1: Infiniti is Nissan’s premium brand
Nissan is going upmarket with its Infiniti premium brand. Many car manufacturers are doing it – basically, if you give a car some nice features, an attractive design and a premium badge, people will pay more for it. The problem Infiniti has is, no one’s heard of it. So…
2: Infiniti hopes the Q30 will be the car to catapult it into the public consciousness
There’s a reason why the Infiniti Q30 is suddenly everywhere. There are TV adverts, radio adverts and, of course, competitions like the one on the Chris Moyles show. Infiniti sold just 1,195 cars in the UK last year – a hefty spend on marketing, some new dealerships (a rise from its current 10) and a more desirable (and affordable) car should fix that.
3: The Infiniti Q30 is based on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Through a clever partnership between Daimler (the owner of Mercedes) and the Nissan-Renault Alliance, Infiniti’s been able to borrow the platform of a Mercedes-Benz A-Class. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – manufacturers often shares parts and platforms. And if you have to explain to people that your posh Nissan is essentially a Mercedes-Benz underneath… well, it could be worse.
4: But it also borrows bits from Nissan
The Infiniti Q30 is built on the same production line as the Nissan Juke and Nissan Note, at Nissan’s factory in Sunderland. Naturally, it shares many Nissan bits – in fact, the interior is a kind of weird mish-mash of Nissan and Mercedes parts. But it’s not all bad – you get a choice of swish interior trims, from ‘city black’ (featuring black upholstery and purple stitching) to ‘gallery white’ (it’s, er, rather white).
5: It’s a very British car
It might be produced by a Japanese manufacturer using German underpinnings, but a lot of British workers have spent time on this car. We’ve covered that it’s built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the North East, but it was designed at the company’s Paddington design centre, and engineered at Nissan’s technical centre in Cranfield. Infiniti says the Q30 is the result of £250 million investment, creating 1,000 jobs in the UK.
6: It sits higher than an A-Class…
You’ve probably heard or seen the adverts – the Infiniti Q30 isn’t exactly conventional. It sits higher than rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. That was intentional, product manager Elise Minier told us. “It means there’s more space inside than conventional premium hatchbacks.”
7: …But a proper crossover version is on its way
This isn’t a full Qashqai-type crossover, though. That’s coming – in the form of the QX30. It’ll sit 45mm higher than the Q30, and rival the likes of the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3.
8: It’s really safe
The Q30 was tested by Euro NCAP last year, and it’s actually the safest car in its class, with a five-star rating. It scores particularly highly for the pedestrian test, thanks to its bonnet that pops-up if it detects an impact. It also scores well for child occupancy – so great for carrying your kids about.
9: The 1.6-litre petrol isn’t great
Sorry, Chris Moyles fans – the Q30 they’re giving away on Radio X is the entry-level 1.6-litre petrol. With 122hp and a 0-62mph time of 9.4 seconds, it really doesn’t live up to the premium image Infiniti’s going for with the Q30. Most UK buyers will go for the company car driver friendly 1.5-litre diesel, although we quite like it with the 2.2-litre Mercedes-Benz diesel.