The 2018 Infiniti QX30 brings luxury style to the compact crossover

The QX30 offers an upscale choice for those who want a compact crossover with plenty of luxury. 

2018 Infiniti QX30
The 2018 Infiniti QX30 –Infiniti

The Infiniti QX30 was all-new for 2017, giving Infiniti its first entry into the burgeoning compact crossover market. There’s a healthy amount of competition, so the QX30 needed a way to stand out from the rest of the pack. It does, with unique exterior styling, a simply beautiful interior, and a powerful engine.

The QX30 doesn’t look like just any compact crossover. It has its own special character with a more angular — almost aggressive — design. It attracts attention not for being garish but simply for being something different than the rest.

Inside, the focus is on luxury. Infiniti is known as a luxury brand, so it had to deliver that fancy sedan experience even in a crossover. It succeeds admirably with a handsome interior. Materials are high-quality with soft touch surfaces in all the right places, so you never have to rest an arm or elbow on hard plastic.

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Rather than being flashy, the QX30 offers quality and understated elegance. We drove the top Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD, which had several packages to enhance its appeal. This included the Café Teak Theme Package ($1,750), which added brown Nappa leather seats with contrast stitching and genuine wood on the center stack and around the door handles. There’s also suede-like material on the headliner and A-pillars to complete the look.

The interior is comfortable and inviting. The front seats are heated and eight-way power adjustable with four-way power lumbar support. They manage to be plush without being soft and provide ample support for long-distance driving. Rear seating is also comfortable, but not as spacious. The QX30’s compact size means taller passengers will find rear headroom and legroom tight, even with the front seats moved forward a bit. Although there’s room for three, it’s best reserved for only two in the back, especially on longer drives.

Cargo room is also at a premium, which is something to consider carefully if you plan on loading the QX30 with regularity. There’s 19.2 cubic feet of space for cargo behind the 60/40 split-fold rear seats. Fold them down and that space increases to 34 cubic feet.

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The upside to the QX30’s smaller size is how easy it is to navigate city streets. It handily fits into to even the tightest parking spots.

Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 208-horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. There’s also a drive mode selector with eco, sport, and manual modes. The eco mode throttles things down and removes the fun from the drive, but sport brings it right back and makes the QX30 a great little crossover. Handling is tight without being tiring, and even in sport mode, the QX30 is a relaxing car to drive.

A six-speaker audio system with AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD is standard along with HD Radio and two USB ports. The top two trims get an upgraded 10-speaker Bose premium audio system with Infiniti InTouch infotainment that includes navigation. A seven-inch display is standard on every QX30, so don’t worry about being saddled with a too-small screen on base trims.

Advanced safety features are available only on the top Sport and Premium trims as part of various option packages, and they add to the bottom line. The Technology package, which is priced at $2,200, adds the Around View monitor with moving object detection, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, forward emergency braking, intelligent cruise control, intelligent park assist, and high beam assist.

There’s also an LED package for $1,000 with LED headlamps, adaptive front lights, and enhanced LED interior ambient lighting. This is on top of the Premium AWD’s starting price of $37,700.