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NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

Striking Infiniti QX30 SUV concept

Compact crossover targets young and youthful buyers

Published: April 01, 2015 12:45 PM
Photo: Infiniti

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The Infiniti QX30, shown in concept form at the New York International Auto Show, joins the ever-growing population of luxury compact SUVs, already represented by the Audi Q3BMW X1, Lexus NX, and Mercedes-Benz GLA, among others.

Unlike previous Infiniti SUVs, the QX30 will use a front-wheel-drive platform adaptable for all-wheel drive. It shares underpinnings with Mercedes’ GLA crossover, thanks to a deal between Infiniti’s corporate owner, Renault, and Germany’s Daimler. Also common is the GLA’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

The QX30 is specifically aimed at millennials, that younger generation that marketers of all things luxury believe to have bottomless pockets. Expect a full load of high-tech connectivity features along with the overt styling touches.

Infiniti is long overdue for a more credible alternative to its current small SUV, the QX50. That car, basically a raised wagon version of the old G37 sedan with an overly cramped interior, has sold poorly of late, but for 2016 it has been lengthened and modestly updated.  

Photo: Infiniti

We see the four-door, four-seat QX30 as essentially a raised hatchback version of the new Q30, itself headed for production mid-year 2015. It shows off Infiniti’s newest design themes, with deeply contoured body lines above and below. The roof slopes down toward the back while the rear quarter slopes up, making for what could be an excessively pinched view out. Following the coupe-like styling theme, you have to look twice to notice that this is a four-door vehicle.

Other eye-catching elements in the concept include huge 21-inch wheels and a prominent aluminum rear skid plate visible beneath the rear bumper—features that may not appear on the production version.

We estimate that the QX30 will retail in the mid to high $30s when it reaches showrooms early next year. 

See our complete 2015 New York auto show coverage.

Gordon Hard

Photo: Infiniti

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