Infiniti Q30 Sport
Infiniti say their owners are individuals who are more inclined to follow their own inclinations than just go with the flow.
As a lesser known premium brand Infiniti are stand-alone contenders to more established brands, and thus your individuality arises from your choice not to buy an Audi, BMW, Jag, Mercedes, or cars of similar ilk.
Then again, I can’t remember the last time a premium luxury saloon we had on test teased so many comments or glances of admiration. It often begins with ‘what is it?’ and ends with ‘not bad!’
What I like about the Q30 is that women in particular keep looking at it. That means they might even be tempted to look at me. As most modern saloons tend to look the same these days, it’s refreshing to be driving around in one that stands out. For just over £30,000 we are sitting in a lot of car too. With major technological highlights ticked on the options list, including sat nav, phone, music and ingenious parking and safety devices, we are looking at an on the road price of just £31,600 in this case. That’s massively competitive; luxury motoring for bargain money.
Under the bonnet is a 2.2 litre 4 cylinder diesel engine. It has the notable diesel crackle, settling down at motorway speeds but likes to make its presence audible elsewhere, especially under power. The gearing of the seven speed dual clutch automatic gearbox is set for maximum economy in normal drive so it’ll be flicking through the gears at a rapid pace.
As global warming can mean summer is winter, it is comforting to have an everyday family and business vehicle fitted with four wheel drive. The consequence is slightly firmer suspension and a stiffer ride but the grip is reassuring; you can feel that added reassurance particularly on cornering, even at relatively low speeds. Safety is the term that comes to mind, not only with the four wheel drive but due to the Q30s’ excellent electronic safety aids. Safety aid technology has become so complex these days that cynics can be excused for calling them sales gimmicks, but in the Q30 I have to say they really make a difference. The Tech Pack option for just over a grand is one of the best electronic parking aid systems we have experienced. Its Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Front and Rear Parking Sensor System work brilliantly in assisting accurate parallel and bay parking. As an option for city drivers it is a must. Do not rely on it solely, but it is good enough to convince you that you are the most brilliant vehicle parker on earth.
Infiniti put a lot of their vehicle investment into driving dynamics. They want to appeal to keen drivers, which is one reason why they invest so heavily in Formula 1 advertising. This particular diesel engine delivers loudly when asked, but manually flicking through the paddle shift on the steering is a much more rewarding way of enjoying the results of Infiniti’s attention to handling detail.
It is no wonder the Q30 is a top seller for the brand. It is priced just about right, looks good and is well positioned in the segment. If you sample it you may well be persuaded, and if you buy it because it is exactly what you want, you are exactly the customer Infiniti are looking for – an individual.
Engine: 2.1-litre diesel | Combined fuel economy: 57.6mpg | CO2 emissions (BIK band): 129g/km (25%) | BIK 20/40%: £128/£257 | Power/torque: 187hp/350Nm | 0-62mph: 8.5 secs