4.5 out of 5 4.5
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Aston Martin’s most family-friendly model to date

Aston Martin DBX SUV (20 on) - rated 4.5 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £160,230 - £160,230
Used price £121,730 - £137,785
Fuel Economy 19.8 mpg
Road tax cost £475
New

PROS

  • Four-door SUV body emphasises practicality
  • Arguably classier than a Bentley Bentayga
  • 4.0-litre V8 is well-proven in other applications

CONS

  • Proportions are a little strange
  • Won't please purists
  • Is it ever likely to go off-road?

Aston Martin DBX SUV rivals

Written by Ben Miller on

Aston Martin's first-ever SUV – the DBX - adds to a growing class of upmarket performance cars with off-road image and often, capability. For a brand that has demonstrated unwavering focus, it's a bold step - the first time that the marque has ventured out of its more natural home on the road and race track.

Aston Martin's new baby isn't free of competition, even at a starting price of £158,000. The DBX ventures out into an expanding and highly lucrative global market that’s attracting more and more high-end manufacturers – the luxury performance SUV.

It challenges three established models from Volkswagen Group - the Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga and Porsche Cayenne, plus the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Maserati Levante and top-end Range Rovers. All appeal to different types of buyers, and Aston Martin clearly thinks its customers are asking for a high-riding, practical model such as the DBX.

Easier on the eye than either the Bentley or the Rolls-Royce, the DBX – as befits the badge on its nose – also promises an altogether keener driving experience, even as it also offers more practical transport (all-wheel drive, cossetting air springs, an embarrassment of interior space) than any Aston before it.

 

What's under the skin? 

Aston Martin DBX (2020) interior

The seats and driving position are supremely comfortable and visibility is excellent, Aston having used the open space of its St Athan site in Wales (where the DBX factory now stands) to mock up a toy town of junctions, roundabouts and crossings, around which early DBX prototypes tootled to evaluate such things as sight lines and unobtrusive pillars.

Interior space is generous in the extreme. Six-foot-tall second-rowers can sit comfortably behind six-foot-tall front-seat occupants. The quality of finish, too, from the brogued leatherwork to Aston’s new infotainment screen and steering wheel, is a cut or two above the Vantage and DB11. The Mercedes-Benz electronics deployed here give the DBX tech such as adaptive cruise, autonomous emergency brake assist and, on the infotainment side, a bigger screen and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Adaptive cruise is handy (the two little DB5 icons that flash up when you’re adjusting the gap to the car in front is a lovely touch), though lane-keep assist and lane departure warning don’t seem keen to help. On the move, road noise – given that all DBXs roll on 22s – is well suppressed, the cabin eerily quiet apart from the whisper of wind around the door mirrors and, under acceleration, the baritone efforts of the V8.

Talking of that V8, its performance coupled with the car’s comfort and effortlessness mean miles simply melt, the DBX shrinking journey times by making up time everywhere; away from every junction, with every opportunistic overtake, out of every roundabout.

Aston Martin DBX (2020) rear seats

What's it like to drive?

The big question is have they made it handle like an Aston Martin? More than any  big SUV has any right to, believe it or not. Aston Martin has managed to create a kind of plus-sized Porsche Macan.

The underpinnings are bespoke to the DBX and wrought in Aston’s beloved aluminium. It is also rigid, relatively light (kerbweight is 2245kg) and thrusts its vast wheels out to each corner of the car in search of fine dynamics and handsome proportions. For the rest of the all-important oily bits, the DBX cherry-picks an edit of big-ticket OEM stuff and the very best stuff from top notch suppliers, like ZF’s silken nine-speeder and roll-crushing electronic anti-roll bars.

We droe it first on a track, which feels ridiculous right up until the point – halfway around the first corner – when you realise that the DBX grips, rotates and communicates like no SUV before it. And on the road? Tighter corners aren’t the DBS’s forte – the laws of physics are not entirely immutable – but there’s grip to spare and impressive body control, particularly in the feistier drive modes (you cycle through these via up and down arrows on the centre console, the DBX rising and falling on its air springs as you do so).

Cornering like a sports car

Find some quicker corners, work the column-mounted shift paddles manually, and you'll only need third and fourth to see you convincingly through almost every kind of corner. The Aston Martin is simply breathtaking – impossibly agile, able to carry scarcely believable speeds through corners thanks to its excellent steering and drive-shuffling active rear e-differential

It's capable of gliding through corners hard and fast and with an entirely unexpected level of feedback, allowing you to have unseemly amounts of fun in this SUV. Is it convincing as an Aston? More so than some of its predecessors, assisted of course by hardware they could only dream of.

Aston Martin DBX (2020) cornering

Will it go off-road?

Few will take it off road, but don't think the car can’t do it. On loose, slippery surfaces the DBX’s intrinsic rightness – the high driving position and slim pillars make for excellent visibility, while the keen, direct steering (2.6 turns lock to lock) and rear-biased powertrain build driver confidence – make it as engaging off tarmac as it is on it.

Aston Martin offeris three tyre options, a summer, a winter and an all-season Pirelli, and on the latter the DBX is unstoppable, powering up climbs on a surge of easy traction and even easier AMG V8 torque before hill descent control sees you safely back down the other side, the system selectively pinching brakes as it works to keep your speed at walking pace, rather than the runaway train physics would suggest it should be. With the air suspension jacked right up, ground clearance is mighty.

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Is the Aston Martin DBX worth your attention? Read on for the Parkers verdict on this super-SUV.

Aston Martin DBX SUV rivals