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.

Best Value

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)

Performance Pros

2018 INFINITI QX30
  • Handles corners with ease, especially the Sport models
  • Quick-shifting seven-speed transmission
  • Turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers a quick pop when accelerating

Performance Cons

  • 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

Interior Pros

  • 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

Interior Cons

2018 INFINITI QX30
  • 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.

Right For

2018 INFINITI QX30

Small families purchasing their first vehicle from a luxury brand may find the INFINITI QX30 a great stepping stone.

Wrong For

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.