2017 Infiniti QX30: Monthly Update for February 2018
by Will Kaufman, Associate Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
In the shortest month, our 2017 Infiniti QX30 largely handled local commuting duties, and yours truly drove the little beast to San Diego through the worst of what South L.A. traffic can offer. Along the way, our reactions were ... mixed. Senior Writer Mark Takahashi felt so strongly that he couldn't express his dissatisfaction without relying on cultural references from a quarter-century ago.
There's still praise around the office for the Mercedes-cum-Infiniti's punchy acceleration and maneuverability, but the cramped interior, clunky transmission and outdated infotainment haven't won it many converts.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We added about 500 miles to the QX30's odometer in February, and the flesh-tone crossover returned just under 20 mpg over that distance. That's short of even the EPA-estimated city mileage. This performance dragged our lifetime economy down another tenth to 23.8 mpg, or 1.2 mpg off the EPA combined rating. The Infiniti's EPA rating isn't far off from average for the class, but with hybrid competitors coming from Volvo and Lexus in the near future, the needle's going to move. Any underperformance might be a bigger deal in that new landscape.
Average lifetime mpg: 23.8
EPA mpg rating: 25 combined (20 city/30 highway)
Best fill mpg: 30.9 mpg
Best range: 411.7 miles
Current odometer: 14,984 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"This car is based on one of my least favorite cars from the last couple of years: the Mercedes GLA. It retains all of the things I despise, like the clumsy transmission and poor ride quality. Then it removes one of the few redeeming qualities of that car: the Mercedes COMAND system. The QX30 screams 'last generation' in almost everything it does. In the words of Charles Barkley, 'Turrabull.'" — Mark Takahashi, senior writer
"The adaptive cruise actually works pretty well in slow traffic, keeping an even distance from the car ahead without much in the way of jerky acceleration or deceleration. That said, full stops can be pretty jerky, especially if the vehicle has had time to build up a little speed. It's unpleasant enough that in full stop-and-go I opted not to use the feature." — Will Kaufman, associate staff writer
"The rearview and surround-view cameras are actually quite good. I often find I can't rely on side camera views when parallel parking because they're overly conservative and leave me too far from the curb. But in the QX30, the side cameras give me an excellent sense of where I'm placing the vehicle." — Will Kaufman
"Gotta love the hard key that activates the surround camera. It's easy to see and activate. Car manufacturers, if you've got a camera system in the car, make it easy for drivers to activate it!" — Calvin Kim, road test editor
"The center screen is small, but it still wastes real estate, so it displays even less information at one time than you'd expect. The bottom third is dedicated to the shift pattern, but that only appears on the right half of the screen. I don't really need to see the shift pattern there all the time, and I'd much rather have more information displayed than look at a blank space with a bit of grayscale gradient for a background." — Will Kaufman
"Why isn't there a normal mode? The QX30 has Sport and Eco, and neither's ideal around town. In Eco there's a moment of torquiness just on the throttle that dies off almost immediately, and you have to move further into the pedal travel before you get the acceleration that first moment made you expect. Sport mode on the other hand is twitchy and sensitive, and wearing when you're navigating L.A. streets. Sometimes you just need to be normal." — Will Kaufman
"There's a pad on the driver's side of the center console, which is usually a nice thought, but in this case I can't really tell who it's meant for. It hits my leg squarely mid-calf, which is not a spot that really needs padding, and it's very noticeable because it sticks out a bit. I imagine shorter drivers would sit closer and higher, so their knee wouldn't be anywhere near that spot either. It's a thoughtless ergonomic choice in a vehicle that seems defined by a lack of thoughtful choices. (See also the puddle lamps that shine on the doors and not the ground.)" — Will Kaufman
"A few hours on the road left me unhappy with these seats. I found I had hot spots on my butt and back where it felt like I had pushed through the padding and was sitting squarely on the hard springs." — Will Kaufman
"This car seems to have been built for drivers shorter than 5 feet tall. The driver's seat is boosted way too high for me, and I'm not super tall. There's no need for that. I feel like Magnum P.I. sitting in his comically small 308 GTS. Normally that would be a good thing, but I'm driving this metallic flesh-colored thing shaped like a carp. In the immortal words of Nancy Kerrigan, 'WHHHHHYYYYYYYYY?!?'?" — Mark Takahashi
"Many do not like the color, but I like it. In a sea of blacks, silvers and whites, Liquid Copper Metallic stands out wonderfully." — Calvin Kim