Infiniti’s QX30 may have borrowed the GLA’s front-wheel-drive platform but by doing so, Infiniti engineers and designers were even more motivated to create a luxury compact CUV that steps away from its sibling’s shadow. Tom Murphy from WardsAuto certainly thinks a bit of sibling rivalry is good.
Their goal is to one day stand side-by-side with Mercedes in the luxury vehicles market and what better way to get their foot through the door than with an affordable vehicle that has much to offer. And let’s face it, most shoppers won’t even notice the Mercedes name on the oil cap.
What they’ll see are Infiniti’s own nappa leather seats, instrument panel with integrated display screen and most importantly, the sleek exterior styling complete with sculpted lines and boomerang-shaped C-pillar window trims. Infiniti’s designers took chances and came up with something far removed from the GLA’s beefier looks.
Sure, the QX30 has less passenger volume than the GLA and it uses the same 208 hp 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine but, it makes up for these perceived shortcomings with its dropped suspension and spirited 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Let’s not forget that we’re getting the same engine and other German features for less. The base model QX30 will start at $29,950, AWD at $34,400 and the Sport variant at $38,500. In comparison, the GLA’s base model will cost you $32,850 and a GLA45 AMG with additional options can easily go voer $50,000.
Mercedes’ GLA is still the segment leader this year with 14,317 units sold in the U.S. through July but, these numbers will just give Infiniti the drive to do better.