We drive the first Aston Martin SUV and discover whether it deserves the hallowed badge or not.
By: Somnath Chatterjee
Posted on: December 9, 2022
You would expect Aston Martins to be drop-dead gorgeous and secretly being equipped with a machine gun behind the grille. In terms of brand recall, Aston Martin has always been at the top of the heap thanks to a certain well-known secret agent always blowing up its cars. However, in the past, Aston Martins have had a fixed template of making svelte grand tourers with a sportier edge. I remember being awestruck by a DB9 or a V8 Vantage, but today I am surrounded by this edifice of metal being juxtaposed against a scenery where you'll normally find a Land Rover.
Yes, this is an Aston Martin SUV, and while the armchair enthusiasts and the self-appointed guardians of the brand might abhor it, the DBX has single-handedly pushed the car-maker to a new pedestal in terms of sales. A brand-new factory, access to new markets and a new Aston Martin buyer. The world is changing and Aston Martin had to tag along.
However, in doing so, I am pleased to report that the DBX still bristles with the charm of an Aston Martin along with a slightly mischievous demeanour which has been a brand hallmark. Yet, in being an SUV, I can raise the ground clearance of the DBX via its complicated air suspension and travel through places a supercar can only dream of. You can do water wading, off-roading in the DBX yet still devour straights via its soulful V8. It is an intriguing mix of talents but it does bring Aston Martin back as a maker of top-tier GT cars.
The DBX has been engineered with a robust personality that takes the worst of roads rather well and I am amazed at its suspension on some of the bad roads that I encountered. Hence, I was less worried about scraping the car unlike some supercar and was more immersed in listening to its V8 roar. With 550PS of power to be deployed, the DBX hurries past triple digit speeds withe ease while also drowning the driver in a noise which is hard to replicate elsewhere. It is not excessively loud but assertive enough to stamp its authority.
It also steers with the dexterity of a supercar with its lovely steering and agile handling. Despite its girth, the DBX has a remarkable poise and feels like a proper supercar rather than a high-riding SUV with a rocket engine strapped at the back.
I park the DBX and take a few moments to take its lines. It is a massive SUV but hides its visual bulk very well with chiselled surfaces and a glaring nod to the Aston Martin design book. I love the tail-lamp design and the way the lines merge along with the muscular haunches. It is a pretty looking SUV without sounding contradictory.
It does everything while also enveloping you in a cocktail of sensations not matched anywhere else. For Aston Martin, it is a triumphant return to form.
Inside, handcrafted leather is draped everywhere along with all the toys that you can imagine. Even the speaker grilles are a work of art. There is metal, glass and wood everywhere while you can also option a fabric made from wool. If this is not enough, then the Q bespoke division will cater to all your whims and fancies too.
The DBX then is a rare phenomenon as it has the soul of a supercar along with the bloodline of a stately GT while being a practical SUV. It does everything while also enveloping you in a cocktail of sensations not matched anywhere else. For Aston Martin, it is a triumphant return to form.
*The article was modified on December 12, 2022 to change the images.