Aston Martin released the DBX recently and I have never really looked into any Astons before, so I did some research. That included speaking to someone from Aston Martin to make sure I got all the details perfect. It turns out, they feel the same way about their cars as I feel about my columns.
The typical car takes about 30 hours to build – well, an economy car does. For Aston Martin this process looks a lot different. The DBX spends over 230 hours in production ranging from assembly and fitting seats to painting and numerous tests and quality control. For the next three minutes I’ll take you on a journey through an Aston Martin factory and explain why the DBX costs $205,000, plus compare some other reasonably priced options.
The creation starts in a factory; however, these look much different from those currently making other vehicles. Inside you’ll find no assembly robots at all. Aston prides themselves on the hand-built standard. The leather is hand-stretched around the bucket seats, the instruments finely tuned to perfection and every inch of curve painted with care. The car is less of a means of transportation and more of a piece of art. In some cases, the paint is mixed with crushed pearls to give a reflective effect. The only robots in use are geometry robots which help each artisan line up the components correctly.
You may be asking yourself, who on earth would buy such a convoluted piece of steel, aluminum, wires, and glass? Well, this is what we call a niche market. Supply and demand are low and in this case the demand is low because of the price and “extras.” Aston obviously sells enough to keep them in business and that’s what matters. Their costumers have high standards and Aston seems to meet them well.
There are other SUVs that do “SUV things” better. Bigger trunk space, more cabin room, four-wheel drive, and the rest of the lot. No one in the right mind would drive a DBX offroad, but again that’s not what it’s for. It’s for looking magnificent and I guarantee it won’t look good covered in mud. Take many luxury SUVs – for example, BMW X5, Mercades GLC, Alfa Romeo Stelvio and the Lexus RX 350. The likelihood of seeing these on a mud run is very low. But not as low as the DBX. They may be able to do it mechanically, but you probably shouldn’t do it. It’s for people who would have otherwise bought an Alfa Romeo Gulia, Mercedes C Class, BMW 4 Series, or a Lexus IS. In other words, they are for people who would have bought luxury coupes or saloon cars possibly because, but not limited to, having children.
I say the Aston doesn’t fit into the category of luxury SUV very well. As a matter of fact, I think SUVs are not accurately named at all. It seems unlikely for sport and utility to perform at their finest together. They all just work better as sports cars anyway.
There’s the Ferrari Purosangue at the top closely followed by the Lamborghini Urus, the Aston Martin DBX in the middle trailing slightly behind the Bentley Bentayga, followed by other companies like Porsches and Alfa and then the classic European competitors like BMW etc.
Almost every car company you can think of has their take on an SUV. It allows those sporty aspects to come together with the spacious interior of bigger vehicles. But those attributes don’t fit well in context. When I think of “utility” I think, towing, or climbing, trail blazing and so on and “sport” I think, performance, speed, horsepower and grip with firm suspension. An SUV is a compromise of all of those things with nothing gained than perhaps an interesting looking car. Even Lotus is trying their hand at an SUV supposedly coming out next year. Despite my disposition, it is a smart business decision to create SUVs, so all the power to them!
A recent transplant to Thompson, Jay Hurley is a freelance columnist with a focus on cars, lifestyle and culinary arts. He is from Ontario and studied broadcast and contemporary media.