LA Auto Show 2019

Aston Martin launches new high-performance DBX, an SUV with the soul of a sports car

The DBX is Aston Martin's first SUV.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

Aston Martin has finally pulled the cover off its much-anticipated SUV, the DBX, following the development pattern other super luxury automakers like Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce. The DBX is chocked full of distinctive Aston Martin flare from the interior materials choices to the exterior design execution.

"I can't emphasize enough how incredibly exciting and significant DBX is for Aston Martin," said Aston Martin Lagonda President & Group CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer. "Through its development alone, this beautiful SUV has already taken the company into new territories and in inspiring directions."

The SUV isn't just pretty; it's pretty capable.Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

Before you start in on how it looks like a Ford Escape, it's important to note that the DBX doesn't photograph nearly as good as it looks in person. In-person you can see the nuanced sculptural elements of the SUV's nose that give the upper lip a curled leading edge and aggressive yet nuanced fender flares.

At the back, the rear of the SUV has a unique trunk design that gives the model hips. When emphasized with illuminated taillights, the look is both unique and fashionable.

Frameless door glass and a panoramic roof add to the elegance of the SUV's design.

2020 Aston Martin DBX interior roof glass The supple leather Aston Martin usually fills its cars with carries over into the new model.Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

The clean sheet design uses bonded aluminum and a new Aston Martin platform to create the SUV, which has a curb weight just under 5,000 pounds. The structure allows the cabin to be roomy, with class-leading interior space.

The DBX is Aston Martin's first five-seater. It boasts class-leading headroom and legroom. Five adults fit in the SUV with enough rear legroom for taller individuals to feel comfortable even with the front seats all the way back. Seats are outfitted in full-grain leather while the headliner is available in Alcantara leather.

The car is squat in its stance, the same way other crossovers are.Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

The luxury automaker has given the car a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that turns out 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paried with a nine-speed automatic transmission and comes with a rear limited slip differential. The DBX can get from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 181 mph.

Aston Martin boasts that the model will have around 20-inches of water fording ability and enough off-road prowess to satisfy most customers.

Aston Martin has evolved its center console in the new model but it still feels very dated compared to what you'll find in mainstream SUVs. However, it is competitive with other super luxury automaker offerings. In the center is a 10.25-inch infotainment screen while a 12.3-inch screen sits in front of the driver.

Aston Martin has given the vehicle high-quality appointments.Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

Apple CarPlay, a 360-degree camera system, and 64-color ambient lighting in two zones come standard.

A number of accessory packages are available to enhance the DBX.

U.S. buyers can get their DBX for $189,900. Enhancements and customization is extra. Orders are currently being accepted and the first delivers will begin in the second quarter of 2020.

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Updated premium crossover

2022 Infiniti QX50 picks up new standard features

The new QX50 gets more tech and safety features.

Infiniti

Infiniti is one of a handful of automakers that have continued developing and building cars instead of focusing only on higher-profit and much more popular SUVs and trucks. That said, Infiniti's catalog is crossover- and SUV-heavy. Its smallest and least expensive crossover, the QX50 gets a handful of new features for 2022, and today Infiniti announced pricing.

Infiniti offers the 2022 QX50 in five trims: $40,025 Pure, $43,375 Luxe, $47,825 Essential, $52,525 Sensory, and $57,975 Autograph. All trims get Infiniti's variable compression (VC-Turbo) engine that makes 268 horsepower and returns up to 26 mpg combined. The advanced engine shifts its compression ratio to match the driver's behavior. When more power is needed, the compression changes, and when efficiency is the priority, it changes again. It's a marvel of engineering, but it's not as fuel-efficient as a hybrid. Power reaches the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission.

2022 Infiniti QX50 Pricing starts at around $40,000.Infiniti

Beyond the new standard features for 2022, buyers of the new QX50 will have to step up to the Luxe trim to get the most desirable features such as auto-folding exterior side mirrors, power lumbar support, and perforated leather upholstery. Standard comfort gear includes eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Infiniti stuck with its dual-screen infotainment configuration with the 2022 QX50. The top eight-inch screen handles wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto duties, as well as navigation. The bottom seven-inch screen handles vehicle controls, radio stations, and other settings. Though the system looks great and adds a high-tech feel to the cabin, two screens can be distracting and confusing while driving. The good news is that the QX50 gets an excellent 16-speaker Bose stereo starting with the Luxe trim.

2022 Infiniti QX50 ProPilot Assist and Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are now standardInfiniti

The 2022 QX50 hasn't been crash tested by either major ratings organization yet, but the 2021 model performed well. It earned Good ratings in crash testes and a Superior score for its standard crash prevention systems. The 2022 QX50 comes standard with Infiniti's ProPilot Assist system, which brings advanced adaptive cruise control functions that can center the car in its lane, brake, and accelerate. Other standard tech includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, predictive forward collision warnings, and forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.


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Updated compact SUV

2022 Nissan Rogue gets new VC Turbo engine

The Rogue was fully redesigned last year.

Nissan

Nissan refreshed its best-selling vehicle, the Rogue SUV, in 2021 with a grown-up new look and plenty of new tech. Changes the year after a major overhaul are usually minor, but for 2022 Nissan's giving the Rogue a new powertrain. A brand-new 1.5-liter variable compression (VC) Turbo engine is on board, producing 201 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque.

2022 Nissan Rogue The new VC engine can change its compression to adapt to driving conditions.Nissan

Power is up 11 percent and torque is up a staggering 24 percent with the new power plant. The variable compression engine is capable of adapting to changing driving conditions. When the driver needs more power, the engine shifts to higher compression, which delivers better acceleration at the expense of fuel economy. When efficiency is best, the engine changes its compression again. The VC engines made their debut in 2019 in both the Infiniti QX50 and Nissan Altima. It's trick engine technology, but it doesn't always deliver on its promise of efficiency gains. Nissan's continuously variable transmission is still in place, though it has been improved with 17 percent wider gear ratio coverage and 32 percent lower friction. The automaker says it helps deliver better acceleration and fuel economy.

2022 Nissan Rogue Top Rogue trims get upscale finishes and a handsome cabin.Nissan

Pricing for the 2022 Rogue S FWD starts at $27,875, including a $1,175 destination charge. Adding all-wheel drive pushes the price by $1,500. Nissan offers three packages for the SUV as well, including a $2,660 SV Premium Package, a $1,320 SL Premium Package, and a $400 10.8-inch head-up display for the top Platinum trim.

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