When one looks at Aston Martin and its lineup, the words practicality, spacious, and family friendly are not ones that exactly hop into mind. Indeed, while the brand’s lineup of sports cars is very impressive out on the track and on the road (a fact this author knows from personal experience) they are not first choice for a family road trip to the countryside. But Aston Martin is out to change all that with the unveiling of the all new 2020 DBX SUV.
This SUV is a game changer in terms of Aston’s broader identity, and accordingly, it has been teased by the British luxury marque for months. The exterior styling will arguably be the most controversial aspect of the whole thing, some will like the way it has passing similarities to a Vantage, while others will cry foul and shout accusations that the brand has lost its identity. As for us, we like how sleek the styling is, and it is rather handsome which is partially due to Aston designers mercifully avoiding adding too many tacked on brand clichés, and instead letting the DBX connect with its siblings in a natural almost organic way. Aston Martin’s distinctive toothy radiator grille works very well on the DBX’s taller proportions, and it even manages to outshine the more baroque appointments offered by both the Bentley Bentayga and the Rolls Royce Cullinan.
“We wanted to make the most beautiful SUV in this space, not necessarily the quickest,” stated Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer during Aston’s unveiling event in Beijing. However, Palmer revealed that the DBX is more than just a looker, with the CEO revealing that it is just as quick as some of its rivals.
But back to the DBX, and when it comes to figures, it will arguably be among the sportier entries in its elite segment, with the Aston being a foot shorter in length than the Cullinan, and the DBX’s 4,040 lb curb weight being the second lightest in the segment. For comparison, this figure is slightly heavier than the Lamborghini Urus, but it makes up for it by being 331 and 992 lbs lighter than the Bentayga and the Cullinan respectively, which should pay dividends for handling. Like other Aston models, the DBX will be made with bonded aluminum panels and extrusions, but the model will be made in a new factory at Saint Athan which is located in Wales, England. Power for the DBX will come from an AMG sourced 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 which makes 542 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. All of this grunt is sent to the road through a Mercedes derived nine speed automatic transmission. Aston Martin claims that the DBX can make the sprint to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds before reaching a final top speed of 181 mph.
Thankfully, the DBX was designed with more than just outright speed in mind, with its fundamentally rear wheel drive layout being equipped with a center transfer case that helps send torque to the front wheels when it is required, while a torque vectoring rear differential further enhances this pursuit, and even gives the DBX confidence in some off-roading situations. Adaptive dampeners and air springs are standard issue on the DBX, and they will help offer a wide range of height adjustment. The drive modes for the DBX are also just as flexible, and drivers will have five different modes to choose from (GT, Sport, Sport Plus, Terrain and Terrain Plus.)
The interior of the DBX will be very familiar to those that have been in many of Aston’s other products (at least from the front) with the DBX sharing the bulk of its switchgear with those models especially those that don’t even try to hide their Mercedes Benz origins. Trim and other materials are high quality with acres of leather and micro fiber accents along with optional wood veneer for the center console. Get in the back seat, and you will be rewarded with perhaps the comfiest backseat we have ever seen in an Aston, with the seats actually having realistic amounts of head and legroom. This is a massive improvement over the firm’s Rapide sedan which is decidedly more claustrophobic inside for adults. As mentioned in our prior DBX coverage, the interior will also feature a sizable arsenal of packages and other accessories which will allow the DBX to effortlessly mesh with the needs of a wide range of well heeled owners.
The 2020 Aston Martin DBX is available to order now, with the first customer cars expected to begin arriving to dealerships in May of 2020. Pricing is expected to start at $192,086 which is double that of a V8 equipped Bentayga, but is noticeably less than the Urus and the Cullinan.