Trends in the automotive world are a curious thing. They seem to slowly trickle along and then, once they hit a critical mass, suddenly surge forward.

We saw it with SUVs and now we’re seeing it with a new brand of pseudo-car compact crossover. Every manufacturer and their dog seem to be in a rush to deliver a new, small city runabout that “defies convention” or “redefines” body styles. Infiniti is no different. The all-new Q30 looks and feels similar in terms of size to a compact SUV, only lower – much lower.

Our Mazda CX-3 long-term tester is a diminutive 1,547 mm high, this Q30 is 1,495. Get the “Sport” addition and you are looking at 1,475 mm in total height, 15 mm of which is accounted for by reduced suspension travel. The truth is, cars like this are moving back into wagon territory, creeping ever so slowly back to a time when an SUV was a truck, and a crossover was but a gleam in the eye of a designer.

Despite being shorter than all of them, the new Q30 is longer and wider than cars from that sub-compact CUV segment. At 4,425 mm long and 2,083 mm wide with a wheelbase of 2,700, Infiniti’s latest has a solid footprint on the road.

It is similar in ethos, style and size to the Mercedes-Benz GLA – and there’s a reason for that. This Q30 is the result of a partnership between the two companies and the Q30 shares the same platform as the GLA.

The styling is unmistakably “Infiniti” right down to the arched c-pillar, double-arch grill and ‘double wave’ bonnet. This is perhaps the best execution of the marque’s design language.

The engine too is the result of the tie-in with Mercedes-Benz. In Canada, we’re likely to see the 2.0L four with 211 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. We won’t see either of the two diesels nor are we likely to see the 1.6L four – which is good because it has an anaemic 122 hp and 150 lb-ft. We also are unlikely to get the six-speed manual, instead settling for the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission driving all four wheels. No weight figures were available.

Infiniti says customers will be able to “personalize” their Q30 thanks to the availability of two trim levels above the base model, Premium, and Sport.

As mentioned, the Sport model gets lower suspension and a more sporty focus, as well as 19-inch alloys, a different bumper and a black grill plus dark chrome rectangular exhaust tips.

Premium models are equipped with 18-inch wheels,  bright chrome exhaust tips, LED fog lamps and heated, body-coloured mirrors.

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