Both entry level diesel and petrol engines are a bit timid, with neither developing more than 120bhp. We’d suggest overlooking them, because they require you to work them hard – not exactly becoming of a relaxed, Premium Hatchback.
The 2.2-litre 168bhp adds more power and is great to drive around the town. However, while it’s economical, it’s also noisy and a tad sluggish. For this reason, the equivalent 2.0-litre 208bhp petrol engine might be a better bet. It’s quieter, faster and does 0-62 in 7.2 seconds. Moreover, thanks to the addition of turbochargers, it’s reasonably affordable to run, returning over 40mpg.
As a further benefit, it’s one of the few models to benefit from four-wheel-drive.
The diesels will, of course, be cheaper to run, with the 1.5-litre 108bhp engine returning 68.8mpg while costing £20 a year to tax. The bigger 2.2-litre 168bhp diesel, meanwhile, is good for returns of around 60mpg.
Infiniti needed to up their game with the Q30’s cabin if this was to be a true rival to the Mercedes – and they have. It sports a genuinely luxurious and plush interior, with Infiniti putting comfort first. The smooth ride quality is appealing, while insulation is good, too.
The design is easy on the eye, and you can see lots of similarities with the Mercedes A-Class in and around the cabin. Hardly a bad thing, of course. The switchgear is top notch, we love the suede roof lining, and the touchscreen infotainment screen is easy to use.
Look hard enough, though, and you will find cheaper plastics. As such, the Mercedes B-Class wins for out-and-out luxury.
Still, despite not being as big as some mainstream rivals, the Infiniti has a decent amount of room. Head and legroom aren’t as good as the Mercedes, and rear seated passengers will feel cramped thanks to the big window pillars. But the 430-litre boot is a good size, even though the B-Class is bigger.
Mercedes – £22,600 – £33,700
Infiniti – £20,850 – £33,850