By most objective measures, the Aston Martin Rapide wouldn’t be billed as the best car launched in 2010. It costs at least £144,950, leaves its two rear occupants shorter on space than they’d rightly expect and sports a relatively piffling 317-litre boot. Given all this, it’s easy to be cynical about the Rapide. I know I was.

Cars in general, and luxury cars in particular, though, have never worked along strictly objective lines, have they? It’s what separates cars from fridges. And if there’s one thing the Aston Rapide does better than more or less any other new car I can think of, it’s make its driver feel damned good about himself.

I can’t think of a car whose control weights and progression are as pleasingly resolved as the Rapide’s, whose throttle, brake and steering are as delicately in tune. Its chassis, meanwhile, expertly treads a fine line between comfort and poise.