You have to rev the Q30 to make things interesting, but when you do it doesn’t sound offensive
You have to rev the Q30 to make things interesting, but when you do it doesn’t sound offensive

Infiniti Q30, car review: Mercedes A-Class dressed up for a night at a fetish club

The Q30 is what happened when Infiniti saw the Merc and really wanted one

John Calne
Thursday 24 March 2016 17:00
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Infiniti is what happened when Nissan saw Lexus and got broody. The Q30 is what happened when Infiniti saw the Mercedes A-Class and wanted one.

The must have really wanted one, because that’s what the Q30 is. It’s based on the A-Class’ platform and uses the same drivetrains. But they’ve hidden it well, with syling that stands out in a crowd of… well, anything.

It’s got more of the A-Class to it inside, though. Which when all’s said and done is hardly a criticism. It’s appealing to look at and perfectly well made, and though the rear seats are rather cramped there’s plenty of space up front and in the cargo bay.

The Infiniti's performance doesn't quite live up to its looks

The problem is that there’s such a sense of occasion about the Q30’s styling, you have a right to expect something special when you get behind the wheel. And, well, it’s not.

As with its interior, there’s nothing much wrong. It rides well and doesn’t flop around in corners, and with the 1.6-litre petrol engine and six-speed manual box tested here it gets about briskly enough not to be a bore. You have to rev it, but when you do it doesn’t sound offensive.

The interior is appealing to look at and perfectly well made

What may be offensive is the amount of money it’ll cost you to own one of these. In Premium spec, our test car would have cost £21,600, and the spending won’t stop there if you want sat-nav, digital radio or the seven-speed auto option which we think would suit this engine quite well.

As it is, we averaged 35.2mpg and see no reason why you wouldn’t too. That’s not ever so special, either, especially in a hatch that comes across very much as a cruiser, not a charger.

There is a real sense of occasion about the Q30’s styling

The Q30 is alright but it’s only alright. However it looks great. That’s a big box ticked for many people and, for a lot of those same people, a black mark that barely registers.

If you want something that stands out in more ways than one, however, the Mini Clubman will be hard to see past. And if you want a genuinely great hatchback but don’t care about standing out in a crowd, the Audi A3 will make you very happy indeed.

Again, the Q30 does little to offend. But it comes across as an A-Class dressed up for a night out at a fetish club. Those looks lead the way – but what follows can’t live up to the promise.

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