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Entry price: $29,950

Price as tested: $42,815

This week, we’re behind the wheel of the 2018 Infiniti QX30, one of four SUV/crossover models that carry the Infiniti badge. QX30 is Infiniti’s entry-level five-passenger compact crossover that delivers a nice combination of opulence and sporty handling. As for looks, you can list the 2018 Infiniti QX30 as one of the best looking small crossovers on the market today, hands down.

Most important to note is a new working relationship between Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz. When the all-new QX30 debuted as a 2017 model it arrived with the chassis, suspension and powertrain all obtained from the Mercedes-Benz MFA compact car platform that produces the GLA- and CLA-Class Mercedes vehicles. So, in reality, you get the best of both worlds of Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz when you slip behind the wheel of the brand new QX30.   

Updates for 2018 are minor, including a few tweaks to the front and rear fascias, but basically it’s pretty much the same all-new QX30 that appeared in 2017. A total of four distinct models are available ala QX30 ($29,950); OX30 Luxury ($32,600); QX30 Premium ($35,300) and QX30 Sport ($38,500). If you want an AWD model, add from $1,800 to $2,400 more depending on model choice.   

Infiniti’s prospective consumers include higher-income families with hopes of moving these happy Infiniti owners into the QX50, QX60 and then the granddaddy of them all QX80, the latter Infiniti’s full size SUV that can go over $90,000 if equipped to the hilt.

Offering an uncompromising expression of crossover style and car-like sporty handling, QX30 now shows off the corporate dogma in better style. Specifically, Infiniti’s entire QX line is tied more so to rewarding the consumer that demands opulence yet does so by not going overboard on artificial or unwanted appearance gimmicks. 

Infiniti QX30 utilizes a durable and traction hungry independent suspension with secure handling in mind. 

It works in tandem with the aforementioned and powerful 2.0-liter, 208 horsepower, 258 torque turbo 4-cylinder that mates to a dual clutch, high-tech 7-speed automatic with selectable driving modes. The result is a compact crossover in AWD dress that delivers 21 city and 30 highway MPG while the front drive delivers better fuel mileage at 24 city and 33 highway thanks to its lighter curb weight.

Important numbers include a wheelbase of 106.3 inches, 3,475 lb. curb weight, 14.8 gallon fuel tank, 36.6 turn circle, and 19.2 to 34 cu. ft. of cargo space with second row seat up or down, respectively.

Likes: Infinity/Mercedes-Benz co-op, looks, powerful engine, handling.

Dislikes: Back seat tight, less cargo space than competitors.

Next week we drive the 2018 Volkswagen Golf.

Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and other GateHouse Media publications.

 

Auto Bits

Driverless cars still can’t beat Mother Nature

Every automaker is quickly moving to make automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist standard on all their top-selling models. 

The industry has committed to making the technology standard on all of the vehicles produced in a few years. We love the technology and it has saved our bacon in real-world use.  However the more we test these systems, the more we discover their limitations. These systems all form the backbone of self-driving vehicle technology, and without solutions, autonomous vehicles will never work right in many conditions.

One of the most common situations in which new automatic emergency braking systems are disabled is slush. When driving near the freezing point of rain and snow, the front of the vehicle becomes caked with the frozen gloop thrown up from the cars ahead. 

That ice-snow-dirt frizzle coats the radar sensor mounted on the vehicle’s grill logo and it then stops working.

Other natural situations that can disable driver aids and safety systems include smoke and dust. 

— John Goreham/BestRide