BEHIND THE WHEEL: The 2018 Infiniti QX30 crosses SUV, coupe and crossover offering a unique blend

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By Rita Cook / The Ellis County Press

While taking a spin few weeks ago in Los Angeles I found the Infiniti QX30 was a crowd pleaser. My passengers loved the ride as I paid attention to the halting traffic while speeding up when passage allowed and basically having a great time driving what has been coined a cross between a coupe, crossover and hatchback.

Infiniti QX30

Unchanged in 2018, the competition for this entry level subcompact 2018 QX30 includes the Mercedes GLA-Class SUV, BMW XI SUV and the Audi Q3 SUV.

Trim level options

You will have a choice of the 2018 Infiniti QX30 in four trim levels including the Base, Luxury, Premium and Sport options.

On the base you get 18-inch alloy wheels, all-season run-flat tires, LED running lights, auto-dimming rearview mirrors as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry and ignition and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column. You will also find eight-way manual front seats with a four-way power lumbar, 60/40-split fold rear seatbacks and technology that includes a rearview camera, Bluetooth connect, a seven-inch Infiniti InTouch infotainment system and six speakers with two USB ports and an auxiliary jack.

On the Luxury trim add leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats along with heated front seats and a stitched-leather dash insert. In the back seat the passengers enjoy a rear-seat armrest and rear-seat pass-through. The only option you can add to this trim is the all-wheel drive.

The Premium trim offers LED fog lights, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof and in-sensing windshield wipers. You also get a 10-speaker Bose audio system and on the all-wheel-drive Luxury and Premium trims there is a ride height raised 1.2 inches that is not found on the front-wheel-drive version.

The Sport trim has only front-wheel-drive and offers a sport-tuned suspension with 19-inch alloy wheels and run-flat summer tires. There is front and rear parking sensors, unique front and rear lower fascia and a black-colored grille. The front sport seats are synthetic suede and faux leather and you can expect a 360-degree camera system with automated parking and a very comfortable to drive flat-bottom steering wheel.

If you want to add options to the QX30 on the Premium trim you can opt for the Navigation package with not only high-end navigation, but also the Infiniti InTouch services as well. There is front and rear parking sensors, satellite traffic and a center display in the gauge cluster. If you want the LED package that will give you adaptive LED headlights and interior LED ambient lighting. For the Technology package there is a 360-degree camera system, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. There are also a variety of additional packages that add a few tweaks here and there like the Dark Wood package or the Sport Leather package.

Under the hood

All 2018 Infiniti QX30’s come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine with 208 horsepower and 258-pound feet of torque. You can opt for all-wheel or front-wheel drive depending on the trim with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Safety first

Safety is a big deal on the Infiniti and the rearview camera is standard on the 2018 Infiniti QX30. Other standard features include the driver, passenger, front head, rear head and front side airbags. You will also find active park assist, front and rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, traction control, integrated turn signal mirrors, 4-wheel ABS and 4-wheel disc brakes.

Interior and exterior highlight

Inside the Infiniti QX30 you will feel like you are driving or riding in a hatchback versus a coupe or crossover. This is due mainly to the feel of the ride and the overall look the QX30 presents. Since Infiniti is all about luxury the seats are comfortable as would be expected and the side bolsters are more than supportive for a snug ride.

While this Infiniti officially touts its capacity as holding five people, in reality it is really only a good fit for four. In the back seats you get an easy ride for a short haul trip, but the legroom doesn’t tell a good story for a longer trip. The 2018 Infiniti QX30 has 19.2 cubic feet, but it also offers split-rear seats that fold down too.

The interior is made of premium materials and anything above the base trim level will give you leather seats with classy stitching and wood inlay.   Do take note there are many buttons and knobs that you will want to navigate before getting behind the wheel. Most are located in the middle console or around the center control system and its easy to figure it out all since the controls are intuitive and user friendly.

Along for the ride

Behind the wheel of the 2018 Infiniti QX30 it is not so much a sporty feel as a firm ride with good suspension and reactive steering. The acceleration is not as peppy as might be desired, but you will have no problem getting off and on the highway or in and out of tight spots.

There are several modes you can drive the QX30 in from the S to the M mode or the fall back E mode, which is a bit slower in response than the other options, but more practical for overall conscious driving.

For the off-road enthusiast, you get eight inches of ground clearance and that will enable you to take a trip down some of the easier off-road trails should you desire.

So, if you’re looking for sporty, athletic and a ride that will take you from work to home and give you a nice playful vehicle for the weekend, this might be your best go-to for an all-around excellent ride and drive.

Should you need to know

The least priced Infiniti offered, you will still find this subcompact luxury SUV a steal when looking at the competition. When I was driving it around town there were several spectators who were impressed with the unique body style too.

Miles: With a combined fuel economy on the 2018 Infiniti QX30 of 27 miles per gallon, you get 24 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost

The price of the 2018 Infiniti QX30 Sport I drove came in at $43,660.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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