Today, Ford and Lincoln share parts amongst their sedans and SUVs, as does Lexus with Toyota providing much of the mechanical goods. Other brands also share mechanicals. For example, VW Group’s vaunted W12 engine has been used in Volkswagen, Audi and Bentley models. Why build something new when you can keep the bean counters happy by dipping into the corporate parts bin?
But what is not always known is manufacturers share technology with other companies,
Recently, Toyota restyled and renamed the Mazda2 as the Yaris Sedan. Toyota and Subaru share the 86 (previously the Scion FR-S) and BRZ platform almost down to each nut and bolt, and Mazda’s MX-5 Miata provides tasty bits for the “Friata,” the slight larger Fiat 124 Convertible.
So it really came as no surprise when Daimler-Benz and Renault-Nissan announced they would join forces in technology/product sharing.
Up first in the Canadian
When you first approach the 2017 QX30, you’ll be super impressed with the styling. Externally, this luxe compact ute is all Infiniti, which means it’s gorgeous and well contented. Where the GLA’s styling takes no risks, Infiniti jumps into an Olympic sized pool with a deep breathing front fascia and sensuous side sculpting. QX30’s high beltline gives the impression this premium active crossover is taller than it is, and Infiniti’s trademark, crescent-shaped “C” pillar lets buyers know the DNA is all Infiniti.
Inside, it’s good to know the interior is also not a rubber stamp of the GLA. For example, the GLA’s telematics screen sits atop the central dash like a permanent iPad. Infiniti’s screen is integrated into the central dash, but below the dash hood. It’s a
So kudos to Infiniti for sharing technology with Mercedes, but for also spending the money necessary to give the QX30 its own unique personality. In fact the only dead giveaway (besides power seat controls and the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star logo adorning some under-hood parts) is the key fob.
QX30 road manners are very respectable. Under-hood lies a Mercedes 2.0-litre, turbocharged, inline four-cylinder motor outputting 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Torque steer was non-existent during normal acceleration and occasionally present during full throttle runs. Power is channeled to the pavement through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. During the national press launch for the QX, I spent time in FWD Sport and AWD Premium trim levels. The AWD system monitors wheel spin, throttle position, and vehicle speed, and sends up to 50 percent of the available power to the rear wheels for better traction in adverse conditions. When AWD
Both were close in road dynamics and handling prowess, though the Sport looked a bit more, err, “sporty,” thanks in part to super stylish 19-inch Gunmetal alloy wheels wrapped in sticky 235/45-19 summer rubber, and cross-drilled front brake rotors. The Sport model is about 50 kilos lighter than the Premium model, and carries 50 litres of fuel versus 56 litres in the AWD Premium model. The extra fuel capacity is needed with AWD trims, as they exact a 1.3-km/litre penalty in the city and on the highway versus FWD models (9.7 city and 7.1 highway for FWD compared to 10.6/8.0 with AWD).
There are four trim levels available. The base QX30 is available in front-wheel drive
As far as luxury and conveniences go, the QX30 is well equipped with a raft of standard and available features. The seven-inch telematics screen offers monitoring of Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and controls a full suite of standard and available apps, including Infiniti’s proprietary “InTouch” system, which integrates navigation, convenience, security, and entertainment into a dash-mounted state-of-the-art system.
On the high-tech front, Infiniti is, as usual, at the top of its game. I recall an incident
In the 2017 QX30, standard and available tech abounds. Infiniti’s new available Intelligent Park Assist uses 12 sensors to determine if a potential parking spot is the right size. If it is, you simply move the gearshift lever to “R,” press a button to confirm, and operate the accelerator and brake pedals.
The optional Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Front and Rear Sonar System uses four cameras to build a virtual 360-degree bird’s eye view on the seven-inch telematics display to help you see what’s around you, and Moving Object Detection alerts you to objects moving in the display image, like the little neighbourhood kid on a tricycle.
The available Forward Emergency Braking system adds another dimension of security. It can detect vehicles in the lane ahead of you, and if deceleration is required, the brakes are applied to help minimize/prevent a collision.
The 2017 QX30 is a well-executed collaboration between automotive titans. I’m looking forward to the next model in the Nissan (Infiniti)/Mercedes-Benz plan.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)