It is impossible to tell at first glance, but the Infiniti Q30 is a little piece of automotive history.
That is because it is the first vehicle from the upmarket Japanese carmaker, which was spun out of Nissan, to be built in Europe. In the north east of England to be precise, following a £250 million investment at Sunderland, where it created 300 new jobs.
That in itself makes it a bit special, but that's nothing to what happens when you get behind the wheel.
More than any other car produced by Infiniti this car feels and behaves like a car built for European drivers.
Based on the Mercedes-Benz GLA, it is solid, composed, and possesses a blend of taut handling and quiet ride comfort that will give any car produced by any German manufacturer a run for its money.
Part of the composure comes from the fact that this car, despite its sleek appearance, has a high driving position and is four-wheel-drive. Infiniti is proud of the fact that the Q30 is particularly hard to pigeon hole.
Its marketing spiel for the car waxes lyrical about unique, category-defying products; a new breed of premium car; an expression of ‘self’ rather than ‘status’ and a ‘made for me’ approach.
That's quite enough of that, but under the coupé-like curves and swooping swirls of the five-seater's bodywork sits a rather engaging car.
Slot behind the flat-bottomed steering wheel – with its dozen control buttons and gearchange paddles – and you instantly appreciate the S badge on the back of the car is there for a reason.
The test car was the Q30 Sport, which has its own personality, riding on 19-inch wheels and sitting 15mm lower than the Q30, with individual suspension settings and distinctive ride and handling characteristics.
Like the best of its premium compact rivals, this is a car that is eager to be driven. Sports seats with integrated headrests, with eight-way adjustment and power lumbar support help you settle in for a comfortable ride.
Part of that comfort comes from a system that monitors the throttle pedal position and engine speed, and works to smooth out any variations in engine tone to emit a pleasing sound under acceleration, through the four door speakers.
Power on the test car came from a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that combines 208 horsepower output with the prospect of fuel consumption in the 40s if you take it easy. 
With a slightly firmer ride than the Q30, the Q30 Sport delivers even tighter body control and reduced pitch and roll, all of which over time helps to make long distance driving much more relaxed for both driver and passengers.
Those on board are treated to a surprising amount of space, both in the cabin and in the sizeable boot.
Technology plays a key part in tempting drivers in this sector and there is a battery of safety systems fitted, ranging from forward collision warning with emergency braking, and auto high beam assist that automatically dips the headlights to avoid dazzling cars driving in the opposite direction, to intelligent cruise control, that maintains a safe distance from the car in front.
The Q30 is also one of the easiest cars to park thanks to automatic park assist, which helps guide the car into parallel spaces and designated parking bays in a car park. Parking is made even easier with the addition of a new camera system using four wide-angle lenses – one on each side of the vehicle – that automatically switches when manoeuvring at low speed to create a ‘bird's-eye’ view on the seven-inch central touchscreen console giving a clear picture of nearby hazards.
Putting technology to one side, there was a time when the ultimate accolade for a car in this class was to talk about a Germanic air of sturdiness. Now we can justifiably talk about Sunderland solidity.

Auto facts
Model: Infiniti Q30 Sport 2.0T 7DCT 4WD
Price: £31,930
Insurance group: 25
Fuel consumption (Combined): 45.6mpg
Top speed: 146mph
Length: 442.5cm/174.2in
Width: 180.5cm/71in
Luggage capacity: 15.2 cu ft
Fuel tank capacity: 12.3 gallons/56 litres
CO2 emissions: 143g/km
Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles