Infiniti has increased the price of its five-door hatch due to 'tax, increases in the costs of options and the vehicle itself'
Jimi Beckwith
14 November 2017

As my time in the Infiniti Q30 nears a close, I’ve become disillusioned with it. It’s tech-heavy, we’ve established that in previous reports, but at well over £30k, it should have all the bells and whistles included. I recently noticed the price of the car we’re testing has risen by £850, to £34,350, in the six months since it joined our fleet.

Infiniti UK tells us that the mark-up is connected with tax, and increases in the costs of options and the vehicle itself. Either way, for that price I’d expect more. For instance, I’d like a wider range of adjustment in the driver’s seat. Being long of body, I have to slouch to avoid brushing my hair on the roof. It’s a surprise, too, that there’s no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto yet. They’ll likely come on the facelifted version in 2019.

A powered tailgate, although not common on hatches, would be nice, given the raised ride. Lower-spec Toyotas get inductive smartphone charging but the Infiniti doesn’t. The Vauxhall Astra even gets Wi-Fi and the Lexus CT200 has a push-button start and privacy glass as standard. Does the Q30? Does it heck.

Despite the Q30 being one of the safest cars on the road according to Euro NCAP’s ratings, an equivalent to Vauxhall’s OnStar crash and breakdown response system wouldn’t go amiss. Instead, there’s an infotainment system described by a colleague as “a bit Windows 98”.

Perhaps that I’m pampered, but if your hatchback costs a grand short of an entry-level BMW 5 Series, there’s a level of equipment you expect. Despite the Q30’s decent refinement and other charms, in terms of kit I’ve found little that’s above average in terms of convenience that isn’t an optional extra. That’s a bit upsetting.

INFINITI Q30 2.2D DCT PREMIUM TECH INTOUCH

Price £31,700 Price as tested £34,350 Economy 38.2mpg Faults None Expenses None Mileage 8103

PREVIOUS REPORTS

In a cabin filled with Alcantara, wood and leather, the Infiniti Q30’s cheap-looking plastic B-pillar trim sticks out, especially when the seatbelt buckle clashes against it as you turn to leave. Perhaps that’s why sales are slow: no matter how refined it is during a test drive, the last few seconds — the bit you’ll remember — might be the worst part of your trip. 

PREVIOUS REPORTS

The Q30 is loaded with technology. When parking, there are all-round sensors, a reversing camera and a surround-view monitor to make it pretty easy to slip into a tight spot in a multi-storey.

It’s just as well, because the car’s Intelligent Park Assist can be a liability. In the right circumstances, when parallel parking, it’s a dream. You spot a space, indicate and the system takes over. All you have to do is brake when necessary and make sure you don’t run anyone over.

But the system struggles with bay parking. Attempt to park in a bay on your right and five times out of 10 it works a treat. The other times, you drift past the space in the hope the car will spot it and the little arrow prompt will appear, only for it never to show. Mildly embarrassed, you then find another space, and, after another missed opportunity by the parking system, park in it yourself. Bay parking on the left? The success rate drops to around one in 10. Here’s what can happen. After selecting a perfect spot in the middle of three empty bays, the system offers its assistance. The notifications appear, the process begins, and the steering wheel spins away, until you realise that you’re perpendicular to the other cars. The system has parallel parked you across three spaces, and you’re left looking a little silly and a whole lot less dignified than you should do in a £33,500 car. JB

TEST DATA 

Price £31,700 Price as tested £33,500 Economy 43.4mpg Faults None Expenses Replacement front tyre and fitting £166.99 Mileage 6478

PREVIOUS REPORTS:

Our posh Nissan has been in the wars. A fat screw embedded itself in the offside front tyre, necessitating a trip to Kwik Fit for a replacement. We were in and out in an hour, although if we’d specified 19in wheels on our car instead of 18s, we would have had to wait a couple of days for a larger tyre to be delivered. Thank heavens we rate practicality and ride quality over style, eh? MB

TEST DATA 

Price £31,700 Price as tested £33,500 Economy 43.4mpg Faults None Expenses Replacement front tyre and fitting £166.99 Mileage 5369

PREVIOUS REPORTS:

A hapless motorist has scraped the Infiniti. The Q30 has mild hints of ruggedness to it, including some plastic wheel arch surrounds. Usefully, one of these bore the brunt of the damage. With a bit of elbow grease I buffed off the worst of the grazes you can see above, somewhat reducing my frustration at the unknown assailant. MB

TEST DATA 

Price £31,700 Price as tested £33,500 Economy 43.4mpg Faults None Expenses Replacement front tyre and fitting £166.99 Mileage 5988

PREVIOUS REPORTS:

Should you be considering an Infiniti, I’d recommend asking your dealer to lend you a test car for a few days rather than just going for a short drive around the block. 

I was recently immersed in our Q30 for a solid fortnight, during which time my views on the car flip-flopped between underwhelmed, downright baffled and occasionally quite impressed. 

My first impressions were not positive. Granted, I’d jumped straight out of a silken Jaguar XF V6 diesel worth twice the price, but the Q30 felt disappointingly unrefined for a car with pretensions of fighting the Audi A3. Upon start-up and under acceleration, the 2.2-litre diesel engine chattered away brashly, 
and the car’s ride felt about as uncharitable as a US border guard. 

I was also surprised by how much of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class (upon which the Q30 is based)
 is still evident in the cabin. I’d assumed Infiniti would go to greater lengths to disguise it, but there’s no mistaking those origins, not least the instrument screen graphics and much of the switchgear. Heck, even the locking wheel nut bears a three-pointed star. 

It’s all distinctly Germanic in
its origin and quality, so that, at least, is a positive attribute, but the overall impression is one of a lack of a cohesive look and feel. The identity crisis is a shame, because I admire the Q30’s bold exterior looks. 

As those initial niggles ebbed away, what became clear is that the Q30 is a thoroughly solid car. Late one night, I forewent my dull M3 motorway commute home and chose instead to take some flowing country roads and even found myself enjoying what is undoubtedly a keen- handling chassis. Infiniti’s challenge is to convince car shoppers, short on time and perhaps patience, to give it a chance. That’s an uphill job, but I won’t be sniffy about nabbing our Q30 in the future, even if the car’s stubby black key looks identical to a Merc one... 

TEST DATA 

Price £31,700 Price as tested £33,500 Economy 43.4mpg Faults None Expenses Replacement front tyre and fitting £166.99 

I’ve been a fan of the Q30’s styling since I first saw it, but during a recent visit to a Mazda dealership,
 I realised why: it has an apparent twin in the shape of the Mazda 3. The similarities have already been noted in passing but were emphasised by the two cars wearing identical paint schemes. What my photo doesn’t show is that the rear of the Q30 has a more muscular look than the 3. 

Mileage 2780 

PREVIOUS STORIES: 

It has been easy to appreciate the Infiniti Q30’s strengths during its first month with us.

Cruising along the M3 motorway once a week is a treat. The calm ride comfort at speed, a lovely lump of overtaking power and the quietness of the cabin team up to create one of the most relaxing automotive spaces I’ve experienced.

Couple these with a high-quality sound system and adaptive cruise control and the Q30 transforms the usual 80-minute slog into one of the most chilled-out periods in my life, and I look forward to the journey throughout the week. The only thing that could make the experience even more pleasant would be massaging seats, although that’s quite a rare option at this price level.

An early opportunity to find out how well the Q30 could multi-task arose when I was asked to pick up some bulky furniture for a family member living two and a half hours away. Five dining chairs and the extension leaf for an oak table fitted comfortably into the back of the Q30 with the rear seats folded, even if the already slim rear screen was almost completely blocked. The bulkier parts of the table had to be squeezed into a small van, but the Q30 showed that its load-carrying ability shouldn’t be underestimated.

The steeply raked rear screen did cause some concern about it being broken by an errant chair leg – smooth driving and seatbelting the load alleviated this – and I was also mindful of the possibility of the wood damaging the well-appointed cabin. However, both car and load arrived without damage, in good time. I’m starting to expect nothing less from the Q30.

That’s two ticks on the list of requirements for the Q30, then. Boot space is an easy win for a manufacturer, but comfort is more challenging. Looks like I’ll have to delve even deeper to find the source of the Q30’s scarcity on UK roads.

INFINITI Q30 2.2D PREMIUM TECH INTOUCH DCT

Price £31,700 Price as tested £33,500 Economy 47.0mpg Faults None Expenses None

PREVIOUS REPORTS

It’s hard to miss the Infiniti Q30 waiting for me at the start of its six-month residency at Autocar.

The Moonlight White, slightly raised premium hatchback certainly stands out from its rivals as a bit of a looker – a mass of creases and flame surfacing in a multi-storey car park full of Germanic conservatism.

We gave the Q30 a promising but not class-leading three and a half stars when we road tested it earlier this year – not bad for a company with Infiniti’s diminutive stature in the UK. But in the marque’s ambition to boost its size from the 2813 sales that its entire range had accrued in 2016 by the end of November, the Q30 will be a key player. In the same period, Audi racked up more than 14 times this number of sales just with the A3, the UK’s best-selling premium hatch of this size.

So I have the not insignificant task of figuring out if the Q30 deserves the same, or at least a healthier chunk, of this market. The on-the-road price of our car is £33,500. Gulp. That’s less than £1000 shy of an automatic Audi S3 Sportback – one reason why the Q30 isn’t outselling the A3.

In Premium Tech Intouch spec – the highest-spec Q30 there is – it has the goods to go with the looks, though. Starting at the front, it’s fitted with LED auto-levelling headlights, which, from my experience so far, are as sharp as you’d want them to be, as well as LED foglights. Naturally, for a car of this class, the headlights are automatic, with automatic full beam if you choose to activate it.

The door mirrors house puddle lamps and are heated, electrically adjustable and folding, as well as housing around-view cameras, courtesy of an £1800 Safety Pack. Let’s hope that no inconsiderate soul knocks one of those off; I’m sure they aren’t cheap to replace.

The Safety Pack also includes a blindspot warning system, automatic park assistance and adaptive cruise control – a considerable technological leap over the relatively conventional cruise control, automatic wipers and simple reversing camera with parking sensors of my old Ssangyong Tivoli, although the Infiniti is nearly twice the price. The Q30 has the auto wipers, camera and sensors, too.

Premium Tech spec gets a leather-trimmed cabin and a synthetic suede headlining over the one-step-down Premium spec, as well as keyless entry. Both Premium and Premium Tech cars have heated seats with lumbar adjustment, and our Q30 adds electrically adjustable front seats with three memory settings, a rear armrest and a ski hatch. The Intouch part of the car’s specification, meanwhile, brings a complex satellite navigation system, DAB radio and traffic sign recognition.

Our Q30 is fitted with a 2.2-litre diesel engine, a seven-speed dualclutch automatic gearbox and noise cancelling technology aimed at suppressing the sound of the engine. Infiniti’s claimed combined fuel consumption figure is 64.2mpg. Given the Q30’s 50-litre fuel tank, filling up should be an infrequent occurrence. We shall see.

Euro NCAP rated the Q30 as the safest small family car back in March and it’s clear to see why. On our car, there are seven airbags, lane departure warning, a tyre pressure monitor and a raft of behind-the-scenes driver aids such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and adaptive brake assist. The last of these applies the correct amount of force if it senses insufficient braking, but not so much as to cause a rearend collision. Suffice to say that six months after suffering a serious car accident, I find that these features provide abundant peace of mind.

This, as a strength, is a good starting point. What the Q30 needs to do to gain ground on premium hatch favourites, though, is a fairly long list, and merit in this segment certainly reflects the sales quantities. Considering the Q30 scored the same at the hands of our testers as the BMW 1 Series, Mini Clubman and Volvo V40 – the fifth, fourth and third-placed cars in the Q30’s segment respectively – Infiniti isn’t far off the mark with its inaugural hatch.

Infiniti’s parent company, Nissan, has applied some wizardry to make the Qashqai consistently one of the UK’s favourite cars, and the underpinnings of the Q30 are from the Mercedes-Benz A-Class – Mercedes being the newly declared largest premium car maker in the world – so the next six months will reveal whether the Q30 has been sprinkled with the same fairy dust.

How I’ll find this out during my time with the Q30 will vary. A large family – from infants to 6ft 4in uncles – will put its passenger space through its paces, and with this mix comes a glut of gear to fit into its boot. A weekly motorway mooch will get the long-distance pleasantries out of the way, and a daily crawling urban commute has been taken in the Q30’s stride, if slightly hurting its fuel economy early on. Colder mornings mean a colder engine, so the Q30’s stop-start won’t kick in before I’m halfway to the office. Darn.

Aside from this, the Q30 has been fit for purpose in the purest sense of the phrase. My mostly solitary trips haven’t even tickled the Q30’s capability, but with the prospect of a decidedly upmarket new car titillating potential passengers and a glut of family functions and errands around the corner, my list of requirements for the Q30 has increased tenfold. I’ll let you know in the coming months how it gets on. 

INFINITI Q30 2.2D PREMIUM TECH INTOUCH DCT

Price £31,700 Price as tested £33,500 Options Moonlight White paint £670, Safety Pack £1800 Economy 40.9mpg Faults None Expenses None

Our Verdict

Infiniti Q30

Infiniti looks to a premium hatch to make its breakthrough in Europe

Join the debate

Comments
21

21 March 2017
Yet another car with a fake rear quarter light, this time in the form of an exaggerated made-up shape - styling over design. Very poor.

21 March 2017
Nice looking car but seems pricey to me. Admittedly, it is top of the range.

21 March 2017
All of the toys described here are available in the Toyota Auris for £10000 less than this car and the ride is so quiet it doesn't need a noise suppressant system.So, is this the price to pay for a "premium " badge ? Indeed, the Excel hybrid version can be bought on line for £21000 and will give 50+ m.p.g. effortlessly.

Ratho1

15 August 2017
Ratho1 wrote:

All of the toys described here are available in the Toyota Auris for £10000 less than this car and the ride is so quiet it doesn't need a noise suppressant system.So, is this the price to pay for a "premium " badge ? Indeed, the Excel hybrid version can be bought on line for £21000 and will give 50+ m.p.g. effortlessly.

£10,000 less it may be, but you'd still be driving a Toyota Auris. Only a non-driver thinks a Toyota Corolla/Auris is a "good" car. 

21 March 2017
Don't know what it's like to be a motoring journalist but if my boss said to me your next car is going to be an Infinity Q30, I'd be a tad disappointed. In this day and age, loading a car with electrics and tricks doesn't count for much as it's available on nearly every darn car out there.

I note how parallels are drawn to Mercedes A Class (which only impresses the Hyacinth Buckets amongst us) but at the end of the day, it's a £33,500 Datsun. The number of Q30's we see on the road speaks volumes which begs the question why road test a car for 6 months that nobody wants?

21 March 2017
"So I have the not insignificant task of figuring out if the Q30 deserves the same, or at least a healthier chunk, of this market."

Not if it looks like an overstyled mangamobile and exhibits the driving dynamics of a soaked sponge. Infiniti has always lagged so far behind its rivals it's a wonder how Nissan hasn't canned the brand yet. Please autocar, don't waste column inches on sub-par, irrelevant cars such as these.

21 March 2017
Based on Autocar pictures the car looks nice from the front as well as rear and does bear fairly strong resemblance to the A-Class that it's based on. Going by the Autocar account it is crammed full of equipment befitting a NASA space craft but what about the squidgy plastics in unreachable areas that most car reviewers rave about these days and often base their rating on? Infiniti deserves a fair share of the market and I agree that it's rather high price could be hindering its sales ambition unless Infiniti bosses confuse "premium" with exclusive which is hardly the case at this level as evidenced by Audi sales figures by the Autocar.

21 March 2017
I bet you would get £5k off easy - a few have leased these - not this spec - for about £159 a month. Total cost over 2 years of about £6k.

I doubt you would get a VW etc for that.

However I did look at this car and for me the boot was too small - took my daughters bike with us - aprreciate she uses it about 12 times a year but if the car is too small for us now - my daughter is only going to get bigger! (keep my cars at least 5 years).

21 March 2017
"£159 a month 6k over 2 years", shouldn't that be £3800 over 2 years??????

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

15 August 2017

yesp these contract hires and pcp used to be 3 months down but to fudge the figures can be £10k saw one on a Mclaren and was about £30k deposit most people do not realize at the end of the term you lose that .Unless you carry on witrh the purchase on pcp.

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