The latest entrant into the high-powered, luxury sports SUV sector has been fully revealed, with Aston Martin taking the covers off the DBX, after recently giving us a sneak preview of its interior and told us the starting price.
Shown in full for the first time in China, the Aston SUV looks distinctively AM from the front, with design cues from the rest of the family, but being an SUV there isn’t too much it can take in terms of its profile.
From the front you’re greeted with an elegantly creased bonnet with twin vents, typical family headlights and that hallmark wide Aston grille below. The first hint that you’re looking at an SUV is spotting the roof rails, but in many ways it looks as though it’s a shooting brake on unbelievably oversized wheels – they are 22″ standards, so they aren’t small…
Moving back, the roofline swoops to a spoiler above the rear window, beneath which there’s a set of very sportily haunched hips. These then merge into a lip spoiler below the rear window, mimicking that of the Vantage coupe, and ultimately creating a double pointed rear-end in side profile. Like the lip, the rear lights maintain a very similar design language to that of the Vantage, as they follow the contours of the bodywork.
As confirmed a few weeks ago, the DBX will have the most powerful V8 in the current Aston range, with 542bhp and 516lbf.ft, meaning that it’s spritely to say the least. This is helped by the fact that the DBX will weigh just 2,245kg, which isn’t as much as a number of its rivals.
The DBX is equipped to be both comfortable off-road, but also as an outright SUV. To help in these stakes, it sits on triple volume air-suspension, which is adaptive, and is paired to a 48v anti-roll system. Ride height can be adjusted by 45mm upwards and 50mm below the standard setting,
Transmission wise, the DBX utilises an automatic nine-speed torque converter ‘box. It is paired to an all-wheel drive system with an active central differentials, and an electric limited slip diff at the rear.
Being an SUV, practicality was fairly high on the DBX’s list of priorities. It’s Aston’s first full-sized five-seater, with 632-litres of boot space and a driving position to stretch from the 5th percentile female proportions to those of the 99th percentile male. The rear seats can fold flat and are split individually in a 40:20:40 ratio whilst the boot lip is narrow across a broad aperture, so this actually is a practical Aston.
Were anybody to take it off-road, then they’ll find it useful to know that at various heights, the DBX can pose 22.2º approach angle, 24.3º departure and 15.1º brake over angles. Although at maximum ride-height they read 25.7º, 27.1º and 18.8º. Standard ride-height gives 190mm ground clearance, but at the highest setting you’ll have 235mm. Wading depth is 500mm, whilst towing capacity is 2.7-tonnes.
Inside, there is a high level of kit and high-quality materials. A handcrafted interior is lit via a full-length panoramic roof, but takes inspiration from a sports car setup in the front, which means there is more knee and leg room for those in the rear.
Seating is plushly upholstered in full-grain leather, with both headlining and electronic sunroof cover available in alcantara. The majority of the swooping dashboard and cabin is kitted out in leather, wood and metal, so not only will the DBX interior look the part it should feel it, too.
Of course there is a 10.25″ touchscreen in the mix, whilst the driver information comes from a 12.3″ TFT display. Apple CarPlay comes as standard on the system, as does a 360º camera system and ambient lighting that offers 64 different shades.
Safety equipment is also present on the DBX, with adaptive cruise, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Change Warning, Rear Cross Traffic warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Blind Spot Warning, Door Opening Warning, Emergency call and then the usual ISOFIX fittings, airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners. Pretty well-specced, then.
Several accessory packs are available to enhance the SUVs capability and suitability to family life. These include the Pet Package and a Snow package for those winter ski trips.
So, there it is. all of the ingredients which Aston Martin will make an SUV that does for the marque what the Cayenne has done for Porsche and the Levante for Maserati, the X5 for BMW and so on and so forth. On paper it sounds compelling, it’s looks will be divisive and at £158-grand it is expensive. But it is a very competitive sector, so only time will tell of its success.