The new Infiniti Q30
"Infiniti have worked hard on improving steering feel, in line with weight and chassis characteristics to make driving the Q30 both pleasurable and fun"
It is always a sign of brand confidence when a car manufacturer produces a C segment car for the first time
‘C segment’ is car-world jargon for the largest category of small cars. As such it is the most competitive (and popular) sector for a manufacturer to enter into in the UK.
But Infiniti are on a mission. Their intentions are to improve on volume year on year in the UK for the next few years and build on the brand for the future. The C segment competition is welcome, and so too are the employment opportunities arising from the UK production of the car in the Sunderland plant.
Infiniti are assuring the Q30’s success with an impressive set of engine and specification options for the car opening it up to retail and fleet sales alike. Current predictions show a 50:50 split between fleet and retail. There are no figures on overall sales volumes, but taking account of price and performance the 1.5 diesel is expected to be the top seller. Current engine and spec options, however, should confidently hit the mark. 4 engines are available in all, two diesel (1.5 & 2.2 litre) and two petrol (1.6 & 2.0 litre) – all turbo charged, and available in 6 speed manual or 7 speed semi-automatic dual-clutch transmission. The Q30 is powered by the rear wheels, whilst the 2.2 turbo diesel is also offered with a 4 wheel drive option.
Whilst the entry level Q30 SE specification comes comprehensively equipped at a surprisingly pocket friendly £20,550, working up the spec hierarchy through to Premium, Sport and Business specs takes the price up to £28,280. It means that as long as the price range meets your pocket, there is a Q30 to suit your individual needs.
We drove the car at its recent international launch, and tried the range of engine specs available in the UK. All offered impressive ride quality and motorway comfort, achieving in our view a good compromise between overall ride refinement and an engaging drive. Unsurprisingly, the bigger engined 2.0 litre cars mastered the long distance motorway cruise in pretty much equal measure (petrol or diesel) but that shouldn’t detract away from the highly competent 1.5 diesel which proved, especially with manual transmission, a hoot to drive.
Due to its compact dimensions and sure footed road holding, the Q30 responds well to inputs from the keen driver. Infiniti have worked hard on improving steering feel, in line with weight and chassis characteristics to make driving the Q30 both pleasurable and fun.
Along with that it is a fine looker too, breaking out from the rather anonymous and conservative styling that is common to this sector. The Q30 has the guts to be different without being offensive, whilst offering the cabin comfort and quality that earns it its badge as a premium car.
Whilst Infiniti are embarking into new territory, buyers need not have concern about resale values. Independent value researchers CAP, predict that the Q30 will retain 39% of its value over three years and 60,000 miles which is directly comparable to other premium cars in the sector and ahead of the majority of the vehicles in this segment; what’s more insurance premiums are as low as group 13 for the 1.5d.
Curious? Despite being a niche luxury brand, there are now 10 standalone Infiniti dealerships across the country. Infiniti have always offered more for less, and now the Q30 opens up the Infiniti experience to a new sector for those who enjoy driving, as well as those who enjoy being driven.
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