2017 Infiniti QX30

2017 Infiniti QX30

Episode 3613 , Episode 3632
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

It looks like the lines between hatchback “car” and crossover “utility vehicle” have finally been obliterated entirely. As proof we present the Infiniti QX30, the latest addition to the growing compact luxury CUV market here in the U.S., but basically the same vehicle is also known as the Q30 hatchback in Europe. And that’s just the beginning of the blurred lines for this this dynamic little 5-door hatchback…sorry…crossover. 

Yes, this 2017 Infiniti QX30 is many things to many people. But what really matters here, is that it arrives at a perfect time; when Americans can’t seem to get enough small luxury crossovers. 

Oh, and for those of you who have been bemoaning the fact that you can’t buy a Mercedes-Benz A-class hatchback here; well, now you can, because that’s what’s under the QX30’s way more dynamic bodywork. 

Yes, this is the first vehicle to emerge from the Renault/Nissan/Daimler partnership announced last year. And though the overall stance and silhouette are very similar to the Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover; it’s much better looking, if you speak Infiniti’s design language like we do, we’d pick this one over the GLA. 

There’s a decent 8.0-inches of ground clearance, same as the GLA. Unless of course you opt for front-wheel-drive only Sport trim. Which to confuse things further, really is the Q30 also known as  the A-Class hatchback, with its hard parts just 6.1–inches above the pavement. It also comes with some minor unique exterior elements. 

Infiniti engineers had their way with the suspension of course, so it rides nothing like the GLA. It felt stiffer initially, but better the more time we spent with it; no suspension altering drive modes to be found here.

It drives lively, not economy car-like at all; straddling the comfort/capability line almost perfectly. Leaning slightly more towards the tougher end than some other “sporty crossovers”, which is no longer a weird thing to say. Yet it remains exceptionally quiet.

There’s good pick-up from the standard 2.0-liter turbo I4 and 7-speed DCT transmission, both of which come from Mercedes; as does the key to get things started. Software for managing all of it, however, comes from Nissan, still the overall feel is very Benz, and ratings are the same at 208-horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. 

The Intelligent all-wheel-drive system is also a version of Benz’s 4MATIC, which can send as much as 50% of torque to the rear wheels when slip is detected.  

There was noticeable turbo-lag, and an overall softer launch than when we had the GLA, but the resulting 0-60 time was still not bad at 6.8-seconds.

As is usually the case, if you’re looking for the best outcome, just leave it in auto, as manual shifting was slow to respond. Still, there was a nice whoosh of sound coming from the turbo-4 as it powered us to the end of the ¼-mile in 15.1-seconds at 92 miles-per-hour. 

Through the cones, there’s a playful nature; with minimal amounts of both under and oversteer. Suspension feels taut, and it remained very flat. 

Infiniti also tweaked the steering to their liking, but they did it no favors as far as we’re concerned. It’s loose feeling on-center, and there’s an awkward heft when making inputs.

A 110-foot stopping average from 60 is very good, and stops were both smooth and stable. But after about 4-runs, fatigue set in and brakes started to fade. 

Inside the QX30’s cabin is where things depart most from its Mercedes-Benz roots. There are still some GLA controls on the dash, but things appear much more inviting. Material quality is quite good. 

Infiniti owners who aren’t familiar with the GLA will enjoy the refreshing new take on layout, as well as find the fit-and finish they are used to. The most obvious Benz element is the door mounted seat control; but they work so well, we’re glad Infiniti left them alone. 

Both central controller and shifter are unique, with a nice obvious Park button.

There’s a comfortable seating position for the driver; but visibility is very poor, with thick pillars in back as well as a very small rear window. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for all-wheel-drive are 21-City, 30-Highway, and 25-Combined; so our 30.7 miles-per-gallon of Premium average was excellent. 

Still there’s only an average Energy Impact Score of 13.2-barrels of annual oil consumption with CO2 emissions of 6.0-tons. 

With many different QX30s to choose from, $30,945 to start seems reasonable, considering it’s about 2-grand cheaper than a GLA. 

So, while the Mercedes-Benz GLA came to market earlier, don’t think of this 2017 Infiniti QX30 as a re-badged Benz, but a cooperative effort along the lines of Toyota and Subaru with the 86 and BRZ. It is highly competitive with the current influx of cute utes, as well as a perfect step up for open-minded hatchback buyers. We predict this international coalition will be quite successful.


  • Engine: 2.0 liter
  • Horsepower: 208
  • Torque: 258 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.8 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 15.1 seconds @ 92 mph
  • EPA: 21 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 13.2 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.0 tons/yr
2023 BMW X7 Driving

2023 BMW X7

Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More

Episode 4238
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.

When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.

There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…

…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.

2023 BMW X7 Interior Dashboard

Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.

The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.

At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!

New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.

In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.

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Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.

There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.

Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.

It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.


  • Engine: I-6
  • Horsepower: 375
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
  • EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined