Infiniti calls its QX30 a crossover SUV, but you shouldn't pigeonhole this unique vehicle. This car has very little in common with other subcompact SUVs. As Infiniti says in its sales documents, the QX30 has the sportiness of a coupe, the convenience of a five-door, and the stance of a crossover.
The thing that you notice first about the QX30 is that it's got more in common with hot rod hatchbacks like the VW Golf R than it does with subcompact SUVs. Its stance is low like a sports sedan and the lines are just too rakish to be compared with boxy SUVs and crossovers. Only the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA can compete with the QX30 on looks.
Under the hood, the QX30 carries a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good for 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That's mated to a 7-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission in your choice of front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. If you get the AWD version, it sits a little higher and more like a crossover SUV, but the Sport trim I tested boasts a lowered and tuned suspension that feels every bit like an Infiniti sports car.
Infiniti is generous with its technology, though some of it comes at extra cost in option packages. If you spring for the Sport Technology Pack you get features like blind spot warning, forward emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. There's also a Sport Leather Package that gives you nice leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a suede-feel headliner. The good news is that GPS navigation, surround-view camera with moving object detection, and a panoramic moon roof are included in the Sport trim to begin with.
The Sport trim also features a Bose 10-speaker audio system and the InfiniTouch 7-inch touch screen system to display the navigation I mentioned earlier. You'll enjoy satellite radio and Bluetooth support for your phone and streaming audio.
On the road, the QX30 is seriously fun to drive. This little car is fast, maneuverable, and handles like a sports car. With the Sport trim, you get upgraded cross-drilled front brakes, which really work well. This is a car you'll be happy to drive no matter where you need to go. The sport seats are comfortable, and don't let the smaller size fool you, there's plenty of room for full-size adults inside.
The 2018 Infiniti QX30 starts at a thrifty $30,945, well within the price spread of economy subcompact SUVs or hot hatchbacks. The Sport edition I tested was loaded up with options, and it came to $43,660. But you could get the QX30 Sport for $39,495 if you needed to stay in budget. Either way, the QX30 is a good choice whether you're looking for a crossover or a sports hatchback.
2018 Infiniti QX30
Base price: $30,945
Price as tested: $43,660
Type: Subcompact crossover SUV
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4 (208 hp, 258 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 24/33
Overall length: 174.2 inches
Curb weight: 3,280 pounds
Final assembly: Los Angeles, California