For February’s motoring review, Sussex Business Times got behind the wheel of the Infiniti QX30 and here, we provide you with our thoughts on the vehicle

The second car that Sussex Business Times has had come through from Infiniti was the QX30, the bigger brother of the Q30, and following in the footsteps of the Q30, this newer model is another great example of where the brand is going, while its appeal to its target market seems clear as day and well defined. Just by looking at Infiniti’s selection of motors, we would suggest that the target customer for this brand is someone who is willing to step away from the ‘regular’ brands that dominate the premium end of the market – BMW, Mercedes and Audi, for example.

To remind you all about this, as a still relatively new brand, Infiniti is to Nissan what Lexus is to Toyota; a luxury branch of a volume manufacturer. It’s still a relative minnow in Europe, but is hugely popular in the States, and the company hopes that by giving European buyers what they want, it can replicate some of that success over here. Though the QX30 is far from a fully-fledged SUV, it’s got plenty of compact crossover competition.

The reward for those opting for the brand is a stylish car that includes everything you’d expect from a premium manufacturer, including a full leather interior with a decent finish, all mod cons (so far as gadgets are concerned), reversing camera and 18-inch alloys, while a Sat Nav is also fitted as standard. So far as SUVs go, though, it’s not terribly spacious inside and feels more like a regular saloon that’s been jacked up a little. It’s less SUV and more ‘beefed up’ hatch but it has an eye-catching look that suggests a quality product.

While there are various petrol and diesel engine options in the Q30 hatchback, the choice in the QX30 is much more limited. There’s both a 2.0-litre petrol engine and a 2.2-litre diesel engine on offer. The 168bhp four-cylinder unit is paired with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive. That makes it rather pricey, though, starting from £29,490 and rising to a substantial £33,370 for the top-spec Premium Tech model. Spec for spec it’s around £2,000 more than the Q30 hatchback.

Although the price is high – some may say too high – the drive isn’t bad. It’s quite quick. The response that you get from the engine is good. After a spell of injection-lag, the QX30 jets off with impressive gusto. The 18″ wheels also give you plenty of traction on the road with an assured drive with confident handling.

In short, it’s a good offering from the company. It puts them in a segment of one of the fastest-growing markets in Europe. The only real sticking point is the price. With so many options in this crowded space available, it’s going to need a good salesman to convince potential customers to deviate from its competition.

Engine capacity: 2.2L Diesel

Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch automatic

0-62mph: 8.5 seconds

Max speed: 134mph

OTR price: £33,370