The premium compact crossover segment is all the rage right now. It seems that every time you turn around there is another new entrant to the segment. One of the latest to throw its hat into the ring is Infiniti with its QX30 crossover concept. The production version of this concept will compete directly with vehicles like the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Here I look into the QX30 to see how it stacks up the Audi Q3.
The Infiniti QX30 concept was unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. It is basically a jacked up version of the brand's Q30 hatchback. Both vehicles are built on the MFA platform, which also underpins the Mercedes-Benz GLA. In fact, the QX30 will also be sharing engines with Mercedes-Benz. It will run on the same 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that is found in the Mercedes-Benz GLA. That engine will be connected to a 7-speed automatic transmission.
The QX30 will get more than one engine option, but those other engines will also likely be shared with Mercedes- Benz. That means that it will likely get some smaller 4 bangers in both petrol and diesel versions. In addition, this leaves the door open for a more powerful QX30 that could compete with the likes of the Audi RS Q3. The diesel engines are unlikely to make it to America though.
So how does the QX30 stack up to the Audi Q3? The GLA's 2L turbo 4-cylinder engine that will be shared with the QX30 produces 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Audi Q3's 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder produces an almost identical 200 horsepower, though the torque lags behind slightly with a rating of 207 lb-ft. So as far as performance goes the two vehicles should be quite similar.
When it comes to styling the QX30 and Q30 both look great, but cater to different tastes. Infiniti has more exaggerated styling when compared to the conservative styling of Audi. It is not as though one car is better looking than the other. In this case beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The final factor is price. The QX30 is estimated to be priced at $30,000, which is a bit cheaper than the Audi Q3, which starts at $32,500. Infiniti should be able to capture some buyers by offering a similar vehicle for a cheaper price, but Infiniti still will have a hard time rising to the upper echelons of the luxury car market with the big German brands.