The INFINITI QX30 is a crossover, but it's a small one, and prioritizes handling and style over all-out capability. It's certainly more of a lifestyle vehicle than anything resembling a family hauler, but that's exactly how the luxury automaker wants buyers to think of its most affordable model.
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2018 INFINITI QX30 Overview
What's New for 2018
The QX30 is essentially unchanged for its second year on the market.
Choosing Your INFINITI QX30
The QX30's inviting interior is what we expect in a luxury-branded vehicle, and buyers get legitimate room for five passengers. There's 19 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, and 34 cubic feet with it folded. That tells us the QX30 is intended for weekend getaways for two, not family vacations. Almost any compact hatchback will hold more.
However, the QX30 doesn't skimp on power for a vehicle of its size. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 208 horsepower and 258 lb-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission delivers power to front wheels. The available all-wheel drive system increases ride height by 1.2 inches.
As before, the QX30 is offered in four trim levels: Base, Luxury, Premium, and Sport.
The base QX30 is rather austere for this class of vehicle — you can't get power seats, leather, or all-wheel drive. We consider the Luxury model acceptable, but its lack of options is a downer. That makes the Premium the logical choice for most buyers. Just be careful of INFINITI's tangled web of option packages – it's very easy to add $5,000 to the QX30's starting price.
2018 INFINITI QX30 Review
Like other luxury automakers, INFINITI is staring at slumping sedan sales as consumers flock to crossovers. And in many cases, those customers are looking at small CUVs, rather than the hulking, body-on-frame With the compact crossover segment heating up, INFINITI launched the QX30 to take advantage of this growing segment.
Creating larger luxury crossovers is fairly simple, as there is enough profit in them to include just the right amount of features. This highly competitive compact crossovers realm, on the other hand, is a little tougher, as it typically has a lower profit margin, making it difficult to hit that sweet spot of price and features.
INFINITI hopes the 2018 QX30 – which is actually based heavily on the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class – hits that sweet spot dead on. Here’s what we think of it.
With its sub-$30,000 base price, the 2018 INFINITI QX30 is a great value across the board, but to get that true luxury feeling at a reasonable price, we suggest moving up to the Premium trim. The QX30 Premium adds key luxury-car staples like rain-sensing wipers, a 10-speaker audio system, a universal garage door opener, and LED fog lights.
On top of its extra features, the Premium trim is where a few key optional features start to appear. We suggest adding the Technology Package, which costs $2,200 and adds key items like a 360-degree camera, lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking, park assist, and more. This package also requires the $1,000 LED Package and the $1,850 Navigation Package.
This is how we’d suggest building your 2018 QX30.
- Model: 2018 INFINITI QX30 Premium
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
- Output: 208 hp / 258 lb-ft
- Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch
- MPG: 24 city / 33 highway
- Exterior color: Magnetic Red
- Interior color: Wheat Nappa Leather / Gloss Black Lacquer Accents
- Options: Technology Package ($2,200, surround-view camera, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and park assist), LED Package ($1,000, LED headlights, enhanced LED interior ambient lighting, and adaptive lighting), Navigation Package ($1,850, InTouch Navigation with seven-inch touchscreen, front and rear parking sensors, INFINITI's InTouch telematics and connectivity services, and a center instrument cluster display)
- Base Price: $36,295 (destination fees included)
- As Tested: $41,345 (destination fees included)
- Handles corners with ease, especially the Sport models
- Quick-shifting seven-speed transmission
- Turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers a quick pop when accelerating
- Accelerator pedal is a little twitchy, leading to unwanted jolts on acceleration
- Transmission hunts for gears at lower speeds
- Lags a bit in power relative to its competitors
- Lots of options to choose from with all its trims and packages
- Front seats are super-comfortable and minimize fatigue
- Convincingly luxurious in all trims, even with its standard cloth seating
- Back seat is very cramped at just 33.5 inches of leg room and 37.5 inches of head room
- Its 19.2 cubic feet of cargo room just doesn’t cut it
- Too much engine noise in the cabin
Our Favorite Thing
The interior is surprisingly well laid out, even in its sub-$30,000 base model. INFINITI could have easily mailed it in with the base model, delivering a luxury name without the quality that comes with it. Instead, the base 2018 QX30 delivers an upscale look and feel thanks to its soft-touch materials, convincingly luxurious cloth seating, and array of upscale features.
Our Least Favorite Thing
We expected a little more interior room with the QX30’s longer-than-average wheelbase for its class. Unfortunately, there's a tight second row and a small cargo are. Adding to the QX30's struggles is a low ceiling created by that swoopy roofline.
Small families purchasing their first vehicle from a luxury brand may find the INFINITI QX30 a great stepping stone.
Established family with older kids won't appreciate the limited rear seat leg room and the tight cargo area.
The Bottom Line
The 2018 INFINITI QX30 isn’t as well equipped as some of its German competition, but its lower entry fee gives customers a taste of the luxury car segment without breaking the bank. This makes the QX30 the perfect segue for young families just testing the luxury-car waters.