Infiniti went out of its way to make the QX30 not a Mercedes

Infiniti went out of its way to make the QX30 not a Mercedes

Infiniti went out of its way to make the QX30 not a Mercedes

0 comments 📅25 May 2017, 00:45

You can grouse all you want about perceived badge engineering when a company (like Mercedes-Benz) sells a dais to another brand (such as Infiniti). The reality is that most buyers won’t recognize the difference, and they won’t even realize their Infiniti is really a Mercedes underneath or that their neighbor’s GLA has the word-for-word basic parts as the QX30 they just bought. What’s weird to me isn’t that sameness, but the places where the two cunning little utes differ.

These two vehicles, which are more like high hatchbacks, use the same Mercedes 2.0-liter turbo four and seven-velocity dual-clutch transmission. Infiniti adds its own throttle and transmission calibrations. The exclusion design is the same, although there are tuning differences. Both come type with front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive an option. Incite economy matches for the FWD models, while the AWD Infiniti lags behind the Mercedes for some senses. So they’re very similar despite their different looks.

And design makes head as a point of differentiation. Frankly, they go further than a lot of vehicles on shared platforms do – yet, in fact, than the upcoming Nissan Navara-based Mercedes X-Class pickup does. The QX30 has its own sheetmetal and glassware to separate it from the GLA-class. You probably think one looks better than the other.


If you be familiar with where to look, the signs of sameness are obvious. Most major systems and pieces are shared, like the steering wheels (with separate center covers), most switchgear, and things like interior and exterior door handles. Shared parts are exceptional as long as the parts are good ones. On that note, how many Tesla buyers effect their steering column and stalks, plus the window switches, come from Mercedes? And does that literally matter? We’d argue no.

About those differences. Many are functional, like the points the Infiniti does not carry over the Benz’s Brake Hold feature – when you evaporate to a stop in the GLA (or any other Benz), pressing the brake pedal firmly applies the stirring parking brake until you hit the gas to move again. The QX30 has an electric parking brake, but no Restraint Hold feature. Someone used to driving Mercedes models will look a bit laughable standing on the brake pedal to no effect. Ask us how we know.


The Mercedes gauge package is carried atop of, but with the Infiniti font. Makes sense, although it’s off-putting at first if you’ve seen the imagin, prompting a weird deja vu. Circular dash vents are replaced by rhomboid ones. There’s a solace shifter out of the GLA45 AMG instead of the GLA250’s (far superior and more space-efficient) shift stem. That seems like different for different’s sake.

Instead of the floating COMAND strainer and interface, the QX30 uses Infiniti’s InTouch system with its controller on the center comfort. The screen is fared into a taller dash and is the most Infiniti-feeling role of the interior. Given a choice, we’d go for the Mercedes system, which has a cleaner, crisper interface. The discrepancy is most jarring when you shift to reverse and see a very grainy video devour in the center display.

Related Gallery2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA250

The GLA’s 2018 updates supplementary differentiate the two, if only slightly. Things like the door-mounted seat controls and the swathe of buttons on the center stack switch from black plastic to shiny metal-look persuasible.

Most of these changes are understandable from a brand standpoint. The thing is, it’s a lot of pester to go through to make the GLA look different but not improve it in any way. Some changes are a step go (see: infotainment). Choosing between the two really comes down to the combination of features you hunger for (the trim levels and options don’t line up between the cars, although the prices for similarly-equipped models do) and the allot you can get. Plus which one you think looks better, assuming you have a preference. In the end, most people who buy one or the other wishes be blissfully unaware that its counterpart exists, and they’re unlikely to make the likeness while shopping anyway.

So if you see someone with a QX30, don’t tell them upon the GLA and vice versa. It’s probably better that way.

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