The Aston Martin DBX at a glance
Today it is hardly possible without an SUV
Moving with the times in the auto industry means: Build an SUV, or you can leave it alone. Sports car manufacturers in particular have recently increasingly discovered the Hochbeiner for themselves and a glance at the Audi subsidiary Lamborghini should have shown even the last doubters that you can make money with an all-terrain super sports car.
Aston Martin announced the move into the off-road class at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015, when auto shows were still “en vogue”. The DBX Concept looked even more like a sports vehicle than an off-road vehicle and if I were very angry now, I would recognize a Volvo S60 Cross Country in the concept vehicle from then. However, since this is about the final production car, we are looking directly at the Aston Martin DBX as it stands in front of us (combined fuel consumption: 14.3 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 269 g / km²).
With best regards from Affalterbach
Four doors plus a trunk hatch, a voluminous front section with a large radiator grille as usual from the English, and an attached duck tail with gallant LED lighting to the rear. Probably the fiercest competitor is ready, not the Bentley Bentayga, but certainly the Porsche Cayenne Turbo (combined fuel consumption: 11.6 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 264 g / km²). It is often confused with it by the casual observer, even if its technical base does not come from Zuffenhausen, but from Affalterbach.
Because under the sheet metal cladding there is a lot of technology from Mercedes-AMG. From the 405 kW / 550 PS strong V8 biturbo mild hybrid to the 9-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, many parts are identical to the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 (combined fuel consumption: 11.4 l / 100 km; CO2 Combined emissions: 261 g / km²). Does that have to be bad? In terms of past technology capers at Aston Martin, definitely not.
Classy interior with small flaws
The balancing act between German engineering and British nobility is much more a guarantee for a very special automobile. As soon as you step into the lush, leather-covered interior of the DBX, it becomes clear that the islanders set the tone here, while the Swabians were only allowed to provide the infotainment. The aging command system can meanwhile be operated properly and its dignified nature fits in well with the stylish interior.
The eyes first wander over the high-resolution digital cockpit, then over the finely crafted leather steering wheel and finally click into the center console. Solid pieces of open-pored walnut wood distract from the cheap switches above and on the valance, but the main thing is that the seat belts are packed in extra protective loops at the level of the seat frames. Priorities want to be set consciously and so certainly not everything in the Aston Martin DBX is aluminum that looks like it.
Lots of space and a trailer load of 2.7 tons
The good material processing, which also ranks above that of an Aston Martin DBS, should be mentioned positively at this point. Everything sits, fits and has air – with the external gap dimensions, a little more. There is an abundance of space in the front and back, and the well-contoured and multi-adjustable seats are also appealing on long journeys.
As a genuine Gran Turismo, the DBX also scores with 632 liters of luggage space, although the strangely beautiful luggage compartment cover made of leather is difficult to stow away. The rear seat bench (manually) folded down and a few more wine boxes from Château Le Bon Pasteur fit into the Aston, although the English give no information about the maximum storage space. Worth knowing for all yacht owners: The DBX can take up to 2.7 tons on the optional hook.
V8 biturbo with a brilliant performance
But enough of leather, wine and yachts complained. How does the Aston Martin DBX drive? Surprisingly good! This is astonishing because first works should always be viewed with a little caution. But it is precisely here that Daimler’s long experience pays off, turning the DBX into a feared enemy for the Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
Although 700 Newton meters from 2,200 revolutions per minute are noted in the data sheet, things really happen in the Aston Martin DBX beyond 3-4,000 tours. But even below that, the beefy eight-cylinder is already picking up as if it had one to two liters more available. Achievement poverty? Does not know the 550 PS unit. The 9-speed automatic converter also does what it should, if the gears in sport mode are even more coarse and thus goes very well with the hardness-adjustable air suspension.
Can be soft, can be hard
Despite the 22-inch wheels, the overall large spread between comfort and sport is pleasing, with the GT driving mode allowing the DBX to glide very comfortably over all kinds of bumps in the road. Only lateral grooves are the enemy of the Aston, but you can see that as soon as the roads become a bit curvy.
In the foothills of the Alps, the 2.3-ton SUV was able to show that it was perfectly tuned and that the electric steering can convey a lot of driving pleasure. When it comes to vehicle security, nothing has been left to chance. The ESP keeps the car safely on track at the limit (and beyond) and warns the driver, especially in the sporty driving modes, by tugging their sleeves, to do a little more slowly.
Test consumption by 20 liters per 100 kilometers
The Aston Martin DBX rushes up to a speed of 291, and the 100 kilometers per hour fall from a standing start after just 4.5 seconds. This information also gives an idea of how the fuel consumption is going. According to the factory, the DBX should consume 14.3 liters per 100 kilometers, which does not seem entirely unrealistic given a cautious driving style and thanks to partial cylinder deactivation on four cylinders. With brisk mountain and motorway passages, the on-board computer recapitulated after our test more like 20 liters of the finest super plus.
Honor where honor is due. Aston Martin’s SUV debut is impressive and, above all, is driving. In terms of driving dynamics, you don’t have to hide from any Cayenne with the DBX, the interior offers plenty of luxury and space. But not everything that glitters is gold. For over 200,000 euros there shouldn’t be any sloppy plastic counters in the interior, the gaps at the front even collect pebbles. Meanwhile, anyone who chases the Aston Martin DBX into an off-road park will not get stuck immediately. Seriously interested off-road drivers are still better served with a G-Class. (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)