The high-end SUV market is heating up.
Slowly, but surely, high-end automakers have been bringing SUVs to market. Some have held out as long as possible, but if brands are to survive, they need to make the vehicles customers want. Even if the idea of an SUV was seen previously as going off-brand, companies have had to work out how to put their stamp on an SUV. While Ferrari is still dragging its heels, Lamborghini launched the Urus as its first mass-market SUV in 2018. Well, technically, it's a mass-market vehicle, but its immense price tag is a limiting factor.
Aston Martin's DBX has only just been shown to the world, and although the British automaker has paid exquisite detail to the interior and comfort, performance is a baked-in quality to any Aston Martin vehicle. The two SUVs present two very different propositions, so how do they compare?
This end of the automobile market is not a particularly price-sensitive one. When you reach over the $100,000 mark, people are buying exactly what they want, not what they want on a finite budget. The Lamborghini Urus debuted with a jaw-dropping price of $200,000. That's within a few hundred dollars of a Lamborghini Huracan, and under half the cost of an Aventador S.
In this respect, and this is relatively speaking, the prices are close, but the Aston Martin DBX is set to start at $189,900, a whole $10,000 less expensive. Comparatively within Aston Martin's range, it's around $40,000 more than the 'entry-level' $149,995 Aston Martin Vantage.
The Lamborghini Urus is weighted towards performance in order to remain on-brand. It comes packed with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 641 horsepower and 678 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic. It's not the fastest SUV in a straight line on the market though and is beaten by the 707-hp Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
Aston Martin hasn't held back in the engine department either and has inserted a turbocharged V8 under the hood generating 542 horsepower and 516 ft-lb of torque from under the hood. The DBX makes the sprint to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, while the Urus does the deed in 3.6 seconds.
Aston Martin is delivering its usual level of smooth and distinct styling. The DBX is a sophisticated looking piece of metalwork. Conversely, the Lamborghini Urus looks like it wouldn't be out of place in an action movie with machine gun barrels popping out from behind the headlights. The Urus is an aggressive and bombastic vehicle in true Lamborghini fashion and divides opinions on looks. At first glance, the DBX looks somewhat bland until you start realizing the attention to detail paid to make everything add up. There's no angle the DBX looks bad from.
Lamborghini interiors tend to be reflective of the car's personality and built using the kind of materials you expect for the money that's paid for them. However, Aston Martin tends to be a cut above. For the DBX, it's clear the British carmaker has obsessed over making the interior of the DBX a pleasant place to be, but also one that is practical and with enough room to make sure the passengers can be chauffeured around in comfort.
Aston has also made sure its gotten female guidance into the interior of its SUV. In contrast, Lamborghini seems to think that because the Urus has seats in the back, then it's magically going to appeal to the female demographic because it's "a softer side of Italian supercars," and "family-oriented."
We're looking at two completely different SUVs playing in the same ballpark here. One is an aggressively styled statement of a vehicle packed with aggressive performance. The other is a more sophisticated statement of style and elegance backed up by a big dollop of power. The Urus is aimed squarely at people that want to scare the hell out of the kids and get an adrenaline rush on the way home from work. The Aston Martin wants people to enjoy every aspect of the vehicle, whether its on a long journey, carting the family or executives around, or taking the long way home from work. Either way, both companies are seeking to serve the hell out of its customers.