Infiniti has increased the price of its five-door hatch due to ‘tax, increases in the costs of options and the vehicle itself’
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
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.
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
Price £31,700 Price as tested £33,500 Economy 43.4mpg Faults None Expenses Replacement front tyre and fitting £166.99 Mileage 6478
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
Price £31,700 Price as tested £33,500 Economy 43.4mpg Faults None Expenses Replacement front tyre and fitting £166.99 Mileage 5369
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
Price £31,700 Price as tested £33,500 Economy 43.4mpg Faults None Expenses Replacement front tyre and fitting £166.99 Mileage 5988
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.