You are here

Infiniti Q30S 2.0T AWD: Ambitious and accomplished addition

By Ghaith Madadha - Oct 09,2017 - Last updated at Oct 09,2017

Photo courtesy of Infiniti

Arguably Japan’s most accomplished premium automotive brand, Infiniti vehicles traditionally sold in its ostensible home market under the upmarket Nissan Skyline and other nameplates. Since 2012, Infiniti has sought to establish itself as a global brand and moved its corporate headquarters to Hong Kong. 

Its Nissan-Renault Alliance parent company announced a looser platform and driveline sharing alliance with Mercedes-Benz. This started with Mercedes donating an engine for the entry-level Infiniti Q50 executive saloon and most recently Nissan donating the Navara platform to underpin the recently launched Mercedes X-Class pick-up.

Swooping and sporty

For Infiniti, the alliance of convenience with Mercedes has however led to Infiniti’s entry into the premium hatchback segment. Based on the Mercedes A-Class’ platform and driveline, and built at the Nissan alliance’s Sunderland facility in the UK, the Q30 is Infiniti’s most ambitious gambit a car with broader global reach, and is aimed at the likes of the Audi A3, BMW 1-Series and the Q30’s own German donor. Arriving in late 2015, the Q30 is offered with a range of mostly Mercedes-sourced turbocharged diesel and petrol engines, and range-topping four-wheel drive Q30S 2.0T AWD.

Though sharing underpinnings and driveline with the Mercedes A-Class, the Q30S’ design sensibility is distinctly Infiniti. With snouty and broad mesh grille, deep side intakes, slim moody headlights, rakishly descending roofline, sportily long bonnet and low rearwards cabin, swooping lines and jutting ridges and surfacing, the Q30 is complex in detail yet uncomplicated in how it emits a sense of thrusting momentum and eager, ready-to-pounce motion. Sitting 20mm lower than garden-variety versions, the top of the line Q30S 2.0T AWD model drive rides on larger 19-inch alloys and wider, low profile 235/45R19 tyres.


Quick and confident

Powered by the same transversely-mounted 2-litre direct injection turbocharged petrol 4-cylinder engine as the Mercedes A250 4Matic and sharing the same four-wheel-drive system and 7-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox, the Infiniti Q30S is muscular, versatile, punchy and efficient. 

Producing 208BHP at 5500rpm and 258lb/ft torque through a broad 1200-4000rpm mid-range, and suffers little in the way turbo lag from idle. Launches responsively from standstill, and with all four wheels digging into the tarmac, the Q30S AWD sprints through 0-100km/h in 7.3-seconds and onto a 230km/h maximum, yet returns 5.5l/100km combined cycle fuel efficiency.

Refined and smooth, the Q30S’s early, broad and generous torque band allows for confident yet relaxed cruising and on-the-move and in-gear versatility for brisk overtaking and confident performance on steep inclines. Muscular in mid-range, its generous mid-range sweet spot underwrites a punchy and eagerly progressive delivery of power. 

Its dual-clutch automated gearbox is seamlessly smooth and swift shifting, and features different driving modes. Alert and responsive in Sport mode where down shifts are executed more eagerly and gears held longer, the Q30S also features smooth Comfort and more economical modes, in addition an engine stop/start system for further efficiency.


Comfort and commitment 

Ensconced low with hunkered down seating and a long bonnet ahead, the Q30S has a sportier, seemingly more luxurious and traditional driving position than most hatchbacks in its segment where on sits high. This ambiance is well reflected by the Q30S’ agile and confident driving experience, with quick and light yet precise steering and tidy turn-in to corners. Maneuverable in town and eager and agile through winding country lanes and hill climbs, the Q30S AWD is flickable yet committed. Its tidy cornering lines and tight road-holding aided by a front-biased four-wheel-system that reallocates power to the rear wheels for traction and grip when necessary on low tractions surfaces.

Riding on tauter and lower sport suspension, the Q30S AWD well controls body lean through corners and feels settled and buttoned down with taut vertical control over dips and crests. Riding slightly on the firm side, the Q30S’s suspension and tyres nonetheless provide a smooth and mostly comfortable ride over imperfections and reassuring stability and refinement on high speed straights. 

Finding a good compromise between sportiness, comfort and stability, the Q30S AWD feels crisp through corners, with understeer and oversteer arriving late but progressively, and easily corrected, if one pushes too hard into or out of a tight corner.


Classy cabin

Classy, sporty and user-friendly inside, the Q30S’s cabin has a distinctly sporty ambiance, with small chunky steering wheel, well-adjustable driving position and supportive and comfortable “S” model specific sports seats with integrated, but non-adjustable, headrests. Rear space and 430-litre cargo volume is decent for its segment. 

A standard panoramic sunroof lends an airy ambiance in contrast to dark and business-like interior hues but likely reduces headroom slightly compared to non-panoramic base models. Cabin materials feature prominent soft textures and quality materials, and include some Mercedes-sourced switchgear. However, cabin design and infotainment system are distinctively Infiniti’s own.

Well-equipped with extensive convenience, infotainment and safety features, the Q30S comes with standard parking sensors, lane departure warning and around view monitor to complement good front and side visibility.

An additional Tech package adds intelligent cruise control and blind spot warning. Also standard to the S is a voice recognition and smartphone and Bluetooth integrated infotainment system with 10-speaker Bose audio system, and forward collision warning and stop system, adaptive brake assistance, and other features.


Engine: 2-litre, turbocharged, transverse 4-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 83 x 92mm

Compression ratio: 9.8:1

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, variable timing, direct injection 

Gearbox: 7-speed dual clutch automated, four-wheel-drive

0-100 km/h: 7.3-seconds

Maximum speed: 230km/h

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 208 (211) [155] @5500rpm

Specific power: 104.5BHP/litre

Power-to-weight: 131.3BHP/tonne

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 258 (350) @ 1200-4000rpm

Specific torque: 175.8Nm/litre

Torque-to-weight: 221Nm/tonne 

Fuel consumption, combined: 6-litres/100km

CO2 emissions, combined: 156g/km

Fuel tank capacity: 56-litres

Length: 4425mm

Width: 1805mm

Height: 1475mm

Wheelbase: 2700mm

Track width, F/R: 1563/1567mm

Aerodynamic drag co-efficient: 0.32

Luggage volume: 430-litres

Kerb weight: 1584kg

Steering: Electric-assisted, rack and pinion

Turning circle: 11.4-metres

Suspension, F/R: MacPherson struts/multi-link

Brakes: Ventilated discs, 320mm/discs, 295mm

Tyres: 235/45R19

106 users have voted.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
5 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.