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Car and Driver: What’s In a Name? Infiniti Changes Q30 Name Before Car Even Goes on Sale

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2017 Infiniti Q30s

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Infiniti has a fetish for nomenclature changes, it seems. After confusing everybody with its switch to a Q-everything naming scheme for its cars and crossovers two years ago, the automaker has gone and changed the name of its upcoming Q30 pseudo-crossover before the car even goes on sale. Infiniti had been referring to the tallish, not-quite-crossover Q30 as, well, the Q30 for nearly two years, from the debut of the concept version all the way up the production car’s reveal and our first drive opportunity a few months ago. The marketing strategy pegged the front-drive Q30 as Infiniti’s compact “car,” while the upcoming QX30, essentially the same vehicle but with all-wheel drive and slightly different lower-body cladding and a raised ride height, was to be a “crossover.” Now, they’re all QX30s here in the U.S., which makes sense given how similar they all are.

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Outside of the naming, the Q30/QX30 story hasn’t changed. There still will be front-wheel-drive entry-level and sport-oriented models, as well as a range-topping all-wheel-drive version pegged as a sort-of crossover. The only difference is that the first two versions now carry the same “QX30″ moniker as the all-wheel-drive model.

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We suspect the change can also be traced to Infiniti’s marketing department, which likely figured out there’s more money to be minted referring to every version as a “crossover.” Again, we don’t disagree with the logic—after all, as we pointed out in our Q30—er, QX30—first drive review, that the vaguely crossover-shaped Q30 would be far better served marketed as a full-blown crossover, given how hot that market segment is (and how cold the entry-luxury hatchbacks field is). Predictably, Infiniti’s announcement for the QX30 name is awash in “crossover” descriptors, even for the front-wheel-drive, base-model QX30.

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The now-finalized lineup also includes the QX30S, which is based on the European-market Q30 Sport. The QX30S has the Euro-spec car’s “a lower stance, aggressive front and rear fascia, cross-drilled front brake rotors, 19-inch wheels and performance tires.” Finally, the QX30 AWD retains the mantle of being the true crossover in the family, with standard all-wheel drive, butched-up front and rear fascias, and a raised ride height. Look for all the QX30 models to hit dealerships in mid-2016, with a starting price in the low-$30,000 space.

-vPh-e1iItLc

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