2017 Infiniti QX30: A Nice, Big Hatchback in Crossover Clothing

The crossover segment is the fastest growing, hottest selling and most competitive sales segment in the entire automotive industry. Multiple automakers list a crossover as their top seller and several more are rushing new vehicles in the class to their lines.

The crossover entirely replaced the station wagon as the urban choice for a car with more transport space than a sedan, but less than a truck. Now, these small SUVs are outselling the full-size and mid-size versions as buyers seek out more convenient, capable urban transport.

But, here’s the problem. Automakers and their crossovers are stepping so far away from SUVs to attract buyers that it’s easy to argue many new versions aren’t really crossovers at all. The smaller SUVs are now really large sport hatchbacks.

As an exhibit A, I can offer the entirely new 2017 Infiniti QX 30. The entry-level ride for Infiniti’s popular crossover class, the QX-30 is the smallest such Infiniti and styled to resemble a large hatch over any smaller SUV.

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In this case, that’s a good thing. The crossover is not often the most beautiful addition to the world of automotive aesthetics. There are a few decent looking versions, but most are a little too stubby, a little too top heavy and often bulbous. Since they’re purchased more for their comfort and capacity than their appearance, styling is not at a premium.

Infiniti designers opted for styling over blunt utility with the new QX 30. The lines are at times sleek, then flowing — never swollen or chunky. The nose and grille design is not overly distinctive, but the sharp headlights and signature, dipping hood could’ve come off an Infiniti sedan. The vehicle looks good but it slimmed down and “hunkered” too much to be a crossover.

As for the drive quality, it’s comfortable and carefree with enough power to handle city and highway driving with aplomb. Economy and Sport drive modes cycle between fuel economy or performance, while power everything, cruise control, four-wheel independent suspension and a dual-clutch automatic transmission make driving carefree. There’s no manual transmission available, which is maybe the only argument as to why this isn’t a hatchback after all.

The QX30 gets you there with a 2.0 liter, turbocharged, 208 horsepower, four-cylinder engine built by Mercedes-Benz for its similarly classed machines. QX30 buyers can select a sport tuning trim with sport shifters and a sexier, two-tone leather and suede interior to move the vehicle well out of the realm of soccer moms.

The Infiniti is a great introductory level vehicle for shoppers eager to buy into the mid-range luxury crossover class. It’s smooth and stylish with seating for five and a little extra space out back for junk in its trunk. It can proudly own any recommendation legitimately. 

But, it’s called a crossover because crossovers are selling. This is really a big, sporty hatchback and should be proud of that. If it sells as well as it should, I doubt very much Infinti will care what anybody calls it.