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2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport review

How to clean your car glass

Cooley shows you the right technique for the least enjoyable part of owning a car: cleaning the glass.

by Brian Cooley

It was a cold week in San Francisco when I took hold of the 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport, so maybe that’s why I noticed the seat warmer automatically backing down a level after it reached a certain temperature on my bum.

“Did I tell you to stop?” I asked aloud of the little crossover as I reached over and reset the seat warmer button back to full blast.

If there’s one thing to hate about seat-warmers it’s their tendency to make but not keep my buns of the hot-cross variety. Still, when I’m complaining about seat warmers, you can bet the car attached to them is pretty good.

2017 Infiniti QX30s

Love the Ink Blue color on the QX30 Sport.


Emme Hall/Roadshow

First, a bit of history is in order: In 2010, Infiniti’s parent company, Renault-Nissan, partnered with Daimler, the parent of Mercedes-Benz. The goal was to share platforms and power trains, hopefully saving some money in the process.

The QX30 is the result of this marriage. Featuring the DNA of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class crossover, but with the parental upbringing of Infiniti, it shares the same engine, transmission and underpinnings, but it’s all been tuned to be a bit sharper and sportier.

This is more than evident in my Sport trim test model. Despite it being available only in front-wheel drive, I found the compact crossover/hatchbach/whatever-you-want-to-call-it thing to be quite fun to drive. It’s no slouch in the corners, with a quick-ratio electric power steering setup, not the crazy optional drive-by-wire technology seen in the Q50. With stiffer springs than other models, some may find the ride a bit harsh. It’s a ride-feel I prefer, but it’s something to look for on a test drive.

Powering the QX30 Sport is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, knocking out 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Drivability is enhanced with plenty of power in the low end, thanks to a nice-and-easy torque curve up until 4,000 revs or so. Getting the power to the pavement is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Shifts are smooth, but they could be quicker. This is a sport model, after all.

While shifts could use a tiny bit of chutzpah, the brakes are rock stars. The front cross-drilled rotors have excellent bite, allowing for speedy corner approach or, more likely, quick stopping when surprised by traffic.

The QX30s comes with three driving modes: Sport, Eco or Manual. Sport holds gears longer and quickens throttle response, while Manual allows you to shift on your own with the paddle shifters, although the gearbox will upshift for you at 6000 rpm, (about 800 rpm away from the redline). The transmission will also downshift for you, so be wary when coming out of corners. You might think you’re clicking the paddles into second gear, but the car may have already done it for you, resulting in an…awkward moment midcorner. Regardless, I was able to chirp the front tires off the line at the traffic control signal on the Bay Bridge, something that surprised the driver next to me, but brought me a certain amount of joy.

It’s all in the name

Don’t get me wrong though. There are a few annoying bits in all this sporty goodness. The regular “doink around town” mode is Eco, which exhibits a little burp in acceleration. Around 1,000 rpm, the revs dip just a bit and then come back up. Additionally the upshifts happen quickly, all in the quest for better fuel economy. You have to live with that or wind the car up on every shift in Sport or use the paddle shifters. This car should have a Normal mode.

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