2022 Aston Martin DBX review (video)

If James Bond ever needed a family car, this’d be it. The new Aston Martin DBX. This is the fourth model among the new wave of super-SUVs to arrive, following the Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and Lamborghini Urus. It’s also, rather obviously, the first SUV Aston Martin has ever made.

Prices start from $356,512 (excluding on-road costs). At first that seems like a big figure. But, actually, compared with its key rivals the DBX is one of the less-expensive options. The entry Bentayga starts from around $365k, and the Urus starts at about $392k, with the Rolls-Royce Cullinan sitting perched up on another level, priced from around $692k.

However, at this end of the market, we doubt pricing is even remotely concerning for the elite buyers here. But for us, we think it is an interesting detail to report, as mere journalists.

2022 Aston Martin DBX – THE SPECS

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Output: 405kW@6500rpm / 700Nm@2200-5000rpm
Transmission: Nine-speed auto
Drive type: All-wheel drive
Wheels: F: 22×10.0, 255/35  R: 22×11.5, 255/35
ANCAP: Not tested
Kerb weight: 2245kg
Power-to-weight: 5.54:1 (kg:kW)
Official fuel economy: 12.4L/100km
Economy during test: 16L/100km
Fuel capacity/Type: 85L/98 RON

Power efficiency: 32.66kW:L/100km
0-60km/h: 2.66 seconds*
0-100km/h: 4.85 seconds*
0-200km/h: 15.90 seconds*
60-110km/h:
2.91 seconds*
1/4 mile: 12.99 seconds at 182.4km/h*
Max acceleration: 0.867g
100-0km/h braking: 3.00 seconds at 38.42 metres*
Max deceleration: -1.260g
Decibel at idle: 50*
Peak decibel at 60-100km/h: 93*
Priced from: $356,512

* Figures as tested by PerformanceDrive on the day. Factory claims may be different

2022 Aston Martin DBX – THE PACKAGE

It definitely looks like an Aston. In that, it is breathtaking to behold. It’s got the sinuous lines, muscular wheel arches, and the company’s trademark grille at the front. The rear does swoop down a bit like a coupe, but don’t be fooled by its sporty portions. This is a big SUV, measuring just over five metres long and two metres wide. Attention to detail is of course spectacular, with intricate lighting details across the back end in the company’s latest theme, and lots of aerodynamic flourishes providing that seductive, supercar-inspired flair.

As standard the DBX comes with adjustable air suspension. We wouldn’t describe this as an off-road monster, with just 190mm of ground clearance in the default setting. However, you can raise the height by 45mm if you wish. That transforms the DBX so it provides a similar ground clearance as what you get in most 4×4 utes at the moment. A set of massive 22-inch alloy wheels come as standard, wrapped in 285/40 front and 325/35 rear Pirelli Scorpion tyres. These hoops are not really intended for serious off-road abuse, but they are designed for a bit of dirt and mud.

Inside, in this colour combination, it doesn’t quite match the wow factor of the exterior in our opinion. If we’re completely honest. The steering wheel in particular doesn’t look that enticing, and because most surfaces and fixtures are black, nothing really stands out and pops. To fix this potential issue (if you feel the same), we’d recommend optioning something like a deep burgundy leather or rich tan. Of course some options are very expensive. In fact, you can choose satin exterior paint from the Q division and it’ll instantly add $36,160 to the bill. You can also get exclusive Q leather for $27,820.

Like the exterior, the attention to detail inside is endless. We love the iconic start button and gear selector buttons across the top of the dash, and the sensual shape of the centre console. Underneath which is a sizeable storage bed which goes some length to hide valuables and so on. All surfaces are coated in fine leather or high-quality material, and even just sitting inside, it smells luscious and beautiful. The seats, with their odd-looking integrated headrests, grasp you in well yet provide excellent grand touring comfort.

Also helping with sheer lavish comfort is the amount of room. There is more than enough headroom and legroom in the front and back for most shapes and sizes. Rear passengers get their own climate control with central and pillar vents, and acres of leather everywhere you look. Check out the sculpted door handles, too. They look like a high-quality buckle on a very expensive belt.

Boot space is measured at 632 litres, which is plenty enough for a weekend getaway. You’ve also got controls for the load height and to flip down the rear seats from the back area.

2022 Aston Martin DBX – THE DRIVE

As for the mighty beating heart under the bonnet, this is powered by a Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. It belts out all kinds of godly gargles and brutal barks. And at low revs it sounds downright dirty. In a good way, of course. Despite all this, performance is great but not class-leading. Using a Vbox Sport GPS data-logger we clocked 0-100km/h in a best of 4.85 seconds, out of four separate runs including building the engine revs on the brake for a ‘launch control’ style start.

We’ve seen quicker results from performance SUVs lately, even more mainstream ones. The BMW X5 M Competition springs to mind, completing the sprint in a PD-tested 3.73 seconds. And that’s on the same piece of private road and with the same driver and Vbox. We’ve also clocked the Bentayga 4.0L in 3.95 seconds, and its V8 produces the same power only it has to lug around more weight (about 120kg heavier).

Obviously 0-100km/h isn’t everything, but if it were our money, we’d be somewhat disappointed by the fact a mainstream SUV could not only keep up with but also embarrass the DBX in acceleration. This is an Aston Martin. It should be superior to anything mainstream, in every way. In saying all that, we guess that’s what the new DBX 707 is for. With 520kW, it achieves the 0-100km/h sprint in a claimed 3.3 seconds; it is one of the quickest petrol SUVs in the world, ever.

Fortunately, there is so much more to the DBX than infantile running races anyway. This is all about grand touring refinement and opulence. The way it glides across the tarmac with that soothingly deep V8 bellow is intensely gratifying. Graceful and elegant in movement, yet there’s always a sense of substantial underlying power for whenever you need it. So, as you might assume, and as per Aston Martin tradition, highway cruising and touring on country roads is this magnificent beast’s forte.

This is where the default GT driving mode comes into its own. The air suspension setting is absorbent enough to catch bigger undulations and road imperfections, but not so firm as to disrupt cruising pleasure. We find the steering is also at home in these conditions, with mild bends and curves that don’t require much lock. In the tighter corners the steering does feel like it has a tipping point further into its lock. Once past this ‘lobe’ the steering seems sharper, which is what you want when encountering more technical sections of road. However, this is where you should flick it into the Sport+ driving mode.

Make no mistake though, the DBX is a heavy machine, weighing over 2.2 tonnes. In GT mode we can feel a moment of platform ‘catch-up’ when pushed really hard in the bends, as sharper steering leads eagerly and then the body and momentum follows a split second afterward. But it always feels really compliant and solid. In Sport/Sport+ mode it tightens right up and hunkers down, like a true sports car. Take a look under the bonnet and under the rear end and you’ll see extensive chassis reinforcements and thick cast-aluminium braces to help mitigate body flex, improving response and engagement.

If you’re interested, the fuel consumption is rated at 12.4L/100km on the official combined cycle. We averaged 16L/100km during our drive which included some flat-out performance tests. Perhaps more importantly, the DBX comes with an 85L fuel tank. That converts to a theoretical average range of 685km between fill-ups.

2022 Aston Martin DBX – THE VIDEO

2022 Aston Martin DBX – THE VERDICT

There are quicker SUVs in this space and more luxurious ones, but they will cost you more. In our opinion the DBX sits neatly in the middle ground of super SUVs, between luxury and performance. And it showcases an exclusive, majestic charm that the brand is so legendary for. This has a lot of presence on the road too, which makes you feel strong and powerful – and rich – while the overall grand touring comfort and multi-surface adaptability ensures a very wide and customisable skillset.

PROS:
– Distinctive Aston Martin design with a lot of presence
– Exquisite attention to detail inside and out
– Splendid grand touring pliancy
– Lots of highly-exclusive options and customisation possibilities
– Thunderous AMG-based V8

CONS:
– Some creaks and squeaks from the pillarless windows
– Not as quick as rivals
– Very heavy, and it feels it in the corners in GT mode

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