Which model offers more, for less?

The new 2018 INFINITI QX30 is now available in Victoria at Campus Infiniti, and we're frankly thrilled to be able to offer you a luxury vehicle that offers all the premium elements and performance capabilities you'd expect from a high-end luxury crossover, but for thousands less than you might pay for the equivalent premium brand vehicle. Yes, we're looking at you, German luxury car brands.

Today we figured it would be a useful and instructive exercise to do a little 2018 INFINITI QX30 vs 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA comparison that BC buyers might find eye-opening, especially given that the QX30, extremely well-equipped as it is, is priced some $4,000 less than its German rival.

Overall performance

It helps to know that in fact the new 2018 QX30 was developed jointly between INFINITI and Mercedes-Benz, and that it uses the same basic mechanical components as the GLA 250; its 2.0L turbo engine produces 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. That powertrain rides on the same chassis as the Mercedes GLA as well, except that its tuning has been sharpened for a more dynamic, car-like driving experience, beginning with nimbler, more-responsive handling. The steering is remarkably precise and instant to react when compared to the GLA, and the engineering team at INFINITI has managed to virtually eliminate roll when cornering or during abrupt changes of direction thanks to ingenious feats of design and use of the latest-generation components.

Sportier, but still resolutely comfortable

Ride smoothness has long been considered a strong point of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and the GLA 250 is no exception on this front. But take a new 2018 INFINITI QX30 out for a road test, find the nearest pothole-infested road or highway, and you'll see that the Japanese model holds its own and then some in this regard. Rattling or squeaks from the body or chassis are notable by their absence, even in these challenging conditions. And yet, the QX30 manages to deliver a sportier drive overall.

Design: staid vs aggressive

Nobody will ever accuse Mercedes-Benz engineers of going "racy" in terms of styling; the GL 250 is solid, its lines pleasing. The QX30, on the other hand, is bolder and more aggressive; it's longer and wider, for one thing, and sits in a low stance, as much for aerodynamic as for esthetic reasons. There's no question it skews younger, more active in the demographic it aims at. First-time luxury-car buyers will love this crossover. The bigger size also gives occupants the benefit of superior legroom and headroom; behind them, the total cargo capacity of 544 litres is among the best in its class, and well ahead of the GLA with its 421 litres.

Standard equipment

The INFINITI QX30 stands apart with its standard inclusion of Nappa leather seating, as opposed to the leatherette offered in the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters are also standard, and owners will love the 10-speaker BOSE audio system that comes with mid-level trims and up; for its part, the GLA comes with an 8-speaker audio system.

Another point to remember is INFINITI's Total Ownership Experience, which provides owners with premium services, for instance Trip Interruption Benefits covering meal, lodging and transportation costs if you breakdown more than 160 kilometers from home; 24-hour Roadside Assistance; and a Complimentary Service Loan Car when you drop off your car for warranty repair.

As for the warranty, the QX30's 6-year/110,00 km powertrain warranty compares favourably with the 4-year/80,000 km coverage offered by Mercedes-Benz for the GLA. All of this, of course, makes a case that is made all the more convincing by the price difference we mentioned earlier: the QX30 starts at some $4,000 less than the Mercedes-Benz GLA.