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Aston Martin’s Superb SUV


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By The Sybarite Team on 19th June 2024

Every so often, we get to drive cars from the iconic brands, and Aston Martin is right up there, says Jeremy Webb.

The names of their models trip off the Tongue and DBX and DBX 707 follow in the tyre tracks of DB5s, Vantage et Al. The first SUV from Aston Martin, the DBX, is a luxury vehicle delivering four-door flexibility with the capacity to venture off the tarmacked roads. Like a GT, it can also whisk you off to the Riveria in style and comfort. 

Two engine options are available for the five-seat, four-wheel drive DBX; both are Mercedes-sourced 4.0-litre biturbo V8s. The entry-level car has 542bhp and 516 lb-ft, while the flagship DBX 707 uses different turbos with additional cooling to develop a mighty

697bhp (707PS) and 664 lb-ft. a Mercedes nine-speed auto 'box uprated for the 707, triple-chamber air-ride, a suite of electronically-controlled differentials, electric ride control and a host of technology. It allows the Aston DBX to tackle roads, race tracks and unpaved trails.

The Aston Martin DBX looks striking and distinctive, with a long bonnet that nustles to the screen and the low roofline and pinched ducktail at the rear that apes the Vantage. The side profile has muscle and tone, a long wheelbase, and plenty of detail. Aston always hits the spot with this stuff, which Bentley, especially Rolls, has struggled with.

The 707 gains a bigger grille at the front, a larger diffuser at the rear and a load of other details. If that's the one you're most interested in, DBX 707, which drives as you imagine it should. It's a proper hoot. Even naughtier exhaust note, wild acceleration

and a lust for life (and the far horizon) that is genuinely surprising and thrilling from an SUV. As far as 4x4s go, only the Purosangue is more addictive. The DBX is a standout option in the SUV market, as it provides a unique and exciting option that is

practical and feels like an Aston Martin product. It can even handle off-road driving and still feels sporty on a track. However, the running costs may be a downside.

On the other hand, the 707 is even more impressive. It is faster and more aggressive than the regular car but still comfortable and efficient. While it comes with a hefty price tag of £198,000 (a £35k uplift from the regular car), the writer suggests it's worth it for those who can afford it.

The DBX is a divisive vehicle as it is another powerful and fuel-consuming V8 petrol SUV in a world increasingly concerned with efficiency. However, it represents Aston Martin well in the profit-making SUV market. It may have been a little late to the party, but if this is the moment that allows Aston to settle and produce even better GT/sports cars (as suggested by the DB12), then it is a positive thing.

The DBX is a lively and enjoyable vehicle that is practical, intriguing, imposing, and challenging. People do not purchase an Aston based solely on specifications; they buy them because of the brand, passion, and heart. While it may not be everyone's preference, that does not mean it is not a good choice.

The Aston Martin DBX has six drive modes: GT, Sport, Sport+, Individual, Terrain, and Terrain+. The air suspension system is well-equipped to handle any terrain you might encounter. While driving on A-roads and motorways, the DBX is a comfortable cruiser, although there is some noise, which prevents it from feeling like a magic carpet. 

The car offers opportunities for overtaking that are unavailable to other vehicles, and its noise is well-balanced. At lower ranges, it produces a muted grumble that is socially acceptable, and at higher ranges, a bassy bellow with a hard-edged buzz is emitted

as you reach for the faster arcs of the rev counter and the exhaust valves. The 4.0-litre engine sourced from Mercedes-Benz has been modified to match the DBX's characteristics, providing an ideal balance of torque and power. Similarly, the nine-speed automation transmission manages perfectly well without you even noticing it, which is a huge compliment.

Even though the 707 is already powerful, it could handle more. When driven on a track, the 707 feels wild. Power can be pushed through to the rear axle through the excellent design of the chassis, and in sportier modes, that can mean 90%. It's a fun experience,

but it's still controllable and capable. The regular DBX doesn't have the same ability, so if you want to push a DBX, the quick one is the way to go. The car has lovely steering, a delicious sound, excellent chassis balance, and is downright playful, given half a chance. Plus, when you ease off the throttle, you discover there's no drawback in comfort or refinement. It rides just as well and feels more composed, together and expensively damped.

In its most extreme mode, the car's responses become sharper. The active centre transfer case can vary from 47/53 front-to-rear to 100 per cent rear-wheel drive. The electronic differential in the back then pushes torque from side to side between the rear wheels on demand. Brake-actuated torque vectoring and a 48-volt electronic anti-roll control (eARC) system replace traditional anti-roll bars.

However, these advanced features do not make the DBX feel stilted or digital. Instead, the car still has a little lean, a slight oversteer, and a feeling that Aston Martin wants the SUV to feel like a real GT. 

Given the wheel and tyre combination, the car is more capable than you might initially think. If you activate Terrain+ mode, which raises the suspension 45mm from the standard ride height, tweaks the various differentials and throttle maps, and generally sets

the car up for rough country, it can easily navigate through muddy terrain. The car can wade through water up to half a meter deep (thanks to the breather pipes on the diffs), manage hillocks and rock scrambles, and generally climb around like a mountain goat.

Of course, most owners won't take advantage of these capabilities, but it's nice to have options like the most expensive and pointless things. After all, not many supercar owners test their vehicle's 200mph capability, but that doesn't mean they don't enjoy having the bragging rights.

The Aston Martin DBX is a spacious car that can comfortably seat four people with an occasional seat for a fifth person. The car has generous leg and headroom thanks to its bespoke aluminium chassis and generous wheelbase. Despite its width, the vehicle is accommodating in tight parking spots, as the doors open wide. The front seats are wonderful, and the interior offers 35 different colour and material choices with two brightware finishes. If you want something even more unique, you can order through AM's 'Q' Department to get a bespoke colour and material combination. 

The car has a spacious 623-litre boot, which can accommodate most items. The rear seats can be split, allowing for more space and a 62-litre storage compartment beneath the boot floor. The car can be used as a makeshift removal van when necessary. Aston Martin has removed a silly oversight whereby early models of the DBX only had a removable towbar, meaning you had to fit it yourself while lying under the car, which is not luxurious for an SUV. However, the new model comes with a fully electric towbar.

The car features a 12.3-inch screen for the instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch multimedia screen in the centre console with technology derived from Mercedes. Although it looks nice, the rectangular screen in the centre seems a bit out of place, and it's not a touchscreen. Initially, it was acceptable, but now the DBX appears to be the only car in the world without a touchscreen. Using a click wheel can be clumsy, but you'll get used to it eventually.

Although the car has decent cabin ergonomics, it lacks a touchscreen, which makes it feel outdated. Furthermore, it doesn't offer the same range of adjustments and equipment as its competitors. However, the car provides an excellent driving position, comfortable seats with a finely sculpted design, a warm and welcoming cabin ambience, and a relaxed focus on the driver. All these features make it a unique SUV that stands out among others, and it's still a genuine Aston.

The Aston Martin DBX is a highly versatile SUV designed to adapt to the needs of different lifestyles. To this end, the car has 11 optional lifestyle accessory packs offering various features to suit multiple needs.

For instance, the 'Snow Pack' is perfect for those who love winter sports. It includes tyre chains, a ski rack, and a boot warmer, ensuring you are well-equipped to tackle snow and ice. On the other hand, the 'Touring Pack' is ideal for those who love to travel.

It comes with fitted luggage, a safe under the front passenger seat, and a first aid kit to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and safe journey.

The 'Pet Pack' is designed for pet owners and includes a dog bed, dirty paw shower unit, sill protector, and dog guard to keep your furry friend comfortable and safe during the journey. Other available packs include bike racks, a towbar, a gun safe, picnic

kits, and a 'Sanctuary' pack with a battery conditioner and car cover. You can also opt for carbon tailpipe finishers, which come as part of the 'Expression' pack and include illuminated treadplates and special valve caps.

With these optional accessory packs, the DBX can be tailored to suit your specific needs and lifestyle. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a pet owner, or a frequent traveller, the DBX caters to you. 

Aston Martin DBX 707 prices from £190,000

Jeremy Webb has a website where you can read more of his reviews on cars, motorcycles, travel and more.

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