Infiniti QX30 Targets Booming Compact Crossover Crowd

More rugged take on maker’s Q30; both share platforms with Mercedes models.

by on Nov.18, 2015

The Infiniti QX30 is getting a double debut in both LA and in Guangzhou, China.

Infiniti has been doing the fan dance in recent months, dropping one tantalizing hint after another about its new compact crossover. Now, it’s finally gone full Monte and revealed the production version of the new QX30.

The new crossover, a more rugged version of the Q30 line launched earlier this year, positions Infiniti in the heart of one of the world’s fastest-growing market segments – something underscored by the decision to simultaneously reveal the new Infiniti QX30 at the L.A. Auto Show and the Guangzhou motor show in China.

Cross Over!

“With our recent sales successes and record growth, the current product offensive will further strengthen Infiniti’s global market position,” said Roland Krueger, President of Infiniti. “The active crossover, QX30, will broaden our offer to new customers around the world.”

Like earlier crossover models, such as the old FX and EX lines, the Infiniti QX30 isn’t another me-too utility vehicle, but a potentially polarizing design that will clearly stand out in a crowded market. It boasts a high stance but a low-slung roofline, with dramatic curves and what the maker describes as “turbulent, sculpted character lines” meant to “make a statement.”

The Infiniti QX30's AWD system can shift up to 50% of its torque to the rear wheels.

The double-arch grille, which will become a signature for Infiniti, is framed by slit-like headlamps that, in turn, flow into the front fenders. That grille’s shape is echoed by a double-wave hood and the character line that flows, wave-like, along the QX30’s silhouette.

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Despite a relatively modest footprint, the Infiniti QX30 stands tall at 60.2 inches, offering a high seating position and more interior space than might first appear.

Inside, “QX30’s asymmetric interior design results in an environment focused on the driver, yet encompassing passengers in such a way as to involve and cater for them,” explained Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s design chief, “more so than the traditionally isolating designs found in the premium segment.”

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A key goal was giving the interior of the QX30 a more premium feel than competitive models.

The cabin is finished with more premium materials than might be expected in a vehicle in this segment, Infiniti officials point out, with black or beige leather available. The seats, meanwhile, have been designed to reduce pressure on the back to enhance comfort over long drives.

QX30 engineers put special emphasis on reducing NVH – noise, vibration and harshness – the company suggests.

The new crossover comes with a standard all-wheel drive system that can shift up to 50% of its torque to the rear wheels.

The new crossover will be produced at a plant run by Infiniti’s parent, Nissan, in the U.K., it will reach showrooms in the States early next year.

The Infiniti Q30 shares platforms with the QX30.

Both the Infiniti QX30 and Q30 are part of an unusual, three-way alliance partnering Nissan, France’s Renault and Germany’s Daimler. The two compact models are based on a small car “architecture” originally developed for the Mercedes-Benz brand.

The two new models are expected to be critical additions for Infiniti. After years as a second-tier player in the U.S. luxury market, Infiniti has been spreading its wings and pushing to grow globally. For the first 10 months of this year it sold 173,000 vehicles around the world, a 16% increase. That includes 106,700 in the U.S. – its best performance in the States since 2005 — and another 32,200 in China.

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