We’ve already seen the 2013 Infiniti Q30 Concept, and we’ve caught the production 2016 Q30 out testing, so it was only a matter of time before we saw a crossover version. That time is now, as Infiniti introduces the QX30 Concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

As with so many of these part-SUV, part-hatchback models, the QX30 borrows heavily from the hatchback it is based upon. That’s not a bad thing either, as the Q30 Concept was pretty well-received, and I find it a nice interpretation of Infiniti styling.

With the likes of the Mercedes GLA already occupying this segment and the BMW X1 set to convert to a front-wheel-drive-based crossover in 2016, can the QX30 really make waves when it makes it to production?

Updated 03/02/2015: With just a few hours before its debut in Geneva, Infiniti dropped the official details, images, specs and video on the new QX30 Concept.

Continue reading for my review on the 2015 Infiniti QX30 Concept.

  • 2015 Infiniti QX30 Concept
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    7.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    30000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Updated History

Updated 02/19/2015: Infiniti released a new image of its new QX30 Concept along with the first details on the exterior. Check them out after the jump.

Exterior

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2015 Infiniti QX30 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Infiniti QX30 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Essentially a jacked-up Q30 Concept, the QX30 features a range of crossover-specific exterior bits, including off-road-friendly body cladding, meatier side sills and rear bumper, and 21-inch wheels. Other than that All of the body lines, ridges, and angles are a complete carryover from the Q30, which isn’t a bad thing.

While some may think that this is Infiniti being lazy, you need to remember that sprucing up a hatchback and tossing all-wheel drive under it is becoming quite the norm for luxury automakers. Additionally, the Q30 Concept was a sharp-looking hatchback, so I can’t complain. However, I honestly think it looks even better as a crossover.

The front end, for instance, is a significant improvement over the Q30, thanks to the pronounced aluminum-trimmed bumper and the cladding. Both additions give the QX30 Concept a touch of aggressiveness you can’t find on the Q30 hatchback. If the production version inherits at least 80 percent of the concept’s styling, and I think it will, the QX30 will become one of the better-looking crossovers in this segment. A luxury equivalent of the Mazda CX-3, if you will.

QX30 vs. Q30

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Interior

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The similarities to the Q30 continue on the inside with a cabin that’s futuristic, but not too much so for a production model. The dash features a two-tone, brown-and-gray motif with the same violet accent lighting, an LCD screen with Infiniti InTouch in the center, and what appears to be a production-ready console.

Unlike the Q30 Concept, the QX30’s seats are more production-friendly. They come wrapped in high-end, brown leather center pieces and gray, diamond-quilted bolsters with plenty of accent stitching. Both the steering wheel and the door panels are identical to the Q30 Concept’s save for the new color combination.

Drivetrain

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Given the QX30 shares most of its features with the Q30, it’s safe to assume the crossover will also receive most of the hatchback’s drivetrains. Although it didn’t disclose any actual specs, Infiniti did confirm the QX30 will employ the Mercedes-sourced turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder found in the A-Class and GLA-Class models. The unit featured in the concept mates to a seven-speed automatic, but that’s everything we get as of 02/03/2015.

However, Infiniti did say the QX30 Concept "previews a family of vehicles which are designed to be matched with a wide range of powertrains," meaning the crossover is also set to receive smaller four-bangers, also borrowed from Mercedes-Benz, in both gasoline and diesel versions. As usual, the oil burners aren’t likely to cross the pond to the United States.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 2.0L I4
Petrol engine induction type Direct injection, turbocharged
Petrol engine valves 16-valve
Transmission 7-speed automatic

Competition

BMW X1

2016 BMW X1 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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The BMW X1 is the smallest of the Bimmer SUVs, and it comes in a trio of versions: sDrive28i, xDrive28i, and xDrive35i. In its base sDrive28i trim, the X1 delivers 240 horsepower to the rear wheels while the xrive28i adds all-wheel drive. The xDrive35i bumps the output to 300 ponies with all-wheel drive.

For 2015, the X1 bases at $31,200 for the sDrive28i and peaks at $39,100 for the xDrive35i. The midrange xDrive28i chimes in at $33,000.

In the next year or so, however, look for the X1 to undergo a complete transformation. It’ll move to the front-driven UKL platform, which it will share with the 1 Series GT and the Mini Countryman. This may seem blasphemous to many BMW fans, but it is the way of the automotive world now. Look for this revised X1 to arrive in the 2016 model year.

Mercedes-Benz GLA

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Speaking of German crossovers, the Mercedes GLA is a prime example of just that. Based on the A-Class, the GLA is available on American soil in its GLA250 guise, which includes a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 201 horsepower. Moving into the sheer insanity that is the burbling GLA45 AMG nets you a 355-horsepower, AMG-tuned 2.0-liter powerplant.

As of February 11, 2015, the GLA250 and GLA45 AMG are only available with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, and they check in at $33,000 and $48,300, respectively. A front-wheel-drive version of the GLA250 should arrive later in 2015 at around $31,000.

Until the X1 undergoes its change to a front-driven platform, the GLA will be the QX30s main competition, a tough one to beat.

Conclusion

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Perched hatchbacks posing as crossover SUVs have become quite the rage as of late, with the GLA already on dealer lots and the X1 in process. Seeing another one may seem a blessing to some and a curse to others. I am part of the former group, as I see these jacked-up hatches as the perfect in-between point for those who need the extra ground clearance but do not want a bulky SUV, given automakers keep their fuel economy high. With Infiniti frantically trying to keep up with the big boys in Germany, it’s only a matter of time before we see the production QX30. For now, however, all we have is the concept.

  • Leave it
    • * Fast-growing segment that will soon be crowded
    • * Could be easily overshadowed by the German brands
    • * Infiniti currently has no engine to compete in this segment

Press Release

Infiniti has revealed the stylish and highly capable QX30 Concept, the design vision that will inspire a new premium compact crossover.

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Making its debut at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, the QX30 Concept cements Infiniti’s ambitions to expand into the global premium compact segment, which is forecast for significant growth with the entry of younger affluent customers.

Combining the sleek lines of the coupe with the command sitting and all-wheel drive of a crossover, the QX30 Concept is just as adept at navigating high street as it is exploring weekend getaways.

“QX30 Concept foreshadows an entry in the premium compact segment that provides a stylish alternative to the existing offer in this segment,” said Roland Krueger, Infiniti President and CEO.

“The vehicle embodies our conviction to give customers the freedom to go wherever they want, whenever they want – in a style that turns heads and makes a statement, in a way that expresses their individualized character.”

Expansion into growing segment

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By the end of this decade, Gen X and Gen Y will represent about 80 percent of buyers in the premium compact segment. Research among this new generation of buyers shows an increasing rejection of traditional notions toward premium cars.

Their idea of a premium car has less to do with size or power but more to do with distinctive design and outstanding execution.

With its sharp looks and original features, the QX30 Concept was designed by an international team to appeal to these global customers who are less likely to follow tradition. The concept’s compact footprint matches their search for a product that suits their urban lifestyle. The elevated stance of the crossover also provides a higher visual perspective in city traffic and in parking manoeuvres.

Infiniti first signalled its intentions to enter the premium compact segment when it revealed the Q30 Concept in Frankfurt in 2013. The introduction of the QX30 Concept is another building block in Infiniti’s aggressive strategy to grow in key global markets, particularly China and Europe while expanding its offering in established markets such as the United States.

Earmarked for production

The QX30 Concept is the latest in a series of concept vehicles for which Infiniti has announced a definite and clear intent for production.

The Q30 will be built in the U.K. this year while a sports coupe based on the Q60 Concept revealed in Detroit earlier this year will go into production next year. The QX30 Concept-inspired crossover will also be launched next year.

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Infiniti continues to broaden its line-up to cover the spectrum from smaller premium vehicles, namely the Q30, to full-size crossovers such as the QX70. In fact, Infiniti has drawn on its heritage of creating successful high-performance crossovers namely the QX50 and QX70 to craft the QX30 Concept.

Art in utility

To complement the higher stance of the QX30 Concept, Infiniti designers have added visual cues which instantly identify the concept as a crossover.

The body looks wider and thicker, thanks to the 21-inch wheels, large tyres, and increased blackout around the wheel opening. The unique wheel design mixes three-dimensional milled aluminium and matte rubber material for an unconventional juxtaposition.

The satin chrome front bumper is low with big side openings, giving off an air of rugged protection. The sense of stylish fortification is reinforced by the hardy kick plates under the doors and the tough-looking but sculpted skid plate in the rear.

Even the roof racks have gone beyond their functional use. Extending toward the centre line, they artistically “obstruct” the rear passenger’s view through the glass roof, resulting in an inimitable perspective of the outside.

Inside, the bold and dark environment harmonises with the outdoors appeal of the exterior. All four seats have been streamlined for a suspended look, evoking a feeling of honed athleticism.

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The U-shaped seat frame is partially wrapped with a layer of premium Connolly saddle leather offset by blue stitching. The contrast between the exposed and covered parts of the frame lends a three-dimensional quality to the interior.

“The QX30 Concept looks as capable as it is meant to be,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director. “The artistic touches we put in lift the crossover to another level from being just another utility vehicle.”

Wide range of powertrains

The QX30 Concept previews a family of vehicles which are designed to be matched with a wide range of powertrains, both gasoline and diesel. The array of powerplants is expected to cater to a variety of lifestyle aspirations around the world, depending on whether customers prefer a sportier or a more efficient drive.

The QX30 Concept also hints at Infiniti’s renowned sporting driving dynamics, and drivers can expect a nifty throttle response, especially useful when negotiating urban traffic.

With big wheels and thick tires, the QX30 Concept not only looks rock-solid but also feels it, greatly helping to increase driver confidence both on-road and off.

Human-centric connection

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The warm and inviting interior of the QX30 Concept beckons and engages the vehicle’s occupants emotionally. The slimmed-down seats now become facilitators of the shared space, instead of barriers between the driver and the passengers. And the crossover becomes a safe place for occupants to connect with one another.

Reflecting the value that customers place on connectivity, the QX30 Concept gives a glimpse into the level of technology available, features not typically found in compact cars. For example, Infiniti InTouch™ keeps the driver connected to his digital world when on the move.

“The QX30 Concept seeks to inject style in the segment,” said Krueger. “It promises effortless elegance whether it’s dealing with bad weather, poor road conditions or urban traffic.”

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