Lainston House Hotel, Hampshire
Words by Tony G
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With the exception of very few sports car manufacturers, there are very little proper sporty choices in the SUV arena. Which is why when we heard Aston Martin had decided to release their own take on an SUV, we were supremely excited. At last a proper sporty SUV that you can be proud to drive, not embarrassed.
Indeed Aston Martin have executed a masterpiece in British engineering, ensuring as many tick boxes are checked for the discerning super car owner as possible, without making it an intimidating drive for the normal car driver.
This car is for those who don’t want to lose it in the Golf Club car park as they might with a Range Rover or have something as in-your-face as the Lamborghini Urus. It’s these two I feel that the DBX has been designed to compete directly with.
A lot of care has been made in capturing the essence of the Aston Martin design heritage in the DBX. The front grille retains the classic shape of DB’s that can be traced right back to the first DB, the DB1. It’s the largest grille they’ve ever made, but, yet it’s in perfect proportion to the rest of the car. Again, the rear end and tailgate swoop up at its end is a nod to the New Vantage design lines.
It has the customary ‘Swan Doors’ that you see on other Aston Martins, with them opening slightly up and away of kerbs is a nice detail that we’re pleased to see the DBX getting.
The amount of space inside is much bigger than the outside would indicate. Acres of space adorned with stitched leather and a welcome option of alcantara, which was everywhere including the headlining that slowly slipped away (at the push of a button) in to the back of the roof to reveal a panoramic view of the sky.
Not stopping there with the comfort in the front, as it is mirrored in the back with your own aircon controls, heated AND fan cooled seats much appreciated during the current heatwave we’re having.
Unlike other Aston Martins now in the range, this one actually has a glove box! A small thing but useful nevertheless.
What’s it like to drive:
At 542BHP and 700Nm of torque, the Mercedes-AMG’s M177 power plant borrowed by Aston Martin to propel this brute, is no slouch, with 62mph being only a thrilling 4.5 seconds away and a top speed of 181mph.
The 4ltr twin turbo V8 simply roars with the exhaust valves open in Sports+ mode, popping and cracking like a bonfire (the mode we enjoyed using the most around town).
Being somewhere between the size of a Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Sport, with the performance of a proper supercar (there lies the contradiction in driving the DBX), it’s quite a shock to the senses, if not prepared when first pulling away, shooting off the line without any hesitation.
Again, with the high driving position in a SUV, you’d be wrong in thinking that the high centre of gravity of this would effect handling, giving a rather wallowing feel around corners.
Not at all!
The unique construction of DBX keeps its centre of gravity low, keeping it composed and level whilst weaving tightly through country roads as well as when stretching its legs out on the motorway.
Much of this I feel is due Aston Martin’s commitment to the driver experience. Instead of the usual mechanical assistance of anti-roll bars providing chassis stiffness round corners, Aston Martin has deployed an ingenious 48V electronic anti-roll system that improves stiffness on the road, yet allowing maximum articulation when off it.
All of these elements couple seamlessly in to what I can only describe as a GT car experience with the practicality of a 4×4 SUV.
And finally you feel proud to be driving this car, it’s the gentleman’s Range Rover SVR. You’d be happy to pop out and do the school run in this car. In fact, it would be the ‘any excuse’ you needed to take it for a drive.
Going skiing in France? Taking 4 people plus a substantial amount of luggage, this car would leave you arguing who would do the driving!
Hmmmm driving into the French mountains? Who’s coming?
Is it practical:
I can only think that Aston Martin has gone through a long list of requirements from a number of workshops around the world, to then deliver on every one. Yes, there are a few quirks like the absence of a rear screen wiper, soft close doors and a missing lid on the rear cup holder. All can be overlooked when style and perfect lines are front and centre to create the overall package.
Should you buy it:
A base price of £158k is very compelling, providing stiff competition to the Urus and Range Rover SVR. My only thought is that you should experience the DBX for yourself.
If you would like to test drive an Aston Martin DBX, Please make contact with Richard Hutton at Aston Martin Chichester, who will only be too happy to look after you.
- We’d like to thank Aston Martin Chichester for lending us the Aston Martin DBX
- Lainston House Hotel for the beautiful backdrop
- Our wonderful lady models for being such great sports (Happy to send you the photos)
- Tony G & Greg G for giving up their time to create this review
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