Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020) Review
Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020) At A Glance
Well built with a decent amount of standard kit, 1.5-litre diesel is frugal, five star Euro NCAP rating, a rare sight.
Poor ride and lacklustre handling, not all that practical, cheaper versions poorly equipped.
Insurance Groups are between 13–46
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure
As an entrant into the fiercely contested premium hatchback market, the 2015 Infiniti Q30 takes on some of the most talented and popular cars in the business. Unfortunately, the standard of the competition is such that the Q30 is completely outgunned in a fairly vast number of areas. However, it’s rarity will make it an interesting, leftfield alternative to its rather ubiquitous rivals, which might make it appealing to some buyers. So, if you like the idea of a car in the mould of the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series or Mercedes A-Class, but you also want your car to be a talking point, then it might well suit you.
The Q30 was supposed to be the turning point for Infiniti in the UK. With the advent of this premium hatchback, which was designed to compete with super-popular rivals like the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class, British people would finally notice the Infiniti brand and take it to their hearts, just as those in Japan and the United States had done.
This newfound success and desirability would then filter up to the company’s range of big, expensive saloons and SUVs, and before long, those in charge of the firm would skip merrily into the sunlit uplands of financial prosperity, high-fiving and sipping Mai Tais all the way. That was the plan, anyway.
Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out like that. Not by a long shot. So much so, in fact, that it’s entirely possible that you’ve never even heard of Infiniti. Well, for those of you not in the know, Infiniti is - well, was - a luxury brand run by Nissan, in much the same way that Lexus is Toyota’s luxury wing.
We say ‘was’ because the company has since given up trying to sell new cars in the UK - well, the whole of Europe, actually - instead concentrating on the markets where folks are already convinced about its products.
In fairness, this embarrassing climb-down wasn’t entirely the Q30’s fault. It wasn’t a terrible car when judged in isolation. Having said that, though, it wasn’t a terribly good one, either, and when competing with the style, desirability and popularity of Germany’s finest, it simply didn’t stand a chance.
And that’s perhaps a little odd, because it had much in common with one of them. Under the skin, the Q30 shares most of the same oily bits as the Mercedes A-Class, except these bits were lashed together in Nissan’s factory in Sunderland, rather than on the outskirts of Stuttgart.
Unfortunately, rather than ensure the same level of success as the A-Class, this approach meant that the Q30 inherited many of the A-Class’s worst shortcomings.
Poor ride comfort was the most problematic (although to be fair, the Infiniti actually does a little better on that score than the Merc), but limited practicality, mediocre performance, lacklustre handling and a few annoyingly unintuitive controls were also on the list of black marks.
What’s more, refinement wasn’t very good, not enough standard equipment was included, cabin quality was behind that of rivals, and - probably worst of all - the prices for the car were nothing short of preposterous.
The car wasn’t completely without merit. It had a good entry-level diesel engine, it was very sturdily built (at least the chaps in Sunderland kept up their end of the bargain) and it has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. It also looks pretty good, and that fact it’s so rare will make it an appealingly left-field choice for some.
And, while the car’s catastrophically weak resale value put the final nail in the Q30’s coffin, they do mean that used examples are comparatively affordable.
Reviews for Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020)'s top 3 rivals
On the inside of an Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020)
The front seats have loads of space, but while the rear seats have enough legroom and headroom for adults to fit, even moderately sized ones will find their knees pressing against the front seats, while tall passengers will feel even more short-changed for space.
The limited shoulder space, bulky transmission tunnel and hard middle seat also make carrying a fifth person a rather uncomfortable experience.
Having said all that, you should still be able to fit a pair of bulky child seats in the back, and there are a couple of Isofix points for tethering them down effectively. The boot is a decent size for the class, but the loadspace is hard to get at due to a narrow boot opening and a high load lip. The rear seats fold more-or-less flat when you need to boost capacity, though, and they do so in a handy 60-40 split configuration.
Depending on the trim level you choose, the Q30’s interior is designed to deliver either a feeling of luxuriousness or a feeling of sportiness.
However, once you look beyond the places that your eyes and fingertips fall most regularly, you’ll find other surfaces that aren’t of the same high standard.
It doesn’t ruin the illusion of classiness by any stretch, but it does mean the Q30 doesn’t feel as posh as rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes, which have materials of a uniformly high standard throughout. That said, the standard of assembly feels very tight and together, so it should wear well.
All versions of the Q30 come with the same 7.0-inch screen for the infotainment system, but the amount of functionality it supports will depend on your choice of trim. Entry-level Pure versions have Bluetooth, voice control, three USB sockets and six speakers.
Conspicuous by their absence are a DAB radio and sat-nav. You get these on Luxe and Sport models, while Luxe Tech and Sport Tech models also add an upgraded ten-speaker Bose sound system. Conspicuous by their absence on all models, though, are Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
Unlike most other cars of this type, the Q30’s system isn’t a touchscreen. You scroll through the various on-screen menus using a rotary dial mounted on the central partition between the front seats, which is far less distracting. However, the Q30’s user interface is still far from ideal. The graphics are fuzzy, the screen transitions are slow and the menus aren’t hugely intuitive.
Car seat chooser
Child seats that fit a Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020) Value
At the time of writing, the Q30 had already gone off sale, because Infiniti had given up on selling brand new cars in the UK. At that point in time, prices started at around £21,000 for the 1.6 Pure Manual, and rose to a frankly ludicrous sum of almost £38,000 for the 2.0-litre petrol automatic in all-wheel drive Sport Tech form.
That’s laugh-out-loud expensive. What’s more, Infiniti had discontinued the best engine - the 1.5 diesel - by this point, so the other diesel, which constitutes our second-favourite engine, cost from £26,000.
And that’s in basic Pure spec. Specify the Luxe, and that jumps to £27,000, and in Luxe Tech trim, you’re looking at an eye-watering price of almost £35,000.
Again that’s absolutely ludicrous, and a shade more than most of its more established competitors from Audi, BMW and Mercedes. That said, the Infiniti doesn’t hold its value anywhere near as well as the rest.
That would’ve been catastrophic news for new car buyers, but it also means that used buyers could be in for a bargain, comparatively speaking, as prices will drop lower and lower as time goes on. Find an early example, and you’ll get far better value for money.
The 1.5 diesel was by far the most frugal version in the previous NEDC tests. The other diesel is the best of the rest with an official WLTP figure of 45mpg, which drops to 40mpg if you specify four-wheel drive.
The 1.6 petrol’s figure of 38mpg drops to 37mpg if you add the automatic gearbox, while the 2.0-litre petrol’s figure of 35mpg drops to 32mpg with the addition of four-wheel drive. These figures are reasonably competitive, but still a smidge behind those of rivals.
The Q30 shouldn’t be too pricey to insure, either. Insurance groupings start at group 12, and rise to 26, with most versions sitting in the late teens. Sticking with the cheapest, least powerful versions will keep your premiums down, with our favourite engine, the 1.5 diesel, being cheapest of all on that score.
As for how reliable it’ll be, Infiniti wasn’t around long enough to figure in many reliability surveys. However, being an offshoot of Nissan, you can expect a very strong performance in this area.
Real MPG average for a Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
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Driving Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020)
Things are worse in the Sport model, which has stiffened suspension with bigger wheels. This makes it bob up and down almost constantly.
All this would be more forgivable if the Infiniti could out-handle the competition, but it falls short there, too. The body control is pretty decent once the car settles into a bend, but there’s an initial period of sloppiness before that, and it makes the turn-in feel rather laboured. There’s lots of grip and reasonably quick steering, but you don’t get a great deal of feedback through the wheel.
Most Q30s are front-wheel drive, but an all-wheel drive option was offered with the more powerful engines. In reality, you'll probably be better off with a set of winter tyres. Most of the time your AWD system is undetectable, and simply serves to make your fuel economy worse.
The 109PS 1.5 diesel is the pick of the range. It doesn’t make the Q30 all that quick, but it’s nice and flexible, making your progress easy and relaxed.
The manual gearshift is rather notchy, but it’s nothing that’ll annoy you. The other diesel offering is a 2.1-litre unit with 170PS. It’s faster than the 1.5, but it’s not actually that much more flexible, so isn’t worth the extra cash.
The petrol range kicks off with a turbocharged 1.6, which has 120PS if you stick with the manual gearbox, but gets 156PS if you specify the seven-speed twin-clutch automatic. We’ve not tried the auto’, but the manual isn’t worth bothering with. It feels very flat at the bottom of the rev range, meaning you need to keep the revs high for half-decent acceleration.
The 211PS 2.0-litre petrol also feels underwhelming. It doesn’t feel particularly quick considering its output, and it’s paired exclusively with the twin-clutch gearbox, which isn’t a particularly happy union. The gearbox becomes rather schizophrenic in character; it feels too lazy in Eco mode, too hardcore in Sport mode, and there’s no happy medium in between.
All Q30s come with a total of seven airbags to help keep you safe in a smash, along with a wide range of systems to help prevent you from having one in the first place. Importantly, this includes automatic emergency braking, while stability control, tyre pressure monitoring and advanced anti-lock brakes are all standard.
Upgrading to Premium/Luxe trim also earns you a lane departure warning function, while upgrading a notch further will add a blind spot monitor. The Q30 has been crash tested by Euro NCAP, and has achieved the maximum five-star rating. A pot of tyre sealant is included as standard, but there’s no spare wheel, not even a space-saver.
|1.5d||67–72 mpg||12.0 s||103–111 g/km|
|1.5d DCT||66–72 mpg||11.9–12.0 s||102–113 g/km|
|1.6T||47–50 mpg||9.4 s||133–139 g/km|
|1.6T DCT||48–50 mpg||9.4 s||129–138 g/km|
|2.0T AWD DCT||42 mpg||7.2–7.3 s||156 g/km|
|2.0T DCR||46 mpg||7.2 s||143 g/km|
|2.0T DCT||46 mpg||7.2–7.3 s||143 g/km|
|2.2d AWD DCT||52–58 mpg||8.3–8.5 s||127–141 g/km|
|2.2d DCT||55–64 mpg||8.3 s||115–133 g/km|
Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020) Models and Specs
Pure-grade Q30s come with four electric windows, manual air-conditioning, automatic headlights, remote locking, alloy wheels cloth upholstery and leather wrappings for the steering wheel and gear lever, while Lux trim added rear parking sensors, cruise control, navigation, DAB radio and powered door mirrors.
Considering the price of the car, neither of these look particularly generous. Luxe Tech was much more like it, with two-zone climate control, heated front seats, keyless go, rain-sensing wipers, electrically adjusting front seats, leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, an automatic parking function with reversing camera and the upgraded stereo system.
Sport and Sport Tech trims were pretty much the same as Luxe and Luxe Tech, just with a sports suspension and various sporty styling goodies thrown in on top.
|Kerb Weight||1407–1719 kg|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Road Tax Bands||B–G|
|Official MPG||42.2–72.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Safety Ratings|
Currently on sale
On sale until July 2018
- Genuine exclusivity on the crowded premium hatchback market.
- Sharply styled exterior.
- Mercedes-Benz sourced parts mean reliability and quality are tested.
- Economical 1.5-litre diesel.
- Lots of equipment as standard.
- Good high speed ride quality in non-Sport models.
- Euro NCAP five start crash safety rating.
- Depreciation means overall running costs suffer.
- Cramped interior, especially in the rear.
- Cabin doesn’t hide Mercedes-Benz A-Class parts very well.
- InTouch multimedia system is awkward.
- Sport models suffer from harsh ride and aren’t that exciting.
What to watch out for
26-2-2019: Report of patches of paint peeling from the bonnet of a 2016 Infiniti Q30.
Infiniti launches Q30
Infiniti has revealed its Q30 active compact during its press conference at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Representing Infiniti’s first global entry into the fast-growing premium compact segment, the Q30 will play an important role in helping the company realise its plans for global growth.
Designed for a new generation of buyers not willing to be defined by their choice of vehicle body type, the Q30 challenges convention with its bold character and daring shape. The car stays true to the signature design cues from the original 2013 concept and exemplifies Infiniti’s design-led approach to product development. The unconventional stance and asymmetric interior contribute to an overall design that is certain to command attention.
The development teams behind the Q30 have taken a holistic approach to its engineering, presenting a car that offers exceptional ride and handling. It feels comfortable yet ‘ready to go anywhere’ thanks to the versatile dimensions, confident dynamics and intuitive technologies.
The Infiniti Q30 will go on sale in selected markets later in 2015. Prices will start from £19,780 OTR for the petrol version and from £20,730 OTR for the diesel version.
In addition to the main Q30 range, Infiniti is launching Q30 City Black Edition – a unique ‘first edition’that has been specially created for European customers as a way of marking Infiniti’s first European-built model. Priced from £26,110 OTR the Infiniti Q30 City Black will be available from mid-September as an exclusive Europe-only model.
Q30 range updated
The entry grade Pure (previously SE) comes equipped with standard features such as forward collision avoidance, automatic headlamps, LED running lamps, Bluetooth audio streaming and multi-function leather steering wheel.
Customers who want to choose a more complete package can either go in the comfort direction, called Luxe, or into sporty models, dubbed Sport. Both grades offer more engine choices, along with InTouch navigation, 18-inch Luxe and 19-inch Sport alloy wheels, dual rectangular chrome exhaust finishers and lane departure warning as standard features.
In both cases, stepping up to Luxe Tech or Sport Tech provides an upgraded technology experience with DAB radio, intelligent cruise control and blind spot warning. Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection helps make it very easy to park and if that is not enough then auto park uses its twelve sensors to measure the dimensions of the parking spot and help steer the vehicle into it; the driver only needs to apply the accelerator and brakes.
The Q30 SPORT and Sport Tech versions feature specific design elements such as sports bumpers with a diffuser at the back. A 20mm lower ride height features on the 2.0-litre and 2.2d engine versions.