Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020) Review

Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
If you’re after a posh hatchback, just not the same ones that everybody else has, the Q30 might be worth a look. But it's probably not...

+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 82% 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.

What does a Infiniti Q30 (2015 – 2020) cost?