The Infiniti QX30 joins the growing compact luxury SUV field, already populated by the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes-Benz GLA. But Infiniti took a shortcut into the popular segment through an alliance with Mercedes-Benz to use the GLA's running gear, resulting in the QX30. The hitch? The GLA wellspring isn't particularly good, and the QX30 fails to deliver true luxury in exchange for its lofty sticker. Not surprisingly, it doesn't matter whether the car comes with the vaunted three-pointed star from Stuttgart, or Nissan's luxury division Infiniti insignia. Either way, it fails to impress.
Based on its lineage, you might think the QX30 delivers a classically rewarding German driving experience. Not so fast. Instead of traditional Mercedes qualities like a hushed cabin, plush ride, and a solid vault-like feel, you're likely to be disappointed with the stiff and choppy ride, elevated noise levels, and uneven power delivery.
Despite that reality check, there are some good points. For instance, the Mercedes 208-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers punchy performance when measured against the clock. It also returns a commendable 25 mpg overall with the optional all-wheel drive. However, in everyday driving the car often feels flat-footed, and then it can get too jumpy.