2017 Infiniti QX30 Long-Term Road Test - Wrap-Up

2017 Infiniti QX30 Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term
 

Read the 2017 Infiniti QX30's introduction to our long-term fleet.

See all of the 2017 Infiniti QX30's long-term updates.

What We Got

Our 2017 Infiniti QX30 Premium came with everything, including an upgraded Bose stereo, navigation, a full suite of driver aids, a 360-degree camera, and upgraded interior leather and trim. The subcompact crossover market is on fire right now, and Infiniti threw its hat in the ring by starting with a Mercedes-Benz GLA and making a few changes. We had to see how the Mercfiniti stacked up in such a hot market and how it compared to its Teutonic twin. So what did we think?

2017 Infiniti QX30

Performance

  • "You know, our long-term Infiniti QX30 is pretty fun to hustle along a curvy road. It responds quickly to your steering wheel inputs and stays planted and solid as you transition from turn to turn. There's suitable grip from the tires, too. I'm impressed." — Brent Romans, senior editor


  • "The Infiniti QX30 drives and handles agreeably, with adequate power and alert reflexes. But a few inherited Mercedes-Benz traits represent rough edges that deserve to be smoothed. The first of these is the ride, which feels a bit tense over the broken concrete roads found near my house. The other is the dual-clutch automatic transmission, which can feel a bit lurchy at low speeds and when throttle inputs are wavering and indecisive. Fix these two things (and the wider-than-you'd-expect U-turn radius) and I'm in." — Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing

2017 Infiniti QX30

  • "Where's normal mode? The Infiniti QX30 defaults to Eco driving mode. It's quick to shift gears in an effort to conserve fuel, but it feels a bit sluggish to accelerate. There's also a Sport mode but it is a bit too high-strung for daily driving. The only other choice is manual mode, but that's too much work. It doesn't solve the problem of being a nice in-between mode that you can set and forget. I can't think of another car that doesn't have a normal mode. Eco mode should be a choice, not the default." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor


  • "The QX30 is a great cruising car in open, flowing traffic. It has nice balance, feels sturdy and is pretty comfortable for two-hour drives. One place that didn't instill confidence was in slow, heavy traffic. The dual-clutch transmission has a noticeable lag when you want to get on the gas. I'm sure that's not a big deal for people, but for quick maneuvering moments, I don't like the extra second needed for a response." — Rich Kuras, content strategist

2017 Infiniti QX30

  • "Familiar Mercedes cues inside: center console buttons and switchgear, seat controls mounted in the upper door panel, steering column stalks, even the switch for selecting Eco/Sport/Manual drive modes with its little cyclone graphic. Sadly, the transmission feels Mercedes familiar as well — that would be Mercedes CLA/GLA familiar, which we've rightly savaged in every drive and test we've done with either of those cars. Apparently Infiniti has done its own powertrain tuning, but to no discernible effect, which underscores the awfulness of this gearbox. Soft, spongy accelerator/turbo lag makes the QX30 undrivable in default Eco mode, and barely tolerable in Sport." Dan Frio, staff writer

Comfort

  • "Ouch! My arm! Didn't we get rid of stupid door lock plungers that stick up in the 1980s? I thought everyone has gone to flip levers mounted by the inside release handle. The QX30 employs the old plunger style that stands up from the door panel, where it's perfectly positioned, even in the lower LOCKED position, to give you a deep tissue bruise if you: A) drive with your arm resting on the sill of the open window or B) reach out through the open window to receive food at a drive-thru restaurant or cash at a drive-up ATM — both scenarios that became common after the pop-up plunger first appeared in the '60s (and one could make a strong argument that they led to this design's demise). It seems Infiniti (or perhaps Mercedes) did not get the memo." —Dan Edmunds

2017 Infiniti QX30

  • "I rolled up over 2,000 miles on my drive to Oregon and didn't have a single complaint to record about the driver's seat. That's pretty amazing. Nothing really stands out about it, but I didn't get sore at any point. Just good firm support, no frills. Also, there was plenty of legroom for this lanky 6-foot-1 driver, with a bit more in reserve. A+." — Josh Sadlier, senior manager, content strategy


  • "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, associate staff writer

2017 Infiniti QX30

Cargo Space

  • "I'm surprised that a power liftgate apparently isn't available on any QX30. With the liftgate in its fully open position, my 5-foot-3 wife found that the handhold required an uncomfortable reach skyward, while the liftgate itself required an undue amount of effort to close. Not the end of the world, but isn't the point of luxury vehicles to make things like this easier?" — Josh Sadlier


  • "We refer to the QX30 as a subcompact crossover SUV. What does that mean in the real world? Well, in the golfing world at least, it means you have to remove your driver in order to fit your bag in the trunk. I'm used to doing that when I'm driving small hatchbacks, but I'd hope a crossover would be a bit more accommodating. Think of this subcompact crossover as a little hatchback on stilts and you won't be far off." — Josh Sadlier

2017 Infiniti QX30

  • "Infiniti lists the QX30's cargo space at 19.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 34 cubic feet when folded. That's not a whole lot. Then again, subcompact luxury crossover SUVs aren't really known for expansive storage capacities. Two real-world-use examples: 1) for a Thanksgiving holiday road trip, I fit two medium suitcases, one small one, two duffel bags and a laptop bag behind the rear seats; 2) after Thanksgiving, I used the QX30 to move some Christmas-related boxes out of storage by folding down the rear seats. Overall, I think the QX30 is fine for occasional cargo hauling as long as your expectations are low." — Brent Romans

Interior

  • "Since I do a lot of city driving, I've never felt a need to use cruise control. But when I was told that our QX30 had full-stop capable dynamic cruise control, I wanted to give it a shot on my daily commute. But once seated in the car, I couldn't see any cruise control buttons on the steering wheel or any additional control stalks. Feeling around, I realized that there's a dedicated cruise control stalk below the turn-signal stalk, completely hidden behind the steering wheel. And since the stalk is invisible, I couldn't read any of the function labels to figure out which action activated which function." — Calvin Kim, road test engineer

2017 Infiniti QX30

  • "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." — Mark Takahashi, senior writer


  • "Not many cars make me feel claustrophobic. Actually, none that I can think of, except the QX30. I'm not a tall driver and I'm not sitting up high, but the roof is really low. It's like a Japanese capsule hotel. Sliding back the sunroof panel helps a bit since it visually opens up the cabin." — Dan Frio

2017 Infiniti QX30

  • "The back seats of the QX30 pose a bit of a challenge for anyone over 5-foot-6. With taller passengers in front, the clearance behind the front seatbacks is very narrow, and the rake of the roof toward the tailgate further diminishes headroom. This wouldn't be a surprise if the QX30 was marketed as a hatchback, but as a crossover SUV, you expect more headroom. The rear seats are firm and not nearly as comfortable as the more molded front seats. They'd be fine for smaller passengers, but if you're planning on carrying adults for long stretches, be prepared for complaints of cramped legs and stiff backs." — Abigail Bassett, senior director, video & social media

Audio and Technology

  • "The central infotainment screen in the QX30 is Infiniti's standard corporate unit, which means it hasn't changed much over the past decade. Maybe it was cool in 2008, but it's sorely outdated by today's standards and takes a significant bite out of the QX30's appeal. I generally like how the QX drives, but that's the Mercedes part. It's on Infiniti to match those Teutonic driving dynamics with delightful cabin technology.

    "Unfortunately, there's nothing delightful about the infotainment interface. Maybe Infiniti should have paid Mercedes a little extra to get the superior COMAND interface from the GLA. Or maybe it tried and Mercedes declined." — Josh Sadlier

2017 Infiniti QX30

  • "Configuring vehicle settings in our QX30 requires more exploration than others. Normally the central infotainment system, which has both a rotary knob and a touchscreen, would do more of the heavy lifting, but a surprising number of features, from the lights to the locks and driver aids, are accessed only through the smaller instrument panel menu. This is something you can adapt to, but it's not quite as convenient as using the larger touchscreen system." — Jonathan Elfalan, road test manager

2017 Infiniti QX30

  • "The more I drive our QX30, the more I get annoyed with its infotainment interface. Some physical buttons for the system are located on the dash, while others are next to the console-mounted knob controller. Using that controller to select items on the touchscreen display often isn't intuitive. You can use the touchscreen as a work-around, but the whole experience just seems like a hodgepodge of control interfaces that aren't harmonized. Oh, it would also be preferable if the system remembered what screen (e.g., radio) you were on when you last drove the car rather than defaulting to a map display at startup." — Brent Romans


  • "If I were to buy an Infiniti QX30, I think I'd go with the Premium trim level. That's what our long-term QX30 is. Compared to the midlevel Luxury trim, the Premium gets the Bose audio system, a sunroof, automatic wipers, and a garage door opener, among a few other features. Suggested price is $37,700 (2018 model, with AWD) versus $34,400 for a comparable Luxury trim. More importantly, the Premium is the only way to get the optional Technology package, which has the very useful top-down parking camera, blind-spot monitoring and forward collision mitigation system. It'd be nice if Infiniti also offered that package on the Luxury, though." — Brent Romans

2017 Infiniti QX30

Maintenance

  • "Our QX30 has a keyless entry system that does not require the driver to press the key fob to unlock or lock the door. Provided the transponder-equipped key is near the door, merely touching the handle can lock or unlock the door. But on the driver's side front door, this system does not recognize requests activated from the door handle, though we can still operate the door locks using the key fob. The transponder system works since we can still open the door normally from the passenger side. Our hypothesis is that the door-pull harness somehow got unplugged from the rest of the assembly. We'll report our findings after we've fixed the issue." — Calvin Kim (Calvin was largely correct, and the issue was fixed at no cost to us.)

Miscellaneous

  • "People seem to love the way this Infiniti looks. I'll admit, I'm fonder of the sheet metal on the QX30 than its Mercedes-Benz brother (the GLA), but I'm not sure it's my favorite design. My opinion aside, I was approached in parking lots more than once this weekend and given compliments on the looks of this car. People ask about the color, tell me it's a good-looking car, and in general, stop and stare. Apparently there's something about it that keeps people looking." — Travis Langness, staff writer

2017 Infiniti QX30

  • "Whenever I get out of the QX30 and into my own four-door 2013 Volkswagen GTI, I'm struck by the VW's superior packaging. Despite its smaller footprint, it's got a more spacious back seat and comparable real-world cargo-carrying capability. And don't get me started on how much better VW's DSG is than the Mercedes dual-clutch automatic transmission that does duty in the Q.

    "I get the appeal of the Infiniti's elevated driving position and all-wheel drive, but if those two features aren't absolute gotta-haves, I'd strongly recommend considering the current GTI instead. Or if you need AWD, try the Golf R. At the end of the day, we're just talking about upscale hatchbacks here, and there's no reason to compromise on cabin space and all-around performance if you don't have to." — Josh Sadlier


  • "There's a rattle coming from the roof area just above the side roof pillar on the driver's side. I know it's coming from there because if I press on the headliner in that spot it goes away. Our QX30 just passed 10,000 miles, which isn't very much, so it's worrying to see build-quality issues cropping up already." — Will Kaufman


  • "Why does the Infiniti's door lock plunger look like my missing K'nex piece?" — Cameron Rogers, staff writer

2017 Infiniti QX30

Maintenance & Repairs

Regular Maintenance:
The QX30's regular service interval is 20,000 miles, but it calls for its first service to come at 16,000 miles or one year. Lack of enthusiasm for the little Mercfiniti around the office meant that it just didn't rack up the miles, but we cracked the 16,000-mile threshold just before the end of the loan and days before a final 1,200-mile road trip.

At 16,662 miles, we took the QX30 in for an oil-and-filter change and multipoint inspection. It cost us $144. Infiniti also installed a new steering bushing as part of an open service campaign.

Service Campaigns:
In November of last year, a recall was issued for an electrical problem that could cause the driver-side airbag to deploy. If you own a 2017-2018 QX30 or are considering buying a used one, we highly recommend checking to see if the recall affects your vehicle and if the proper repairs have been made.

2017 Infiniti QX30

Fuel Economy and Resale Value

Observed Fuel Economy:
Our 2017 Infiniti QX30 has an EPA estimated combined mileage of 25 mpg (21 city/30 highway). Our best fill came in at 30.9 mpg, and our average real-world fuel economy was 23.9 mpg over the 17,138.3 miles we drove. Considering how many of those were commuter miles in L.A. traffic, that's not a terrible outcome. Still, the QX30 isn't a particularly efficient vehicle.

Resale and Depreciation:
New, our QX30 had a sticker price of $47,010. Using our TMV calculator, we came up with a private-party sale value of about $27,000. That's a depreciation of about 42 percent over one year, which is incredibly steep. That's about how much our (in)famous 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG depreciated, which is saying something.

In fact, that depreciation curve is so steep I wasn't sure I believed it. But a little research turned up a 2017 QX30 equipped almost identically to ours, and with fewer miles, for sale from a local dealership for $29,300. Even on a dealer lot, the car lost almost 38 percent of its sticker value in a year.

When we first got our hands on the QX30, we thought the sticker price seemed high, and it looks like the market agreed with us.

2017 Infiniti QX30

Summing Up

Pros:
The QX30 has a peppy engine that was generally appreciated for its grunt, and the driver assist systems worked well for us. The vehicle's sleek design and standout color appealed strongly to some people.

Cons:
The transmission proved clunky and unpleasant, the infotainment system annoying and outdated, and interior space seriously compromised in the name of style. Steep depreciation from the rather high sticker price is also a concern. The QX30's sleek design and standout color really turned some people off.

Bottom Line:
Infiniti took a Mercedes-Benz that's fun to drive but has little else to recommend it, put in a worse infotainment system, and wrapped the whole thing in a body you either love or hate. The fact that this little luxury crossover missed its mileage goal by more than 2,000 miles says everything that needs to be said about how much enthusiasm we could drum up for it. That said, we won't yuck your yum if the QX30 ticks the boxes for you; we'd just recommend you opt for CPO to dodge the depreciation.

2017 Infiniti QX30

Total Body Repair Costs: $0
Total Routine Maintenance Costs: $144 (over 12 months)
Additional Maintenance Costs: $0
Warranty Repairs: 0
Non-Warranty Repairs: 0
Scheduled Dealer Visits: 1
Unscheduled Dealer Visits: 0
Days Out of Service: 0
Breakdowns Stranding Driver: 0
   
Best Fuel Economy: 30.9 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 15.7 mpg
Average Fuel Economy: 23.9 mpg
Best Range: 411.7 miles
   
True Market Value at Service End: $27,000 (private-party sale)
Depreciation: $20,010 (42% of original MSRP)
Final Odometer Reading: 17,826 miles

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.


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