SEATTLE, Washington — The all-new 2017 Infiniti QX30 compact crossover, which arrives at Infiniti dealerships in September, previews what is shaping up as a fruitful collaboration between Infiniti and German automaker Mercedes-Benz.
The QX30 is the first of potentially several Infiniti models that will share vehicle platforms and components with Mercedes in a cooperative effort designed to slash vehicle-development costs.
The QX30 shares key elements with the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, including its platform, four-cylinder engine and dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The two compete in the rapidly expanding, price-sensitive compact crossover/SUV segment.
Keith St. Clair, Infiniti's U.S. director of product strategy and management, told Edmunds this is the first step for the two automakers in a deal that should please car shoppers.
"I think you can expect to see shared platforms in the future and cases where those platforms have been modified by each company for their unique application," he said.
Jeremy Acevedo, an Edmunds senior analyst, said there are advantages for car shoppers with this arrangement.
An Infiniti vehicle with Mercedes underpinnings "will have a lot more cachet with a luxury buyer," he said.
Although both are luxury brands, Acevedo said they do not compete head to head in the marketplace.
For example, Mercedes buyers typically also consider Audi, BMW and Lexus vehicles, while Infiniti draws buyers from Acura and other mainstream brands.
Affordability is part of the equation.
The 2017 QX30 is priced at $30,945, including a $995 destination charge, while the 2016 GLA-Class starts at $33,425, including a $925 destination fee.
Edmunds says: Infiniti lures luxury shoppers into showrooms with its new premium crossover, with the promise of more intriguing products to come in the future.