New Infiniti QX30 crossover: prices, specs and release date

Full details of British-built crossover version of Q30 hatchback revealed

Full details of the new Infiniti QX30 crossover have been revealed ahead of going on sale in the summer of 2016.

The QX30 is a jacked-up version of the recently launched Infiniti Q30 premium hatchback and will be taking on the likes of the Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3 and BMW X1.

Infiniti, Nissan’s upmarket brand, hasn't sold a huge number of cars in Europe and the UK, so it's pinning its hopes on the new Q30 and QX30 to remedy the situation.

The QX30 will be built alongside its more conventional sibling at Nissan’s Sunderland factory in the northeast of England, where the Nissan Juke and Nissan Qashqai are also put together.

It’ll get intelligent all-wheel drive as standard and is likely to be powered by the same range of petrol and diesel engines as the Q30. Set to go on sale in the summer of 2016, prices start at £29,490.

Infiniti QX30 design

The Infiniti QX30 sits up to 45mm higher than the Q30, while chrome roof bars and extended black-clad wheelarches set it apart even further from its sibling. These extended wheelarches make it 5mm wider, too. Along with the standard roof rails, the car has an overall height of 1,530mm – 53mm higher in total than the standard Q30 hatchback.

Like the Q30, the QX30 gets a host of sharp creases in the bodywork and character lines that Infiniti describes as "turbulent". They’re certainly distinctive and will mark the car out in what is generally a fairly conservative class when it comes to design.

These dramatic creases and lines also give the QX30 a much more fluid and curvaceous appearance compared to its rivals, while it gets completely redesigned front and rear bumpers, too.

As well as these, the QX30 has side-sills, front and rear skid plates and bodywork with 'satin chrome-plated inserts', which Infiniti says give the car a "premium and high-quality metallic finish".

Interior

Inside, the QX30 is pretty much identical to the Q30. It comes as standard with cloth upholstery, but you have the option of upgrading to either black or beige leather.

The car also gets Infiniti's InTouch infotainment system, which is controlled using a seven-inch touchscreen on the dashboard. It'll accept voice commands as well as 'touch and swipe' gestures.

To ensure comfort, the QX30's seats have been designed with the curvature of the spine in mind. This means that your spine is always supported, reducing the load on your back muscles. Infiniti says it has tested the QX30's seats against rivals' and promises they'll be more comfortable than any of theirs.

It's clear that Infiniti has concentrated on comfort and refinement with the QX30. The company says its engineers have gone to great lengths to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) inside the cabin.

Sound-deadening materials have been used extensively, as well as active noise cancellation. This uses the stereo to send certain frequencies into the cabin to cancel out din from the outside – just like a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

Engines and gearboxes

Initially, the QX30 will only be available with the 168bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine. This will drive all four wheels through an intelligent four-wheel-drive system that can send up to 50% of the engine’s power to the rear wheels if it detects a loss of grip. Infiniti has also completely reworked the suspension settings to accommodate the raised ride height of the QX30, compared to the Q30.

Naturally, there's no word on emissions or fuel efficiency yet either, but expect them to be slightly worse than for the Q30 due to the extra weight of four-wheel drive, as well as the aerodynamic penalty of the higher ride height.

As standard, the QX30 will come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Safety

Infiniti promises the QX30 will be among the safest cars in the class, with features such as an 'Around View Monitor' (which constantly scans around the car for obstacles or dangers) as well as parking assistance (which almost parks the car itself) as standard. Adaptive cruise control, which accelerates or brakes the car to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, will also be available.

Prices and realease date

The new car will go on sale in the early part of the summer this year. Entry-level Premium versions will start at £29,490, which rises to £33,370 for the top-of-the-range Premium tech models.

As yet, there's no information on equipment levels for either trim level, but expect them to mirror those on the standard Q30 hatch, meaning 18-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity, a touchscreen infotainment system and cruise control are all likely to be standard across the QX30 range.

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