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The new Infiniti Q30 is an A-Class rival based on, um, the A-Class

Nissan's upmarket arm reveals a small hatchback that shares a lot with the dinkiest Merc

Welcome, everyone, to an Infiniti that may actually sell.

This is the Q30, Infiniti’s answer to the likes of the BMW 1-Series, Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class. In fact, it shares rather a lot with the latter. More on that in a sec, but first here’s Infiniti’s VP of product strategy on why the Q30 matters to Nissan’s premium arm.

“Our products are all global products, but we have to admit we have been centered in the US for a long time,” Bancon tells at the Q30’s Frankfurt reveal. “We are shifting now to become more global, and to be more global means more European.

“It’s fundamental for us. We have to become a global premium player, fighting head to head with the best of the best in Europe. And this is our first real big initiative in Europe. Built for Europe and designed in Europe.” In so many words, the Q30 matters. 

Though it will be built alongside Qashqais and Pulsars at Nissan’s massive Sunderland plant, the Q30 is actually based on, and shares its engines with, the Mercedes A-Class. That much is immediately obvious when you step inside, where you’re greeted by Mercedes dials, a Mercedes gear-selector and a Mercedes steering wheel. We could go on…

But we won’t, because Infiniti says the Q30 is for a “new generation” of buyers “not willing to be defined by their choice of body type”. Infiniti president Roland Krueger told the assembled masses the Q30 “is more of a coupe than a hatchback”. 

“We see an opportunity here to express the Infiniti brand,” Francois tells us. “Daring, but at the same time human. We do cars for people who love cars. We are not something for everyone, we are everything for someone.”

We’re not absolutely sure what that means, but we do know this: the Q30’s styling is typically Infiniti – all sharp creases and pinched C-pillars - but to its credit, it’s stuck fairly close to the concept we first saw a couple of years back

There are four engines on offer in five outputs, from a 108bhp 1.5-litre diesel to the familiar 2.2-litre you can get in literally any Merc, from S-Class to Sprinter. The Q30 gets a 208bhp 2.0-litre petrol as well, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious. 

Deliveries start early next year, and prices kick off at some £19,780: not exactly budget, but bang on the money of its rivals. 

Next for the Q30 is a crossover – think GLA to the Q30’s A-Class. And what of a hot, A45 AMG rival based on the, um, A45 AMG? Probably not, but we can always hope…

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