It's been said that innovation and creativity don't happen in a vacuum, something that holds true in the auto industry. For example, when Infiniti launched its first compact crossover last year, the QX30, it bore styling cues that were distinctly Infiniti, but the Japanese model came about with some help from German competitor Mercedes-Benz.
Quite a lot of help, actually: The QX30's entire drivetrain and undercarriage were lifted from the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, so that these direct competitors used running gear that's basically identical.
That remains true for 2018, as the QX30 moves into its second model year unchanged.
Power comes from 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and that is matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Base models come with front-wheel drive that can be optioned to AWD, while a Sport model comes with FWD alone.
For all the QX30 is mechanically and structurally identical to the GLA-Class, we're impressed with Infiniti's work to make its mark on this little crossover. There's no mistaking this as a product of Nissan's upscale brand, and we think most casual observers would call the similarities between the two vehicles' shapes the result of industry styling trends.
If there's anywhere the similarities will be called out, it's in the cabin, where you face a dashboard styled by Infiniti, but sporting a Mercedes gauge cluster and some centre stack controls.
The base trim includes a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, passive keyless entry, heated Nappa leather seats with eight-way power adjustment and a backup camera. A premium package is optional, and adds a 10-speaker stereo, automatic wipers, sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, and navigation.
AWD models are optioned to match the front-drive variant, but can be ordered with a tech package that brings blind spot warning, forward emergency braking, radar cruise control, park assist, surround-view monitor, LED headlights and LED interior lighting.
Sport trim gets the premium and tech packages as standard, and further adds bigger brakes, sport seats and steering wheel and trim-specific bumpers with gloss black trim.
Fuel consumption estimates are 9.7/7.1 L/100 km (city/highway) for the FWD models, and 10.6/8.0 for AWD versions.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed