$21,606 - $27,627

2018 Infiniti QX30 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Infiniti QX30 was new.


Performance: 7.8

The 2018 Infiniti QX30 offers easy maneuverability, excellent fuel economy, and a smooth ride. These qualities, along with a fairly peppy turbo engine, make it a comfortable daily driver and a smart choice for commuters.

  • "The small hatchback I'm driving feels at home on the narrow and winding roads of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, its responsive steering nicely tuned to match the reasonably firm suspension. With 208 horsepower from the turbocharged two-liter under the hood, and all-wheel-drive, I should be in hot hatch territory." -- CNET (2017)
  • "For the average CUV buyer, driving dynamics may not be the most valuable asset a car can possess. Be that as it may, Infiniti's offerings have always tended to be a little firmer and more capable than some other luxury automobiles. That's true here, too." -- Left Lane News (2017)
  • "Infiniti officials readily admit this all-wheel-drive model is intended for inclement weather and not serious off-road driving. We experienced neither on our jaunt around Seattle and the neighboring islands. Rather, we experienced a pleasant day of driving in a comfortable, well-mannered car." -- Motor Trend (2017)

Acceleration and Power

Every QX30 comes with the same powertrain: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This 208-horsepower setup provides a satisfying amount of scoot, both in town and on the highway. It's also extremely fuel-efficient. The QX30 is rated at 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, which is one of the highest fuel economy ratings in the class. With all-wheel drive, this decreases to 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway.

Most test drivers call the QX30's transmission smooth and responsive. A few, however, report that the shifts can be slow and coarse at times. Changing from Eco or Sport to Manual driving mode lets you time the shifts yourself and helps address some of the criticisms.

  • "While not the most powerful engine in its class, the QX30's smooth and responsive turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder teams well with the paddle-shiftable 7-speed dual-clutch automatic to deliver spirited acceleration across a fairly wide rev range." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The default E mode makes for frustrating low-speed driving and acceleration response due to the power lag and slow-to-engage transmission. Selecting S or manual mode each time is a work-around, but these two modes are a bit rev-happy, which can be annoying when you just want to cruise." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2.0-liter engine offers plenty of get-up-and-go, just as we've seen with its German cousin. It may take 6.4 seconds to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour, but it's also a quick-move artist on the fly, able to pass slower-moving traffic with ease and limited passing distance." -- Autotrader (2017)

Handling and Braking

The QX30 is not tuned for a sporty jaunt; its handling is instead focused more on comfort and composure. Its suspension is taut enough to minimalize lean in the corners, though soft enough to create a comfortable ride that absorbs jolts from rough roads. This crossover rewards drivers with mild agility and a lively feel, though it's not meant to be pushed hard around corners. Front-wheel drive is standard in the Infiniti QX30, and you can upgrade to all-wheel drive in the Luxury and Premium trim levels.

  • "The QX30 is playful when pushed, and if approaching its limitations the electronics will step in before things really get out of shape. Body roll is well managed, and AWD affords great drive out of corners. It's definitely capable, if not entertaining." -- Edmunds
  • "The ride is smooth and unperturbed by most bumps and holes, but the suspension still returns moderately sporty handling when pressed. The steering effort is inexplicably heavy, but the QX30 otherwise takes a corner smoothly and predictably. The brakes are just right with good bite and smooth engagement." -- Motor Trend (2017)
  • "The QX30's steering feedback is acceptable, but the wheel responds to quick directional changes with a touch of initial slop and the chassis allows too much body roll to really tear through corners. Even in the QX30 Sport, the reflexes seem too blunted for enthusiast appeal." -- Cars.com (2017)

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