And despite being such a tall car, body lean is pleasingly minimal. There is lots of grip available from the standard four-wheel-drive system, and we would even make a case for the Infiniti being a better drive than the Mercedes.
It does have a weak point, though – its engine. There is only one available, a 2.2-litre 168bhp diesel that’s coarse, industrial and not very rewarding. You need to work it hard to get the best out of it, but there’s hardly the motivation to do so.
However, it pairs up well with the 7-speed auto transmission, a ‘box that gets the best out of its pulling power from low-down. 0-62 is done away within 8.5 seconds.
Running costs are good, with returns of 57.6mpg the quoted figure. It emits 128g/km of CO2, and sits in insurance group 23. That’s standard for this class.
The way it looks will be a major selling point, and if Infiniti are banking on its sleek design to help them win over buyers, they’re certainly backing a winner. There is no other car that looks like the QX30 Hatchback.
On the inside, it’s a bit different. It seems Infiniti exhausted all their creative energy before they got to the cabin, where the design is safe and lacks character. There is no doubting the high-quality on show, from the infotainment system to the electric window controls – but we expected more design flair.
Still, everything looks and feels solid enough and the seats are comfortable and – upfront at least – heated.
In terms of how practical it is, practical is a relative term here. If this is an SUV in your eyes, you’d argue that it should be bigger and more spacious. If you see it as a Hatchback, it will be useful enough.
The boot has a luggage capacity of 430-litres, which is fifty-litres shy of the Mercedes. The boot opening is a bit awkward and won’t satisfy if you see this as an SUV. That said, it’s enough for day to day tasks. And if we judge it next to compact premium Hatchback’s, it’s just fine.
Mercedes – £26,200 – £37,800
Infiniti – £30,200 – £34,200