Our First Look: Infiniti’s new entry level – the Q30 as Infiniti expands in Australia – EFTM
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Our First Look: Infiniti’s new entry level – the Q30 as Infiniti expands in Australia

Somewhat strange to look at, but the perfect entry level contender for Infiniti's growth plans.

We’ve got a pretty good soft spot for Infiniti cars, they’re something unique, and in this mass-produced world where even BMW and Mercedes cars are pretty darn common, it’s hard to find something that Joe next door doesn’t own.  This month, the introduce their smallest car the Q30 to Australia and we’ve given it a fair crack out on the open road.

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Here’s the thing, either Infiniti have “buried the lead” on this, or I missed the memo – but these cars are all built in the UK.  I think that’s worth noting because you might think of Infiniti as a Japanese brand, but their expansion into Europe has meant a factory in Sunderland has come online and in a world where Aussie manufacturing is going out the window, it’s actually good to hear the UK continues to grow.

That aside, it’s very Infiniti.  The bold styling is certainly not Ugly (we’ll leave that for the big QX80 – yuck!), but its sharp edges and unique look is what you’re wanting in this market.  The BMW X1 is almost common, the Mercedes GLA isn’t so much common as it is a very standard Mercedes design, the Audi Q3 is all around the place and you can pick a Mini Clubman from a lineup no worries.

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So the Q30 is going to stand out – that’s a good thing, but not in a bad way.

Starting at around $43,000 on the road with the entry level 1.6litre engine and basic trim – don’t be fooled, it’s got more smarts and inclusions than many mid-spec competitors.

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The GT sits higher on the road than the sports models, but does include LED front Fog lights, heated mirrors dual chrome exhausts finishers and 18 inch alloys.

Driving this little guy through the city traffic, winding country roads and freeway drives – a pleasure.  The handling is flat, very solid on the road, it’s not a super punchy sports acceleration in any spec level I think, and to be honest the Diesel is on the noisy side when you compare it to it’s competition.

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I honestly don’t think the back seat of this car will get common use – I feel like this car is going to be snapped up by people trading in their older larger European Sedans looking for a refinement and quality but also something unique.  So I doubt kids will be part of that – but you have to know, while the back seats have space for an Adult, it’s tight, and the headroom is limited.

The rear door window is very narrow given the way that line tapers up to the back which creates a very enclosed feeling.

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For the driver, the rear window on the hatch is quite small, the C-pillar is enormous, and the rear view mirror suited to that is quite small too.  All things you should notice and consider on your test drive.

My biggest frustration was the infotainment system.  I think we should be today at a point where Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are in all cars of this price.  Sitting as a passenger trying to find the spot to adjust the bass and treble nearly had me jumping out the door.  it’s far from intuitive and while the connectivity does allow calendar and email integration – drop that R&D team folks and just install the Operating System we’re all carrying in our pocket.

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That aside, I quite like this car – It’s priced to compete with the european hatches as well as the “cross over” market, and more than anything should appeal to people who don’t want to be sheep and follow everyone else.

Getting one is easier too, with Infiniti expanding from two to nine dealerships, and a “retail store” at Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast.

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With sales last year of 574 total units across the Infiniti Range, you can see how this Q30 is important to the brand here and globally – they could easily outsell the entire range with just one model.  Time will tell.

Model Option MSRP Estimated Driveaway
Q30 1.6t GT $38,900 $42,875
Q30 2.0t Sports $44,900 $49,055
Q30 2.0t Sports BOSE Sound $45,900 $50,085
Q30 2.2d Sports $46,900 $52,145
Q30 2.2d Sports BOSE Sound $47,900 $53,175
Q30 2.0t Sports Premium $52,900 $57,295
Q30 2.2d Sports Premium $54,900 $59,335

 

 

Categories
Motoring

Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
2 Comments on this post.
  • John Crawford
    27 August 2016 at 9:21 am
    Leave a Reply

    Trevor
    You’re clearly new to the car business.Nissan has been building cars in Sunderland since 1986!

    Also, there’s no mention in your review that the Nissan (sorry, Infiniti) Q30 is completely based on the Mercedes-Benz CL A!

    Read sometyhing other than the press kit next time.

    • Trevor Long
      27 August 2016 at 10:39 pm
      Leave a Reply

      You’re clearly new to this website, welcome, thanks John.

      NISSAN have indeed been producing there for years, but bringing a new marque and a new model is a good thing for the industry in the UK – they could have chosen many other locations. That was my point.

      And no, I don’t see any reason to talk about the basis for the model or the engineering partnership. Average consumers couldn’t give a rats about that mate.

      And no, thanks for the advice, but I don’t read press kits either – other than to get the accurate pricing, I get my info from the test drive and sitting with the Australian CEO at lunch. Works better for me that way.

      Good luck with your little blog.

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