infiniti Q30 big boost for brand image

17:44 13 November 2015

The new Infiniti Q30 is an unusual, but strong, choice in the premium hatchback category.

The new Infiniti Q30 is an unusual, but strong, choice in the premium hatchback category.

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Infiniti’s Q30 is a strong challenger in the premium hatchback sector with looks, value and rarity all big advantages, says Ed Wiseman.

What’s new?

The Q30 from Infiniti, an upmarket sub-brand of Nissan, is based on the Mercedes-Benz GLA and poised to compete with this sort of premium brand – cars with high levels of luxury and a badge to match. The emphasis is on comfort and refinement, with more than a hint of performance, making the Q30 an interesting choice for buyers looking for a posh hatchback.

Looks and image

Infiniti Q30

Price: Infiniti Q30 2.2d Sport, from £29,380 (range £20,550 to £34,890)

Engine: 2,143cc, 167bhp, four-cylinder turbo diesel

Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox driving all four wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 8.5 seconds; top speed 134mph

MPG: 55.4mpg combined

CO2 emissions: 133g/km

It’s a good-looking car, distinct from anything else on the road, with strong, muscular lines and heavy haunches that differentiate it from the ubiquitous ‘soft-roader’ shape. It’s visually similar to the Mercedes GLA but the front is less aggressive and the profile more coupe-like. It’s a more sculpted and arguably understated alternative to some overly-styled competitors.

The Infiniti brand is not well known in the UK so instead of badge appeal there’s rarity value.

Space and practicality

It’s not a small car and doesn’t feel like one. The cabin feels roomy but front passengers get a better deal than those in the back – the cockpit feels spacious and well laid-out. Headroom is adequate but very tall passengers may find models without vertical seat adjustment a little cramped but there’s a decent 368-litre boot.

Behind the wheel

The interiors all look pleasant – a mixture of leathers and tasteful soft plastics make it a comfortable space. Mercedes-like controls feel well built with a straightforward and conventional layout. The seat takes some work to get into place if you’re tall, but with electric adjustment, with lumbar controls, you can find the perfect position.

The 108bhp 1.5-litre manual diesel is adequate for most driving. The petrol 1.6i is slightly more powerful and also comes only in front-wheel-drive. The 168bhp 2.2d combines strong performance, innovative sound insulation and active noise reduction to mitigate the effect that using the performance has on the serenity of the cabin. This is available in all-wheel-drive, which helps roadholding and stability.

The 209bhp 2 2.0-litre turbo petrol Sport, is firmly in the ‘warm hatch’ category but, at nearly £32k, has stiff opposition from the Germans.

Value for money

The Q30 starts at £20,550 for the 1.6i, which seems good value, but many drivers will opt for the larger diesel. The 2.2d starts at £24,700 and the comfortable ride, impressive turn of speed, good roadholding and quiet cabin make this a good choice.

Who would buy one?

A premium hatchback is hard to get right but Infiniti has produced something that outdoes its Mercedes GLA sibling for looks, value and rarity. The Q30 is for someone who wants comfort and style, but doesn’t necessarily crave badge recognition of big German brands. While it isn’t a driving enthusiast’s car, the Sport petrol will put a smile on your face.

Infiniti Centre Norwich – part of Desira Group – is holding a Q30 test-drive week from Monday to Sunday, November 22, ending with a driving day at Dunston Hall. For more information or to book a test drive telephone Infiniti Centre Norwich on 01603 397015 or log on to www.desiragroup.com/infiniti

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Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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