Infiniti Q30 2.0T Sport 5dr DCT [Glass Pack]
The Q30’s low speed-ride hasn’t enjoyed the benefits of Infiniti’s retuned suspension – it’s wincingly harsh and clattery. Get flowing with the road at speed and it sorts itself out, however, leaving you to appreciate a relative lack of body roll and marvel at the hideously elastic self-centring steering, while ripples of wind noise busily attack the door seals. It looks like it should be a plush riding motor, all lollopy, relaxed and easy-going. But in actual fact it’s pattery and stilted. Tense describes it quite well – the car is constantly holding itself in check against body roll, when it should just embrace it, offering something different instead of trying to compete head-to-head with the Germans.
The Q30 is agile enough, thanks in part to the multi-link rear suspension, and produces enough grip as a front-wheel drive car to negate the AWD models unless you’re really paranoid about winter driving. But a car this tall, in this class, aimed at the sort of buyers this one is, should not concern itself with feeling sporty. It just shouldn’t. If a car looks like it will offer pillowy softness, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t follow up on that.
There are several good points about the Q30, but the gearchange isn’t one of them. The six-speed manual gearbox (from Mercedes) is a woolly old thing and is just unpleasant to use. Mercedes has never been good at manual shifts – quite why Infiniti didn’t turn to Nissan for this defies logic. Infiniti’s made a better fist of setting up the seven-speed DCT auto than Mercedes ever did. It’s fine. But no more than that.
The 57.6mpg, 2.1-litre diesel is the noisy problem child still ringing in your ears from the A-Class and Infiniti’s Q50 saloon. It will be bought by people who take one look at the brochure, observe the 8.3sec 0-62mph time and default to the brawniest diesel. Bad move.
Happily, the cheaper 1.5-litre (and 60bhp weaker) diesel from the Renault side of operations is more agreeable. It’s vastly quieter, and the performance gap isn’t the chasm you’d expect. Having to grab one extra gearchange on a motorway is a small price to pay to stop the dash vibrating like it’s got the shivers when you’re stationary. It’s not fast though. Really not fast. 0-62mph takes a yawning 12 seconds.
Come over all political and decided you hate diesels? You can have a hot 204bhp petrol too, if you’re clinically allergic to residual values.
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