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The Aston Martin DBX is a big, practical and indulgent SUV that has surprising dynamism and unsurprising power.

25 Feb 2021


There are certain brands that you just instinctively associate with certain types of cars. Rolls-Royce? Opulent limousines. Ferrari? Firecracker sportscars. Lamborghini? Outrageous sportscars. Aston Martin? Dramatic coupes.

One thing you'd never imagine, is an SUV. 10 years ago, that would have been almost blasphemous. Alas, how times have change. Nowadays, it’s basically a given that all these brands have to make an SUV. The market demands it, and therefore their bottom-line needs it.

And so, inevitably, we now have an Aston Martin SUV - this all new DBX.

Brand new skin

Especially from the side profile, the DBX is a dramatic thing to behold
The Aston Martin brand evokes a particular sort of visual style - dramatic, muscular and immediately eye-catching.

The DBX does manage to capture that. There are some angles that aren’t the most flattering (the rear view is too narrow and tall), but especially from the side and at three quarter angles, the DBX is undeniably dramatic. With the signature DB grille up front, sculptured sides and a flip on the tailgate that draws inspiration from the Vantage, the DBX certainly makes a strong statement (as any Aston should).

All the requisite golfing equipment will easily fit into the DBX's large boot
Move inside, and you are greeted by a seemingly endless expanse of leather. Just about every conceivable surface has been swathed with leather - even the speakers are hidden under leather trim, with holes cut out to let music through. It's almost massively spacious (something the brand deliberately set out to do). Rear head and legroom are judicious.

Is it the most technologically advanced and comprehensive interior in the world? No, it's not. The infotainment system isn't touchscreen, there’s not a lot in terms of tech gizmos, and you don’t even get an auto-hold function.

Same old grin

The 4.0-litre engine pumps out a whopping 542bhp and 700Nm of torque
Where the DBX still most feels like a 'traditional' Aston Martin is when you flex your right foot. With 542bhp and 700Nm of torque from the 4.0-litre V8 engine, going quickly is much too easy. 0-100km/h takes just 4.5 seconds, and when you push higher into the rev range you are met with a lovely soundtrack.

Over long distances, this is an effortlessly comfortable car. Driven lightly, it's quiet, refined and easy-going (though it does have a rather big footprint on the road). Adaptive cruise control is also useful when you want to cruise along at highway speeds (there’s also a cool icon that harkens back to the DB5).

In the sportier settings, the DBX drives with a dynamic capability quite unbecoming of a car its size
The car also handles with much more dynamic capability than it has any right to. Throw it into a few corners and the DBS demonstrates body control and steering precision that hide its high-riding demeanour and 2,245kg kerb weight. And because the car is fitted with all-wheel drive and massive tyres, there’s plenty of grip on offer, too.

Driven enthusiastically, the car doesn't seem as huge as it actually is. It's not quite sports car-fun, but it's deifinitely more than than an SUV should reasonably be. 

New beginnings

I'll be honest, I wasn’t particularly excited about the DBX. As with most of these other SUVs from brands that "shouldn't" be making SUVs, it’s easy to feel a bit cynical about these cars.

The DBX delivers ample comfort and practicality for five people (not something you could previously say about any other Aston Martins)
But there's no denying the appeal of a car like this. For Aston Martin fans, the DBX manages to deliver an authentic Aston experience, minus some of the perceived inconveniences.

For the more mature owners who don't want to be constantly clambering into their low, cramped two-seaters, the DBX is the perfect everyday car. It’s easy to drive, easy to get in and out of, easy to chuck the golf bags in the boot, and the wife certainly isn’t going to be able to complain that it’s another dumb impractical sports car. It manages to strike a balance between performance, practicality and indulgence in equal measure.

With its blend of Aston Martin performance and SUV practicality, there's no doubt that the DBX will be a hit
You won't find posters of the DBX on bedroom walls. It doesn't have the same evocative appeal compared to cars like the DB11 or the Vantage. But, for those cars to continue to exist, something like the DBX becomes effectively necessary. And in this SUV-crazy day and age, it’s also going to sell well (there are only three units currently left in Singapore, so people are obviously buying it).

So, I have to put my cynicism aside. The DBX is a perfectly capable, surprisingly dynamic and attention-grabbing Aston Martin. So what if it's an SUV? If it allows more Vantages to be made down the line then, hey, I'm all for it.

Car Information

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Aston Martin DBX 4.0 V8 (A)
Rate it

Price

: POA

Engine Type

:

V8 Twin-Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

3982cc

Horsepower

:

404kW (542 bhp) / 6500 rpm

Torque

:

700 Nm / 5000 rpm

Transmission

:

9-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

4.5sec

Top Speed

:

291km/h

Fuel consumption

:

7 km/L

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