Published on December 28th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Aston Martin DBX Test Drive Review After 5 Hours
Yes, we had 5 hours of fun with a family friendly luxury SUV
Designers and product planners at Aston Martin were given a clean sheet of paper to innovate and push the boundaries of what British design and engineering can create if they wanted a family vehicle in showrooms. Wola, the final result was this truly stylish machine. However……….wait for it.
A project that started in Wales way back in 2015, this SUV sits on a new dedicated SUV platform, something rarely seen across the sector. Utilizing bonded aluminium, a construction method Aston Martin has refined through the development of its sports cars, this body structure is both very light and incredibly stiff, assisting in the delivery of an overall kerb weight of 2,245kg. Right from its genesis, it was designed to allow maximum room in the cabin, putting a premium on refinement and class leading spaciousness for both front and rear occupants. Meanwhile, the exceptional stiffness inherent in the design of the new platform has also enabled this SUV to achieve exceptional dynamics both on and off-road. Well, we all know that no Malaysian or regional buyer of this luxury SUV will even cross a puddle of water on Klang Valley roads.
Powered by a new version of a 4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine found in DB11 and Vantage supercars, this SUV features an impressive output of 550PS and 700NM of torque, carefully tuned to meet the specific needs of this model. With a sound character that is unquestionably Aston Martin, the active exhaust system ensures this is a luxury SUV that can sound refined one moment and exhilarating the next. The engine’s versatility isn’t restricted to its vocals either; the turbocharged V8 has cylinder deactivation to enhance fuel economy, yet it can also propel this SUV from standstill to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 291km/h where possible.
Open the doors and you will get the scent of luxury coming from the seats which are trimmed in sumptuous, full grain leather, sourced from long term partner Bridge of Weir which provides the best Scottish leather material. An industry first, both the headlining and electric roof blind are available in a luxurious Alcantara® finish, providing a harmonious design, light obscuration and solar attenuation without compromising headroom. Throughout the cabin, Aston Martin DBX maintains an authenticity of materials, with judicious use of metal, glass and wood throughout the cabin.
Get inside this Aston SUV and you will notice the 10.25″ TFT screen that sits elegantly flushed in the centre console, while a huge 12.3″ TFT screen provides all the necessary information to the driver. Apple CarPlay comes as standard, as does a 360-degree camera system and ambient lighting that offers 64 different colours in two zones.
This is performance vehicle first and then its is family adventure vehicle second. First up the interior. The straightforward Aston Martin ‘look and feel’ dash is faultlessly built and gives a special feel even with the rather business-like choice of colors in our test vehicle. Buyers can pick their color choices and stitch colors and this is why its price ‘starts’ at RM818k before taxes are added on.
There is a good driving position and large, supportive seats, while space in the back is impressive for its footprint. It is hard to imagine anyone could ever feel short of leg, knee and elbow room in this Aston Martin and shoulder and head room are both generous too. Well, this is the first SUV from Aston and so space seems to be a luxury just like with its immediate rivals, the Porsche Cayenne and Maserati Levante.
The steering is nicely weighted with enough road feel to give the driver some great feel and feedback. The spring and damper set-up on this DBX is pretty much spot on; its relatively firm through corners, providing good levels of body control and very limited roll which had us pinching ourselves to check if we were driving a sports sedan or a luxury SUV.
Ride quality is also excellent, smoothing bumps with authority which means Aston engineers have found the best all-round balance.
As for handling and road manners, there are no issues. The 19-inch wheels grip eagerly on wet or dry surfaces around Klang Valley as we tried to ‘shake’ this SUV loose. Only in silly hands will it take you away.
This DBX offers first-rate grip with predictable understeer during really hard cornering. As you would expect, this DBX’s suspension is less stiff than its supercar siblings. Generally, it absorbs the bumps and potholes pretty well, although undulating and uneven road surfaces, driven over at high speed, will get the DBX responding back with some stiffness due more to its origin where such roads are almost never a question.
The 9-speed automatic transmission is a dream to use and there is hardly a hint of shift and kick down effect even when confronting a quick immediate pickup or emergency slowdown. This is a comfortable SUV and after a few hours with it behind the wheel and also in the rear of the cabin, it was clear winner in its ability to offer good comfort and exciting behind the wheel experience.
So there are a lot of reasons to consider this SUV It will be an uphill struggle to convince buyers to pay the premium (of more than 100 percent) over a Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover SVR, Audi Q8, Lamborghini Urus or Mercedes GLE AMG but get over this hurdle and this British premium SUV could be a serious contender to the popular German segment dominators and the pedigree filled Range Rover.
Lets not kid ourselves, NO Malaysian is going to read any test drive review on this DBX to decide on their purchase. The Aston Martin DBX is for Malaysians with way too much money lying around and for those wanting to make a statement with their friends driving luxury sports SUV’s costing more than 100 percent lower.
This is a statement maker and that is that!
Aston Martin DBX Specifications:
Engine: V8 twin-turbo, 32 valves
Transmission: 9-speed semi-automotic
Power: 550hp @ 6500rpm
Torque: 700Nm @ 2200-5000rpm
0-100km/h: 4.5 seconds
Top Speed: 291km/h
Selling Price: From RM818,000 before taxes and delivery