2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport

Test Drive: 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport

The current CUV rage in the marketplace is driving automakers to create new and exciting alternatives to the formerly popular small to midsize sedans. Personally, I like driving a car rather than a utility vehicle, but it appears I am in the minority as sedan sales continue to stall or spiral downward in some cases.

Reaching the market with vehicles people want to buy is obviously a key to success and with this in mind; Infiniti has recently launched the 2017 QX30. My test vehicle this week is decked out in Sport trim, so it features a host of goodies and a very short list of what I would consider baddies for the consumer. It is also a front-wheel drive vehicle, with only the QX30 AWD model featuring traction at all four corners.

“The all-new QX30 is an exciting addition to the line-up for 2017, expanding the Infiniti brand to a wider range of customers,” says Randy Parker, vice president, Infiniti Americas. “It offers truly standout styling, a level of refinement usually reserved for more expensive luxury segments and the agile, exhilarating dynamic performance that has been an Infiniti trademark for more than 25 years.”

A hatchback by design, styling cues are pure Infiniti with elegant rounded curves throughout, a racy front hood, sloping roofline and a short, but cute, tail section. Front and rear overhangs are limited in length for good reason. The new QX30 looks like it is going someplace in a hurry even when it is standing still. Star-shaped 19” alloy wheels add to the power look of the Sport model, with standard summer run-flats replaced by winter tires for the slush and snow of Ontario at this time of year.

Power comes in the form of a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. It delivers an inspiring 208 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 1,200 rpm. Matched to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with manual shift control, the QX30 Sport is capable of accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds and reaching a limited top speed of 210 km/h.

At the heart of this CUV is the desire of Infiniti to provide an exceptional driving experience and it shows. Three driving modes feature settings that include Economy, Sport and Manual. My favourites are the later, obviously, but Economy is no slouch when it comes to keeping things moving at a steady pace.

Pushed hard, the QX30 responds with tenacity, holding corners with grip equal to many of the best sport sedans it is working so hard to replace in the market. Stopping power is similarly impressive with large brake rotors and Infiniti branded calipers doing their best stopping on a dime routine. Steering is light when parking, tighter as the speed builds. I feel connected to the QX30, which is something I would rarely say about a CUV.

“The category defying design of the QX30 stays true to the inspiration behind the daring QX30 Concept,” states Infiniti Executive Design Director Alfonso Albaisa. “Its mix of artistry in the flowing lines, and power in the elevated stance and confident look, makes a bold visual statement and challenges current preconceptions of what a crossover should look like.”

“Combined with the Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, the new QX30 is one of the easiest cars to park in its segment,” said Parker.

Inside, sport seats with integrated headrests and LED lighting look exceptional. I am inspired to grab hold of the flat-bottomed, 3-spoke steering wheel and hit the road for some spirited fun. Our test vehicle is equipped with two-tone Nappa leather seats and stitched dash inserts. As its name suggests, the look is sporty. The driver’s seat highlights 8-way power adjustment, while the passenger front seat offers 4-way fine-tuning. Both offer 3-level heating that works very well to help ease the bite of winter.

Bose provides the audio sound with standard 10 speakers on the Sport model. A 7-inch touchscreen provides easy access for the navigation system as well. Dual-zone climate control is standard, plus nice touches such as aluminum foot pedals and heated headlight washers.

Alas not all is perfect inside the QX30 as several features have me scratching my head. It is next to impossible to use the cruise control without having to take your eyes off the road and somehow figure out where it is located, and then use it effectively. Owners will learn to adjust, of course, but why not put it on the steering wheel and make things easy right from the start?

Truck space is limited as I found out while trying to load my father’s walker in the back without folding down the split-fold rear seats. And while I understand the concept of keeping the doors locked when turning off a vehicle, the fact it adds one more step in the process of exiting is painful. With my hands full of many different things over the holidays, simply grabbing the handle to go seems like a better option.

The 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport is an excellent option for those looking to buy a luxurious CUV. In today’s market, that appears to be almost everyone. At just shy of $50K, it’s not inexpensive, but it is competitively priced. If you want a small sport-utility vehicle that drives like a sport sedan, it really doesn’t get much better than this.

2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport

Price as tested (before taxes): $49,235.00
Freight: $1.995.00
Configuration: front engine, front wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 2.0L 3-cylinder / 7-speed automatic
Power/torque: 208 hp / 258 lb-ft
Fuel-economy ratings (L/100km): city 9.7, highway 7.1
Observed fuel-economy (L/100km): 8.5
Warranty (basic): 4 years / 100,000 km
Competitors: Acura RDX, Audi Q3, BMW X1, Land Rover Evoque, Lexus NX, Lincoln MKC, Mercedes-Benz GLA

Related links:

Infiniti Canada
Car and Driver

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