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Aston Martin’s dynamic DBX matches performance and power

Jack McKeown with the Aston Martin DBX.

I’m in the hills above Loch Lomond on a rare sunny October day and I have my foot to the floor in an Aston Martin DBX.

Its 542bhp are pushed onto the road through all four wheels and the car roars forward, accompanied by a glorious yowl.

The DBX is Aston Martin’s first foray into super-SUV territory. It costs from £158,000, has a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine sourced from Mercedes’ AMG division, and looks utterly fantastic.

Aston Martin has traditionally made beautiful sports cars that blend power, performance and an easy timelessness. There’s a reason James Bond is seen in one so often.

Aston Martin’s first foray into super-SUV territory.

An elegant SUV

The DBX takes Aston’s traditional design cues and puts them into an SUV.

And it works. It’s perfectly proportioned, remarkably low slung for an SUV, purposeful and elegant.

The beauty isn’t just skin deep. Air suspension, electric anti-roll systems, a beautiful handcrafted interior and double glazed windows are among the many qualities that elevate it above more mundane SUVs.

The DBX has design elements that take it a step further than most high-end SUVs.

Aston Martin brought three DBXs to Loch Lomond to be tested on Scottish roads and I spent a joyous couple of hours with one of them.

The DBX brings acceleration of 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 181mph.

As you would expect there is plenty of power.

That V8 produces 542bhp and the DBX will get from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and won’t stop accelerating until you’ve reached 181mph.

Those are impressive figures for any car, let alone an SUV.

Good grip, nimble responses and a dynamic drive.

What’s even more impressive is how well the car handles.

Despite weighing 2.2 tonnes it feels more nimble than it has any right to. Body roll is virtually non-existent, and the limits of its grip lie well beyond what can be explored on a public road.

I found a lovely deserted stretch of single track road in Glen Douglas and let loose. The DBX feels astonishingly agile and dynamic.

On a track a proper sports car will be noticeably quicker, but on public roads this does everything you could demand of it and more.

Not quite Range Rover territory but the SUV acquits itself well off-road.

Comfortable and luxurious

The other thing it does well is luxury. Back on the A82 in heavy traffic and with rain coming on it was blissfully serene and comfortable.

Double glazed windows contribute towards a cabin that’s impressively quiet, while the hand-stitched leather seats will keep you comfortable even on all-day drives.

A nine-speed automatic transmission system cycles seamlessly through the gears.

Enough comfort for all-day drives.

The rear seats have leg and headroom for three fully grown adults. Behind them there is a gigantic 632 litre boot. The seats fold 40:20:40 and there’s a useful underfloor luggage space.

Driver and passengers have a fantastic view of the road thanks to the high driving position.

A 12.3in display is operated by a rotary dial rather than a touchscreen which makes it easy to use. Every inch and stitch of leather, each button and dial, feels hand crafted and luxurious.

The DBX comes with six driving modes.

Versatile driving

The DBX has no fewer than six driving modes.

Four of these – GT, Sport, Sport + and Individual – are aimed at on-road driving. Terrain and Terrain+, meanwhile, are for if you decide to venture off the beaten path.

Off-roading in an Aston Martin sounds like a misnomer but the DBX is very capable. The air suspension can raise the ride height by 4.5cm and clever electronics send power to the wheels with the most grip.

Double glazed windows ensures a serene, silent interior.

One of Aston’s boffins suggested the DBX is as proficient off-road as Land Rover’s mighty Discovery.

I find that a bit of a stretch – the Discovery is one of the best off roaders on Earth – but there’s no doubt the DBX will acquit itself very well on all sorts of terrain you wouldn’t expect to see an Aston Martin on.

Whether you would want to plough through a river in a £158,000 car is another question, though.

The interior features the iconic branding.

On road is where the DBX will spend most of its life and here is where it really shines.

Ease back from the throttle, slip it into GT mode, put on the adaptive cruise control, and you can cross continents with ease.

If I could choose any car to drive to the Alps for a ski holiday the Aston Martin DBX would be my pick.

Hand crafted leather for the ultimate luxury.

The Facts

  • Model: Aston Martin DBX
  • Price: £158,000
  • 0-62mph: 4.5 seconds
  • Top speed: 181mph
  • Economy: 19.8mpg
  • CO2 emissions: 323g/km

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