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The Car Connection Expert Review

The Car Connection The Car Connection
February 21, 2019

Buying tip

At just under $36,000, the QX30 Luxe model with all-wheel-drive is the best value, as top trims crest $40,000.

features & specs

21 city / 30 hwy
24 city / 33 hwy
21 city / 30 hwy

The 2019 Infiniti QX30 stands out with style and sprightliness but makes compromises in interior space.

The 2019 Infiniti QX30 is a pint-sized crossover SUV with a German heart and Japanese curves. While on the small side even for a subcompact luxury crossover SUV, it’s fun-to-drive and had has a quality feel, warranting a 5.6 out of 10 rating overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

For 2019, Infiniti made minor changes to the QX30, adding to the options roster a navigation package and 19-inch wheels. Automatic emergency braking is newly standard on all trims, a move we applaud even though this small vehicle hasn't been crash tested.

The 2019 QX30 is available in Pure, Luxe, Essential, and Sport trim levels but all-wheel-drive is available only on Luxe and Essential QX30s. Front-wheel-drive is standard.

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Curvy styling and sharp touches like swooping LED running lights make the QX30 a stylish choice, even against the reserved Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class with which the Infiniti shares its underpinnings. The interior borrows heavily from the Mercedes parts bin, but its integrated infotainment screen design and swoopy dashboard look a bit last-decade compared to the GLA.

All QX30s use a 2.0-liter turbo-4 paired to 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Rated at 208 horsepower and a healthy 258 pound-feet of torque, the turbo-4 is shared with some Mercedes-Benz models. Trim dimensions, a lower ride height than typical crossovers, and spry suspension settings make the QX30 surprisingly fun to drive. It’s more akin to a hot hatchback than an SUV. The optional 19-inch wheels spoil the ride quality when equipped, but the QX30 is otherwise comfortable and composed.

The QX30’s small stature translates to tight interior dimensions, but high-quality materials such as real wood and optional nappa leather make the front of the cabin a pleasant place for two occupants. Rear-seat passengers may have a handful of complaints about head and leg room.

In terms of safety, seven airbags, a rearview camera, and automatic emergency braking are standard, but other safety features such as blind-spot monitors are only available at an extra cost on higher trim levels. While Infiniti’s parent company Nissan is hard at work making these features standard on its vehicles, making them costly options is an oversight for the luxury brand. No crash-test data is available from either the federal government or the IIHS.

Starting at about $31,000 with a generous 4-year, 60,000-mile warranty, the QX30 is one of the most affordable luxury crossovers, and EPA-rated fuel economy as high as 27 mpg combined, it’s also reasonably fuel-efficient.




The 2019 Infiniti QX30’s dramatic curves and tight proportions make it a head-turner over other conservative rivals.

At a glance, it’s hard to tell that the 2019 Infiniti QX30 is a sibling to the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. That’s a credit to its designers since the two cars are largely identical under the skin. We give it 6 out of 10 for its curvy exterior, but its interior leaves us a bit cold. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The QX30 has hardly a straight line on its body, and the end result is more of a hot hatchback than pint-sized crossover SUV. The pronounced body lines and swept back rear pillar window are trademark Infiniti design cues and look great even on this tiny canvas, though buyers looking for a more business-like appearance would be best served with one of the German alternatives. The Sport trim rides lower and features handsome 19-inch wheels. With front-wheel drive as the only option, it’s essentially a hatchback instead of an crossover anyway.

Inside, the QX30 borrows some buttons and knobs from the GLA-Class on which it’s based, but the rest of the interior is mostly indistinguishable. That’s not necessarily a good thing. While material quality is high, the integrated infotainment screen and swoopy passenger side dashboard is decidedly last-decade.

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The 2019 Infiniti QX30 has zippy handling and sharp steering, but more oomph from the engine would be welcome.

The 2019 Infiniti QX30 is advertised as a crossover but think of it as a slightly tall hot hatchback and things start to make a lot more sense. We commend it for sharp handling but wish the engine had a bit more grunt, warranting 6 out of 10 points overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The 2019 QX30 is available in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations but comes with only one engine and transmission. A Mercedes-sourced 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and while torque is adequate, the QX30 loses some steam on highway passing maneuvers. The transmission shifts quickly, even though its gear lever—shared with certain Mercedes-AMG models—can be balky to operate. The transmission can feel confused at lower speeds, but the  standard paddle shifters on the steering wheel make manual shifting during spirited driving an enticing option.

Front-wheel drive is standard on every trim and is fine for those who drive in sunny climates, but the Luxe and Essential trims offer extra-cost all-wheel drive.

The QX30 Sport model hunkers down on its suspension and makes this “crossover” handle like a hot hatch. Even the higher-riding versions boast sprightly handling and taut steering. While optional 19-inch wheels do firm up the ride, the QX30 is composed over rough roads despite its small stature. We think it rides better than the stiff GLA.

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Comfort & Quality

The 2019 Infiniti QX30’s trim proportions are favorable for city parking, but not for passengers.

The 2019 Infiniti QX30 is as cramped inside as its small footprint suggests. I gets a 5 out of 10 puny proportions offset in part by nice interior materials and comfortable front seats. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Despite a long wheelbase, the sloping roofline and high beltline of the the 2019 QX30 make for a cramped interior experience, especially for rear seat passengers. The QX30 makes more sense as a two-passenger vehicle and with only 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat upright, there are some hatchbacks that manage better cargo hauling.

Infiniti learned some tricks from Mercedes in terms of materials. Even the cloth upholstery that’s standard on the base Pure trim level has a substantial, quality feel, while the available leather and wood is sufficiently dressy.

Other crossovers such as the Volvo XC40 offer more modern and enticing designs, but when it comes to material quality, the QX30 is up near the top of its class.

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The 2019 Infiniti QX30 hasn’t been crash tested, but it now comes with automatic emergency braking.

Neither the federal government nor the independent IIHS has crashed the 2019 Infiniti QX30 due to its low sales volume, so we’re unable to give it a score here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Automatic emergency braking is newly standard, but other active safety tech is bundled in a costly option package.

A surround-view camera, lane-departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high-beam headlights are available grouped in option packages on the three highest trim levels.




The 2019 Infiniti QX30 is available in a wide variety of trim levels, though it can get costly.

The 2019 Infiniti QX30 offers a surprising number of trims and configurations for an entry-level luxury crossover SUV. It scores 6 out of 10 on our scale, earning points for its good standard equipment and optional extras but losing one because it lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The base QX30 Pure comes with front-wheel-drive, cloth upholstery, 18-inch wheels, 8-way manual seats, a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, dual-zone automatic climate control, and keyless ignition.

Stepping up to the Luxe trim adds synthetic leather and cloth seats that are power-adjustable up front and a panoramic moonroof for about $34,000. All-wheel drive costs $2,000. Navigation and a surround-view camera system are bundled in a pricey $2,300 package. At about $36,000 with all-wheel drive, the QX30 Luxe is a decent value for a small luxury crossover SUV.

The QX30 Essential adds Bose audio, leather seats, blind-spot monitors, and LED headlights for $40,200. Lane-departure warnings and adaptive cruise control are grouped for $1,300.

The QX30 Sport trim costs the same amount as the QX30 Essential and adds a lowered suspension, but no all-wheel-drive version is available.

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Fuel Economy

A small turbocharged engine makes the 2019 Infiniti QX30 frugal, although it requires premium fuel.

A low weight and a small turbocharged engine make the 2019 Infiniti QX30 thrifty enough for a 5 out of 10 score. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The EPA rates front-wheel-drive versions of the 2019 QX30 at 24 mpg city, 33 highway, and 27 combined, but those numbers drop to 21/30/25 mpg for all-wheel-drive models.

No hybrid version is available. The turbocharged engine requires premium fuel.

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Styling 6
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 5
Safety N/A
Features 6
Fuel Economy 5
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