‘Tis the season to four-wheel drive, and what better way than in the DBX, Aston Martin Lagonda’s latest luxurious, premium SUV.
Aston, known for its reputation as the cars to the bad boys (and some girls), sees the generational need continue as luxury premium auto manufacturers race to market with their re-envisioned ideas speaking to our consumer needs – expensive, flashy family SUVs. We all know we can’t fit two kids plus car seats, the family golden retriever, yoga mats and towels, the Birkin, three Whole Foods bags and your matcha latté in your two-seat speedster… so Aston said – ‘Damn Babe, eXhale!!’ Or DBX for short.
Kicking off with their cross-US tour, the DBX made a stop in The Hamptons, accompanied by their representing dealer, Long Island Sports Cars, who also represents McLaren at their impressive Manhasset Showroom on Long Island. Inviting guests to drive in private 30-minute appointment slots, taking off from The Baker House 1650, a glamorous bed and breakfast befitting of a Bond film. Attendees were welcomed to a fully catered lunch by famed chef, Diane Hendricks, and also had a 1:1 whisky tasting provided by The Glenrothes - following the test drives of course.
With a driveway lined with expensive SUVs that weren’t ours, and full coverage on the personal insurance policy, we hopped in - and here is what we thought: upon entering the DBX, you aren’t sure if you are in a sports car or SUV. The designers have done quite well to trick the sensory perception into believing you are in a floating state of both, which works. When opening it up on the road, you immediately know this amazing SUV holds a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that’s also found in the DB11 and the Vantage models.
In the DBX, the V8 gets upgraded turbochargers to push output to 542 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Aston has quoted a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 181 mph, which are very impressive figures for an SUV that pushes the scale at 4,940 pounds. With its power routed through a nine-speed automatic transmission to a rear-biased, all-wheel-drive system, it also features an electronically controlled, limited-slip rear differential – allowing nearly all the to power go to the rear wheels if, and when, needed.
While its girth is on the wider side, it has been noted to hinder some of the immediate acceleration capability which you might find in the Vantage. But once you open the throttle, your speedometer climbs at an alarming rate for this big vehicle. With its engine pulling decently in the low RPMs, it still hits the prime notes around 3,000 RPMs, where you can make the exhaust really growl.
Guests also noted the interior quality – which for any ultra-luxe SUV is a huge stress point. Leather and stitching materials are top-notch, the seats are remarkably comfortable. Robert Marchhart, Director of Marking for Long Island Sports Cars said, “Among all premium brands, there is just something about the feel and smell of Aston’s interior leather, it’s true quality.”
Aston Martin has also mounted a 12.1-inch digital display behind the steering wheel, and a 10-inch multimedia touchscreen which in the center – allowing for an expansive operation of this now multi-generational use SUV. With buttons and many of the placements of switches being rethought to be more seamless in use, the DBX has become a user-intuitive machine.
There’s plenty of backseat room for adult passengers, full size passengers – not super thin and fit either. We tested it with four full-size men 6 foot to 6 foot-4 inches and they were comfortable. Smaller passengers might have been able to sneak a third in the back. From every seat, you get an excellent view out of the standard panoramic sunroof that extends all the way back, giving you that real nature inclusivity. If you are concerned with fitting packages in the boot, you shouldn’t be concerned either: there is optimal storage.
Overall, the DBX has changed the perception of the luxury SUV translated from sports car to family sports…SUV. Well done, Aston.