City and Stop-and-Go Traffic Driving - Infiniti QX30 Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Default City and Stop-and-Go Traffic Driving

I am fourteen months and 14K miles into ownership of my 2017 AWD Premium. I'm all caught up on maintenance and like many of you, I'm well aware of the "oddities" of the QX30. While most of my miles have been on the highway, I occasionally have to drive around town in stop-and-go traffic.

For context, I am driving in sunny north central Florida where the roads are silky smooth and flat compared to the Mid-Atlantic area where I'm originally from. In a nutshell, this car has been annoying to drive in its default mode (Economy with Auto-Stop-Start enabled). The transmission is clueless at times and the Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) is a jerky and bucking affair that doesn't work particularly well. I have tried adjusting all sorts of my input to find optimal city driving feedback, including driving modes (i.e., E/S/M), Auto-Stop-Start enabled/disabled, throttle modulation, adjusting the ICC follow distance, etc.

No combination of these things works for me to consistently deliver a smooth, comfortable ride. And while I have owned the car for fourteen months, I've noticed this "city driving behavior" of the car only in the past couple of months. I love everything else about the car and there isn't another car on the market that can get close to offering the tech at the price point.

Having said all of that, 25% of the time, I'm unhappy with the driving experience because of the city driving behavior. The car feels touchy, jerky, and peaky. There's nothing refined about launching from first gear (it almost feels like there's a jerk while accelerating *in* first gear), transitioning from first to second, and then coming to a stop.

The Infiniti dealership is about an hour and a half away, and I really don't want to go there unless what I've described seems like an outlier situation. It could just be that I've been spoiled by the smooth and refined characteristics of rear-wheel drive cars with traditional torque converter automatics. Highway driving for me in the QX30 is great in all modes (E, S, and M) across a range of highway speeds (40 MPH+).

Are any other members experiencing the same awful city-driving dynamics? What has been your experience with city driving?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 12:02 AM
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I've found the DCT to be mostly great. I much prefer the DCT to a conventional automatic transmission. My only issue would be that there is a significant lag in power when driving in "E". For normal driving, E is fine, but if I push the accelerator down hard -- such as making a left turn in traffic, or a right turn entering traffic -- the throttle delay causes concern. If I use the "S" driving mode, then power delivery is much better.

If you're trying to use ICC in city traffic then I think you're mis-using the technology. ICC can be nice on the highway, but in town you're going to get a jerky experience. It's just the nature of how the technology works. The car can only see what is directly in front of it, and it will constantly be oscillating between on-throttle and on-brake to maintain the follow distance. I've found the same to be true with the adaptive cruise in my Acura MDX. Great for highway cruising... But not pleasant in the city. These are not autonomous vehicles, so in traffic you should be driving -- not expecting the car to drive for you.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 10:20 AM
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The first thing I do every morning when I start the car is put it in S - sport mode. I very rarely have this thing in E. I really like the start stop feature unless I am turning left at a light in the intersection... In those situations,I click the green button off. I also much prefer this transmission to a normal automatic.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input @p07r0457 and @__XIS__. I will say that half of the time, ICC works really well in stop-and-go traffic. However, you're absolutely correct that ICC is designed for highway use (the manual confirms this). My observation has more to do with just figuring out a way to drive this car in the city with a consistent, smooth, and refined ride.

About half the time, the car drives in the city just fine. Coincidentally, I noticed it drives best at night in the city when temperatures are a little cooler. During the afternoon and about half the time, the car has a different personality altogether. Like it genuinely feels like there are two peaks in the torque curve. I know peak torque starts at a ridiculous 1,200 RPM, but there's a noticeable jolt while accelerating in first gear at takeoff and then again when up-shifting to 2nd.

I tried leaving it in S mode with the auto-start-stop disabled. Downshifts from 2nd to 1st are too jarring in city driving. I hate for this to sound like a first world problem, but I think something is wrong with the car, but I don't have a MIL/check engine light to support my anecdote. Believe me, I love the DCT. I was driving 120 miles on the highway last night and the manual downshifts from 7th to 6th to 5th are so smooth, refined, and addicting!

I will summarize my observations with all of the modes to keep this thread active in a couple of days. In the meantime, any other members want to chime in about their car's city-driving dynamics?

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Last edited by Zee; 04-02-2018 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Corrected a typo.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 12:34 PM
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14 months of ownership, and about 6500 miles.

I live in suburbs, but work right in the center of the most busiest city in the US. I haven't took my car to the city, yet, because I always take the train - and I personally don't like how DCT behaves. QX30's DCT truly has no idea where to engage and it jerks, and bounces all the time. Stop/Go delay is horrible compare to other cars I've driven.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 01:24 PM
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The jerking is not my experience whatsoever, nor have I felt that the transmission doesn’t know which gear to select. I also have an EX35, 5 speed RWD and I have experienced those symptoms in that car, specially when I’m flooring it and it downshifts and it’s going up and incline. Sometimes a period of a second or more where it doesn’t pick the gear and engage...but I’ve never experienced that with the QX30. I think those of you that are experiencing the jerking symptoms either should take your car in to be checked out by the stealership or just haven’t 100% figured out the nuances of the tranny, no offense intended. Based on E or S mode, you can gauge pretty closely when the tranny is going to be shifting up or down. It’s moderately consistent in a couple different acceleration scenarios. If yours isn’t acting that way (predictable), I highly suggest having the dealership look at it while you’re still under warranty
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fastrack View Post
QX30's DCT truly has no idea where to engage and it jerks, and bounces all the time. Stop/Go delay is horrible compare to other cars I've driven.
Exactly. For me at least, this has occurred more frequently in the past couple of months. This past couple of days, I have disabled the Auto-Stop-Start because I've encountered too many situations lately where I'll be creeping in city driving traffic and the car comes to an intense jolting stop and the engine stops.


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Originally Posted by __XIS__ View Post
The jerking is not my experience whatsoever, nor have I felt that the transmission doesn’t know which gear to select. I also have an EX35, 5 speed RWD and I have experienced those symptoms in that car, specially when I’m flooring it and it downshifts and it’s going up and incline. Sometimes a period of a second or more where it doesn’t pick the gear and engage...but I’ve never experienced that with the QX30. I think those of you that are experiencing the jerking symptoms either should take your car in to be checked out by the stealership or just haven’t 100% figured out the nuances of the tranny, no offense intended. Based on E or S mode, you can gauge pretty closely when the tranny is going to be shifting up or down. It’s moderately consistent in a couple different acceleration scenarios. If yours isn’t acting that way (predictable), I highly suggest having the dealership look at it while you’re still under warranty
Wanna trade cars? In all seriousness, city driving in first and second gear is highly unpredictable. Keep in mind, one of the cars I had before this was a Mercedes-Benz GLA, so I'm not new to the world of DCTs. The E mode in that car felt gutless, but still refined. Just a follow-up questions:

You mentioned you almost exclusively drive in S mode. What specifically made you stop using E mode? Was it a lack of power or poor shifting characteristics?

Ifou're driving during rush traffic, how does your car handle 0-35 MPH and then back down to a complete stop? My QX30 will exhibit the jerky feeling in 1st, between 1st and 2nd, and then have a smooth, seamless upshift until 4th. When idling back to a complete stop, downshifts from 2nd to 1st results in an unrefined jerk.

I think I might just have to drive 90 miles to the closest dealership and take the service manager for a drive.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Zee View Post
... Just a follow-up questions:

You mentioned you almost exclusively drive in S mode. What specifically made you stop using E mode? Was it a lack of power or poor shifting characteristics?

If you're driving during rush traffic, how does your car handle 0-35 MPH and then back down to a complete stop? My QX30 will exhibit the jerky feeling in 1st, between 1st and 2nd, and then have a smooth, seamless upshift until 4th. When idling back to a complete stop, downshifts from 2nd to 1st results in an unrefined jerk.

I think I might just have to drive 90 miles to the closest dealership and take the service manager for a drive.
I use S mode because it is too tamed down in E mode... Too quick to up-shift and muted throttle response. The only time I like E is going slowly in a parking lot or my neighborhood. I do think that it could use one more mode...N - normal. Something between E and S...
I will pay more attention on my way home today, but 0-35 under normal acceleration would be smooth and I think that is about when it shifts to 3rd, depending on throttle pressure. Sometimes if it holds 2nd too long due, I instinctively use the paddle to go to 3rd. I really don't think mine downshifts from 2nd to 1st, unless I am at a complete stop. I will try to verify that today also.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 02:37 PM
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QX30 is my 3rd car that has Stop/Go feature, and the delay from STOP to GO is just horrible, but I mainly drive this car to the train station or supermarkets, so I am not really complaining.

My other cars (BMW M4 & Range Rover) - you cannot even feel the engine has stopped or the engine starts as soon as you start to depress the brake. There is absolutely no delay in changing from STOP to GO when QX30 has like 2-3 second delay before the car starts to roll.

I don't know, maybe it's because I live in Philadelphia. If I don't move as soon as the lights turn green, then I might get shot in my head.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fastrack View Post
QX30 is my 3rd car that has Stop/Go feature, and the delay from STOP to GO is just horrible, but I mainly drive this car to the train station or supermarkets, so I am not really complaining.

My other cars (BMW M4 & Range Rover) - you cannot even feel the engine has stopped or the engine starts as soon as you start to depress the brake. There is absolutely no delay in changing from STOP to GO when QX30 has like 2-3 second delay before the car starts to roll.

I don't know, maybe it's because I live in Philadelphia. If I don't move as soon as the lights turn green, then I might get shot in my head.
My wife drives the QX30 and I drive an Audi Q5. The Audi's stop/go feature is much better as it will actually lurch when transitioning from stop to go so you dont notice any pregnant pauses. The Audi also lets you set the stop/go feature to OFF and you dont have to toggle it each time you start the car like the QX30.

But I do think my faults with the QX30 are relatively minor in general - it offers a lot of value for the money.
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