?2018 Infiniti QX30 2.0t Premium FWD?
A Versatile Premium Active Crossover
2017 was the first year for the Infiniti QX30. it was developed to attract new consumers to the Infiniti brand. It made available a smaller alternative to both the Infiniti QX60 and the Infiniti QX60 SUVs, with a more appealing and futuristic design form.
The second generation 2018 Infiniti QX30 continues with the category-defying image that displays a dramatic curvaciousness with swirling, sculpted character lines that make an emotion stirring statement, showcasing new dynamic shapes for a more purposeful appearance. Standard exterior features include signature LED daytime running lights and auto on/off halogen headlights, with available LED headlights with an Active Front Lighting System and auto high/low beam function, and LED fog lights. A panoramic moonroof and roof rails are also offered.
There are four basic FWD trim levels: the base QX30; a more upscale Luxury model QX30; a QX30 Sport; and the top-of-the-line QX30 Premium model. The Luxury and Premium models are also come in an AWD configuration, making for a total of six different models. The AWD system is INFINITI?s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system.
The overall design combines a low, sleek roofline, a high stance and crossover appearance creating a striking visual impact. Up front are Infiniti?s signature double-arch grille with three-dimensional mesh panels and a double-wave aluminum hood. The QX30 profile showcases deeply sculpted fenders and bodysides along with slim A-pillars and crescent-cut C-pillars.
The exterior of the QX30 Sport includes unique front and rear lower fascias, a gloss-black grille, body-color side sill panels, a chrome trunk finisher, dark chrome exhaust tips and special 19-inch Gun Metallic aluminum-alloy wheels. It also features a slightly lower ride height than the other QX30 FWD models.
The QX30 Luxury and QX30 Premium AWD model exteriors include specific front and rear lower fascias, over-fender extensions, black molded-in side sills, roof rails, and specific 18-inch machine finished aluminum alloy wheels and an elevated ride height.
The exterior?s bold styling statement is continued with the interior treatment, featuring a modernistic and dynamic expressionism. All Infiniti QX30 models offer a standard Bluetooth? Hands-free Phone System, a RearView Monitor, cruise control, power windows with front one-touch auto up/down with auto reverse, power door locks with programmable selective unlocking, an auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, dual overhead map lights and rear personal lights, INFINITI Intelligent Key, three 12-volt power outlets and Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control with rear seat vents on the console. Two USB ports allow phone charging while listening to music on a USB stick or drive. The QX30 Sport features the Intelligent Park Assist system, which is allows the vehicle to smoothly park itself in parallel or reverse-in parking spots. The system is also available on QX30 Premium models as part of the optional Technology Package.
Advanced audio, navigation and connectivity systems are also available, including a Bose? 10-speaker audio system and standard HD radio, SiriusXM? Satellite Radio (SiriusXM? subscription required, sold separately) and voice recognition for audio, Bluetooth? audio streaming and vehicle information. Also standard is SiriusXM? Travel Link with access to weather, fuel prices, stocks, sports and movie times (with 4-year complimentary trial access).
Infiniti?s InTouch? infotainment system provides user-friendly finger touch and swipe control through a 7.0-inch touch-screen HMI (human machine interface). INFINITI Voice Recognition interacts with the InTouch? infotainment system, controlling audio and navigation commands. Other optionally available technology includes the Around View? Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Intelligent Cruise Control.
Power for the QX30 lineup is delivered by a standard transversely front mounted 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine with Direct Fuel Injection and Idle Stop/Start. The efficient four-banger makes 208 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, while developing 258 pound feet of torque in a range from 1,200 to 4,400 rpm. Motive energy is geared to the standard front driving wheels via a 7-speed Dual Clutch automatic transmission with a drive mode selector (Eco, Sport and Manual) and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Infiniti?s Safety Shield standard technologies include: Infiniti?s Advanced Air Bag System with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with an occupant classification sensor; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; Roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front- and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection; and front knee supplemental airbags. Optionally available is: Intelligent Cruise Control; Forward Emergency Braking; Blind Spot Warning; and Lane Departure Warning.
My test Infiniti QX30 was a FWD model in Premium trim with a base sticker of $35,300. Which rose to a total of $43,560. Including the Destination charge after factoring in its optional features, which included: the Gallery White Theme Package, Technology Package, Navigation Package, LED Package, and Radiant Illuminated Kick Plates. The exterior finish was Magnetic Red metallic, while the interior was done in White Nappa leather with Black accents and Red contrast stitching.
SUMMARY: The QX30 serves up a balance of coupe sportiness, crossover utility and 5-door versatility. Is it a mini SUV or a crossover? However you choose to categorize it, it is certainly a radical departure from Infiniti?s other two QX stable mates, which are respectively medium and humongous in size, purpose and functionality.
The 2.0t four-cylinder engine is ideally suited to the QX30, delivering a satisfying power level and energetic acceleration on demand. The 7-speed DCT auto gearbox with its drive mode selector and paddle shifters does its job nicely, while allowing the driver to operate, matching his or her particular driving mood at any given time.
The handling characteristics lean to the sporty side of the chart, with a pleasing on-center feel, and the ride quality falls into the firm category, though not on an uncomfortable level.
The interior ambience is outstanding, carrying out the ?swoopy? nature of the QX?s exterior aura. Versatility is heightened by the fold-down 60/40-split rear seat and rear center armrest pass-through, and there are three 12-volt power outlets for charging personal devices conveniently placed throughout the cabin. The multiple camera views on the screen display are exceptionally handy when parking.
Second row passengers will experience limited leg room when seated behind tall front seat occupants, but an ideal driving position is readily obtainable thanks to infinitely adjustable seats.
All in all, the 2018 Infiniti QX30 2.0t Premium is capable of doing yeoman?s duty as a small crossover and is ideal for a small family or active solo owner.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Infiniti QX30 2.0t Premium FWD
Base Price: $35,300.
Price as Tested: $43,560.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve turbocharged inline 4-cylinder with Direct Fuel Injection and Idle Stop/Start.
Horsepower (bhp): 208 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 258 @ 1,200-4,400 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed Dual Clutch automatic with drive mode selector (Eco, Sport, Manual) and Paddle shifters
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-Wheel Drive.
Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut, twin-tube shock absorbers and 23 mm stabilizer bar.
Rear ? Multi-link independent, monotube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front), 4-wheel/4-chanel/ 4-sensor ABS, EBD and BA.
Tires: Continental ProContact TX SSR 235/50 R18 95H mounted on 5-stylized ?V?-spoke alloy wheels ? machine finished with painted inners and red stripe.
Wheelbase: 106.3 inches
Length Overall: 174.2 inches
Width: 82.0 inches – with mirrors
Height: 59.4 inches – with roof rack
Curb Weight: 3,346 lbs.
Turning Circle: 37.3 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 14.8 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 24 mpg city / 33-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.32
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.