2021 Aston Martin DBX Review - Marvelous
The new Aston Martin DBX is a surprising car, as unsurprising as that may sound.
I still remember the day when Aston Martin officially confirmed that it will be making an SUV. After months of speculation on the subject and lots of online chatter, the officials in Wales finally admitted that they were caving to the peer pressure exerted by the industry and that they will be adding a high-riding vehicle to their line-up.
The fans reacted as you probably can imagine, with pitchforks and angry Twitter posts but the harsh reality of the whole thing is that car makers today have to adapt or die. The same happened when Porsche unveiled the first Cayenne or when BMW decided to make the X5. Today, more than ever, having an SUV in your line-up is a must as the consumers prefer this body type to anything else seemingly.
After all, it's only natural to see such moves happening. Bentley has an SUV, Rolls-Royce has one, Lamborghini is seeing sales surging thanks to its Urus and even Ferrari is working on an SUV right now as Hell might finally be freezing over. Why wouldn't Aston Martin do the same? And the DBX is quite a machine, oozing with Aston Martin DNA and feeling just like anyone ever imagined it would.
Just picture a DB11 on stilts and you get the idea. The exterior design is on point, with familiar trademark features noticeable up front and a massive ducktail at the back, huge 22" wheels and wide tires all around. It's an Aston Martin from everywhere you look and you could easily tell who makes it even without the badges.
The interior fits the bill as well, with a clean cut design and being decked with the best materials around. Everywhere you look and feel you're met with leather, wood or glass. The fit and finish is impeccable and if there's one thing I can criticize, it's definitely the harshness of the seats. Then again, this is supposed to be a sporty SUV....
However, you won't care about any of that once you start up the engine. In case you haven't noticed, Aston Martin has been using Mercedes powerplants for quite some time now and that's a good thing, especially since we're talking about a V8 here.
That would be the M177 4-liter twin-turbo V8 from Mercedes-AMG, to be more precise, tuned to deliver 550 HP and 700 Nm of torque. Hooked up to an all-wheel drive system and a 9-speed gearbox of the same origin, the DBX reaches 100 km/h from standstill in just 4.5 seconds. Yes, it's not as fast as some of its rivals, but straight line acceleration isn't everything. You won't even care that much about that either once you hear that raucous V8 doing its thing. The sound this car makes is truly unique and it will be stuck in your head for a while, as it happened to me.
And yes, the DBX is a great handling car, despite its weight. It has special tools at hand in order to achieve superior dynamics, like active anti-roll bars, that work against the laws of physics, to keep the car as flat as possible under hard cornering. It's quite amazing how the whole thing works, to be honest, keeping the balance of the car in check seemingly without an issue. You still feel its weight though, pushing through the subframe but it's admirable how composed the DBX feels overall.
Is this the most agile car in the segment? No. Do you really care? Not really. I would take the Aston Martin over any other car in this price segment for a couple of very simple reasons: it has its own platform (unlike the Bentayga), it's comfortable and fast enough (unlike the Urus) and looks and sounds absolutely incredible. What's there not to like?