2018 Infiniti QX30

2018 INFINITI QX30 Review

The Infiniti QX30 is a unique vehicle that blurs the lines between SUV and sport luxury hatchback.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Jonathan Elfalan
Edmunds Editor

The 2018 Infiniti QX30 is an interesting amalgamation of coupe, hatchback and crossover, and the way it straddles these body types results in advantages and drawbacks. Those who like a sporty drive experience will appreciate the QX30's athleticism over a more traditional SUV. Its rear hatchback design increases the cargo capacity over a comparably sized sedan, while the option of all-wheel drive and a raised suspension make it better suited to handle foul weather conditions or light off-highway exploration.

So what are the trade-offs? The QX30's aggressive coupelike styling helps it look the part, but it also doesn't make for the roomiest or ergonomically optimized cabin. Its sporty suspension doesn't exactly excel in the ride comfort department either, and rear visibility can be an issue if you don't have the electronic aid of the optional Technology package.

With a base price of just over $30,000, the QX30 is the lowest point of entry into the Infiniti line and is slightly more affordable than most other subcompact luxury SUVs, including the Mercedes-Benz GLA, from which it borrows heavily.



what's new

The 2018 Infiniti QX30's trim level names have been renamed halfway through the year and some features have been shuffled, too.

we recommend

If you've landed on the Infiniti QX30 as your next vehicle, we recommend the Premium/Essential AWD trim. It not only comes with a number of great features, but it also offers the Technology package that helps to alleviate the QX30's blind spots.

trim levels & features

In the beginning of the 2018 model year, the Infiniti QX30 subcompact luxury crossover was available in four trim levels: base, Luxury, Premium and Sport. Later, those first three trims were renamed Pure, Luxe and Essential. Some option packages were also renamed. All QX30s are propelled by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four (208 hp, 258 lb-ft) that sends power to either the front or all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is only available on the Luxury/Luxe and Premium/Essential trims.

Standard features on the base/Pure QX30 include 18-inch alloy wheels, all-season run-flat tires, LED running lights, auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, eight-way manual front seats with four-way power lumbar, dual-zone climate control, 60/40-split fold rear seatbacks and simulated leather upholstery. Some of the standard technology features include a rearview camera, a 7-inch Infiniti InTouch infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, voice controls, and a six-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio, two USB ports and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Luxury/Luxe trim comes with everything from the base trim and adds leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, heated front seats, a rear-seat armrest, a rear-seat pass-through, driver-seat memory settings and a stitched-leather dash insert. Aside from all-wheel drive, there are no options available on Luxury or base trims.

One step up from Luxury is the Premium/Essential trim, which adds LED foglights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof and a premium 10-speaker Bose audio system. If you opt for an all-wheel-drive Luxury or Premium QX30, these models come with a ride height raised 1.2 inches versus that of the front-wheel-drive models.

A number of packages are available at the Premium trim level. The Navigation package includes navigation, Infiniti InTouch services and apps, front and rear parking sensors, satellite traffic and weather, and a color center display in the gauge cluster. The LED package includes adaptive LED headlights and interior LED ambient lighting.

The Technology/ProAssist package is one we recommend due to the QX30's natural blind spots. It comes with a 360-degree camera system, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams and park assist. The Gallery White Theme package features a white premium leather interior with red accents and contrast stitching, a synthetic suede headliner and unique 18-inch wheels. The Dark Wood package adds real wood trim and a suede headliner. A 19-inch wheel option is also offered that includes run-flat summer tires (from the Sport model).

The top-of-the-line Sport trim models are front-wheel-drive only and come with a sport-tuned suspension that rides 0.6 inch lower than all of the other front-drive models. It has 19-inch alloy wheels with run-flat summer tires, front and rear parking sensors, black exterior mirror housings, specific front and rear lower fascias, body-color side sill panels, a black-colored grille, front sport seats with synthetic suede and faux leather upholstery, a 360-degree camera system, an automated parking system and a flat-bottom steering wheel.

Options for the Sport trim include a no-cost Navigation package; the Technology package, which adds in the other driver aids that don't come standard; a Sport Leather package that adds premium leather, heated front seats, footwell lights and a synthetic suede headliner; and the LED package previously mentioned.

Some features have been shuffled between new and old package names. Most notably, the 360-degree camera has been moved to the Navigation package, the blind-spot monitor is now standard on the Essential trim and above, and the automatic emergency braking is standard throughout the lineup.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.0 / 5.0

Acceleration4.5 / 5.0
Braking4.5 / 5.0
Steering4.5 / 5.0
Handling4.0 / 5.0
Drivability2.5 / 5.0

Comfort

3.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort3.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort2.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.0 / 5.0
Climate control3.0 / 5.0

Interior

3.0 / 5.0

Ease of use4.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out2.5 / 5.0
Driving position3.0 / 5.0
Roominess2.0 / 5.0
Visibility2.0 / 5.0
Quality4.0 / 5.0

Utility

3.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage3.0 / 5.0
Cargo space3.0 / 5.0

Technology

3.0 / 5.0

Audio & navigation3.5 / 5.0
Smartphone integration3.0 / 5.0
Driver aids3.0 / 5.0
Voice control3.5 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
The Infiniti QX30 blends a small SUV footprint, sharp handling and swift straight-line performance into a package you could also take on light trails. A slow-shifting, lazy transmission hinders speed and acceleration, but there are ways to quicken its response times.

acceleration

edmunds rating
The QX30 has quick pedal response in S or M shifting modes but feels high-strung for city driving. In E mode, response is slow, laggy and virtually intolerable unless you work the manual-shift paddles. When fully committed, it'll dash from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, about average for the class.

braking

edmunds rating
In testing, the QX needed 109 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is a solid result for a small car with all-season tires. It delivers consistent braking power and drama-free stability when you're needing to stop in a hurry, and it is smooth and easy when you're just easing to a stop.

steering

edmunds rating
Precise responses inspire confidence that the car is headed where it's pointed, even if there isn't as much road feel as with Infiniti's coupes or sedans. The effort is just right, too; it's neither heavy nor feather light.

handling

edmunds rating
The QX30 is playful when pushed, and if approaching its limitations the electronics will step in before things really get out of shape. Body roll is well managed, and AWD affords great drive out of corners. It's definitely capable, if not entertaining.

drivability

edmunds rating
The default E mode makes for frustrating low-speed driving and acceleration response due to the power lag and slow-to-engage transmission. Selecting S or manual mode each time is a work-around, but these two modes are a bit rev-happy, which can be annoying when you just want to cruise.

comfort

edmunds rating
Despite the entry-level luxury positioning, the QX30 is still prone to shakes, jitters and transmitting patchy road surfaces into the cabin. It's more sport hatchback than small luxury SUV. Might be fine for some, but we think buyers shopping this segment expect better.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The seats may feel a little too firm at first, but we grew accustomed to them. The side bolsters provide good support but aren't so big that they impede ingress/egress. Power-adjustable controls are separated between the doors and the seat, which is a little odd. Rear seats are comfy, if a bit flat.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
The ride isn't unreasonable but is firmer than you'd expect of a small luxury SUV. It chatters on washboardlike asphalt and is slightly jittery most other times. It's more comfortable that its close cousin, the Mercedes-Benz GLA, but many competitors are better in this regard.

noise & vibration

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There's plenty of wind noise rushing over the mirrors and pillars, but road and tire hum is pleasantly suppressed. Overall, the cabin is nicely hushed and quiet inside at highway speeds.

climate control

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The climate system cools the small cabin quickly, and the seat heaters reach toasting temperature before shivering sets in. There are a few too many between dual-zone temp dials and two switches for fan speed. It makes for misdirected poking while in motion.

interior

edmunds rating
Getting around the QX30's cabin controls (stalks, climate, tech) is easy; there just isn't much room to do it. It's cozy inside; getting in and out requires a limber body; and outward visibility is scarce. The QX30 offers about the same space as a compact hatchback but at a small luxury SUV price.

ease of use

edmunds rating
The controls are familiar and dead simple to find and use. The 7-inch infotainment system has a rotary dial and button interface, which is less distracting to use than a touchscreen. Of note, the gear selector shape doesn't lend to resting your hand on it.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
Step-in height is lower than that of a traditional SUV, although AWD models are 1.2 inches higher than front-drive QX30s. The low roof makes it a duck-in/out proposition, even for shorter passengers. Brief bending and contorting are required to get in the back.

driving position

edmunds rating
There's a good range of seat adjustment from sports-car low to SUV high. A manual tilt-and-telescope steering wheel helps dial in comfort, but the car's price warrants a power-adjusting wheel. Taller drivers might brush their heads on the roof or sunroof cutout.

roominess

edmunds rating
The cabin is small and confining, although the driver and front passenger get the best end of the legroom deal. Rear-seat legroom is minimal, headroom is hindered by the panoramic sunroof, and the door panel armrests infringe on what's left of the precious cabin space.

visibility

edmunds rating
Thick rear pillars, a narrow rear window and tall window line combine for limited outward visibility. Even the door pillars make lane changes a more deliberate effort. A surround-view camera is optional with the Technology package but should come standard given the difficulty seeing out of this car.

quality

edmunds rating
Infiniti pulls off a premium interior, though most pieces you touch (stalks, switches, steering wheel) come from the high-quality Mercedes parts bin. The rest are Infiniti-issue and arguably just as nice. Quality is excellent and assembly is tight. Appears built to last.

utility

edmunds rating
Although the QX30 offers all-wheel drive with 8 inches of ground clearance, you'd be hard-pressed to call it a utility vehicle. The cabin is too small for most outdoor equipment, especially if four passengers are riding along. Fine if you pack light, but most compact hatchbacks offer more room.

small-item storage

edmunds rating
There's pretty good storage for small, loose items. A typical 1-liter bottle can fit in the front doors, but there isn't much storage beyond that in the side pockets.

cargo space

edmunds rating
The QX30 offers a claimed 19.2 cubic feet of trunk space. That's above average for the segment but just average for a compact hatchback. It also seems like a generous measurement. While there's some room back there, vertical space is compromised by the sharply raked roof.

child safety seat accomodation

edmunds rating
Isofix anchors sit right at the rear-seat surface and are easy to access. The QX30's lower height also means loading in the kids is similar to loading in a car, not an SUV.

technology

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Controls from Mercedes-Benz combined with Infiniti software and displays make for a fairly robust package of convenience and safety technology. Even base models offer a good tech bundle (rearview camera, Bluetooth, 7-inch touchscreen). Technology and Navigation packages add safety and connectivity.

audio & navigation

edmunds rating
A 10-speaker Bose sound system comes standard on Premium models. It's a good system, even if it doesn't offer much adjustment. The navigation is quick and offers multiple map views, but the graphics and menus outside the navigation menu look slightly dated.

smartphone integration

edmunds rating
With no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone integration, Bluetooth is the go-to connection here. We experienced limited success when connecting an iPhone via USB cable. The system occasionally recognized it as a media device, but most often did not.

driver aids

edmunds rating
The optional Tech package combines the main features (blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warnings, etc). Lane departure warning sends a vibration alert to the steering wheel. Parking sensors sometimes lag and often don't respond until you're already well aware of an obstacle.

voice control

edmunds rating
The voice controls work well for initiating a navigation search while driving. Issuing commands to search nearby points of interest by name or category, for example, leads to more specific menus that you can then search by dial controller and button array. Good stuff.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.