New Aston Martin DBX review

Category: Sports SUV

Aston Martin's thundering sports SUV has been given an all-new interior, extra tech and is now available exclusively in range-topping, 697bhp form

Aston Martin DBX front cornering bright green
  • Aston Martin DBX front cornering bright green
  • Aston Martin DBX rear cornering bright green
  • Aston Martin DBX over-the-shoulder driving pic
  • Aston Martin DBX front sports seat
  • Aston Martin DBX infotainment touchscreen
  • Aston Martin DBX side driving bright green
  • Aston Martin DBX front driving bright green
  • Aston Martin DBX rear driving bright green
  • Aston Martin DBX front alloy wheel
  • Aston Martin DBX rear light bar
  • Aston Martin DBX dashboard
  • Aston Martin DBX centre console switches
  • Aston Martin DBX digital instruments
  • Aston Martin DBX door trim
  • Aston Martin DBX front cornering bright green
  • Aston Martin DBX rear cornering bright green
  • Aston Martin DBX over-the-shoulder driving pic
  • Aston Martin DBX front sports seat
  • Aston Martin DBX infotainment touchscreen
  • Aston Martin DBX side driving bright green
  • Aston Martin DBX front driving bright green
  • Aston Martin DBX rear driving bright green
  • Aston Martin DBX front alloy wheel
  • Aston Martin DBX rear light bar
  • Aston Martin DBX dashboard
  • Aston Martin DBX centre console switches
  • Aston Martin DBX digital instruments
  • Aston Martin DBX door trim
What Car?’s DBX deals
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Target Price from £197,300
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From £145,000

Introduction

What Car? says...

Spoiler alert! If James Bond had managed to get off that island at the end of No Time to Die, he’d have needed to swap the DB5 for something more family friendly. An Aston Martin DBX, perhaps.

The first SUV from the brand is easily the most practical car in its line-up (try fitting a wardrobe in an Aston Martin Vantage). But it still has the performance you’d expect of an Aston, courtesy of a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8.

Previously, this engine was offered in two states of tune: in the 'regular' DBX it produced 542bhp, while the DBX707 put out a whopping 697bhp. However, just 10% of buyers opted for the former, so the 707 engine is now standard.

In addition, Aston Martin has completely redesigned the interior of the car and replaced the dated Mercedes-sourced infotainment system fitted to pre-facelift models with one of its own.

So, how good is the revised Aston Martin DBX? And how does it compare with the luxurious Bentley Bentayga and other high-end sports SUVs such as the Ferrari Purosangue and Lamborghini Urus? Let’s find out...

Overview

Those looking for the ultimate super-SUV experience should definitely consider the DBX. It combines precise, involving handling with huge practicality and sounds fantastic. In fact, we’d go so far as to say it’s the best Aston Martin we’ve ever driven. Just bear in mind that if comfort and quality are your top priorities, a Bentley Bentayga has the edge.

  • Amazing acceleration and engine noise
  • Great to drive yet mostly comfortable
  • Roomy inside, with a big boot
  • As expensive as you’d expect
  • Very thirsty
  • Not as solidly built as a Bentayga
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Target Price from £197,300
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

With 697bhp and 663lb ft of torque, the Aston Martin DBX is capable of accelerating from 0-60mph in a supercar-like 3.1 seconds. Or, to put it another way, it will out-sprint any Bentley Bentayga or Porsche Cayenne and is as fast as the vastly more expensive Ferrari Purosangue and Lamborghini Urus Performante.

A sports SUV is about more than just Top Trumps stats though – it should also be fun. Happily the DBX’s V8 makes a hell of a noise. In Sport or Sport+ mode even small accelerator inputs have it gurgling, snarling and crackling from its twin exhaust pipes. Fortunately you can switch to GT mode to quieten things down markedly and avoid upsetting your neighbours.

The nine-speed automatic gearbox is similarly dual natured, changing smoothly in normal driving when you leave it to its own devices, but really banging gears home when you select Sport+ and use the manual shift paddles behind the steering wheel.

As for handling, the DBX's naturally-weighted steering is wonderfully communicative and allows you to place the car with real precision. And while the lower-slung Purosangue feels even more nimble and tightly controlled, the DBX compares well with all its other rivals over fast and undulating B-roads.

The more comfort-oriented Bentayga bobbles around less on tatty town surfaces, but the DBX gets surprisingly close in GT mode and is impressively cosseting on the motorway. In fact, the differences between GT and Sport+ feel more pronounced than before, increasing the car's depth or appeal, while Sport is a good middle ground.

Aston Martin DBX image
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The big tyres drum up some road noise but it’s not loud enough to leave you worn out after a day at the wheel, and standard acoustic side glass also helps refinement.

So, what's the DBX like as an off-road vehicle? Well, along with its varied on-road driving modes, there are two off-road modes. They raise the air suspension and transform the car into a surprisingly capable mud-plugger. It has hill-descent control, enough ground clearance for rough country trails and can wade through half-a-metre deep water.

“Given how fast and heavy the DBX is, the fact that it has fade-resistant carbon-ceramic brakes is welcome.” - Dan Jones, Reviewer

Aston Martin DBX rear cornering bright green

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Despite its sporting nature, the Aston Martin DBX treats you to a high driving position that’s on a par with the lofty Bentley Bentayga. You feel a bit more enclosed than you do in that car due to a more heavily raked windscreen, comparatively wide pillars and shallower side windows – although it's airy compared with the Ferrari Purosangue and Lamborghini Urus.

Likewise, the DBX's aggressively tapered window-line and chunky rear pillars mean the rear view is more restricted than in a Bentayga. Still, with all-round parking sensors and a 360-degree camera fitted as standard, manoeuvring is easy enough.

All that is combined with a driver’s seat that manages to cosset you like the Bentayga’s but also holds you in place much better through high-speed bends. It’s electrically adjustable in 16 directions, which includes adjustable lumbar support and side bolsters. Plus, there’s a memory function and an electrically adjustable steering column that offers plenty of reach extension.

As mentioned, before its 2024 update, the DBX had a Mercedes infotainment system which was showing its age. That's now been replaced with a bespoke touchscreen (measuring 10.25in) similar to the one in the Aston Martin DB12 and Aston Martin Vantage.

Some of the icons are quite small and bunched closely together, which can make them difficult to hit when you’re driving. However, the system is much quicker to respond than the one it replaces, and there are handy shortcut keys plus wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto as standard.

You can also control many functions or reconfigure the layout of the digital instruments via touch-sensitive pads on the steering wheel, although they're over-sensitive, making them fiddly to use.

By contrast, the separate scroll wheels on the centre console for adjusting the audio volume and climate control are as user-friendly as they are tactile. In fact, build quality in the DBX is almost universally good, with soft hand-stitched leather covering most surfaces, and details like the speaker grilles made from stainless steel.

The one disappointment in our test car was that the glossy black trim below the touchscreen – where you naturally rest your hand when using the infotainment system – flexed and creaked under pressure.

“Previously, you had to push the flush exterior door handles to get them to pop out, which I found fiddly. But now they present themselves automatically when the car is unlocked.” – Stuart Milne, Digital Editor

Aston Martin DBX over-the-shoulder driving pic

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

The Aston Martin DBX is five metres long and nearly two metres wide, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it offers lots of interior space.

Even with the standard-fit panoramic sunroof, front head room is really impressive and the front seats slide a long way back on their runners. There's plenty of elbow room and numerous storage spaces are dotted around the interior. 

In the back of the DBX, things are just as impressive. The rear doors open wide and the sills are low, so it’s easy to climb in without getting your clothes dirty. Two six-footers will have leg and foot room to spare, even when the front seats are slid right back and in their lowest setting. Head room is much better than in the Lamborghini Urus – let alone the Ferrari Purosangue.

The DBX's boot doesn't let the side down. It’s a good square shape with a wide aperture that makes it easy to pack a variety of luggage. In terms of ultimate capacity, at 638 litres it’s much bigger than the one in the Bentley Bentayga (484 litres) but is pipped by the Porsche Cayenne's (772 litres).

Adding to the practicality are 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats. When you fold them down using the buttons by the rear headrests or in the boot, they leave you with an almost flat extended load bay right up to the front seats.

“There’s a range of options that mean you can tailor the DBX to your lifestyle. As a dog owner I like the sound of the Pet Package, which includes a portable washer for cleaning muddy paws, while skiers might prefer the Snow Package, with boot warmers to make winter holidays more luxurious.” – Neil Winn, Deputy Reviews Editor

Aston Martin DBX front sports seat

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

For the same price as the Aston Martin DBX, you could buy a Porsche Cayenne and still have enough left over to get yourself a Porsche 911 sports car to use as a weekend toy.

That's a little hard to swallow for those of us with more modest means – as is the fact that the DBX also looks rather pricey compared with a Bentley Bentayga. But it doesn’t cost as much as the Lamborghini Urus Performante or the extraordinarily expensive Ferrari Purosangue.

Mercifully, the DBX is far from sparsely equipped. As standard, it comes with 22in alloy wheels, heated front and rear seats, rear climate control, keyless entry, a powered tailgate, 64-colour ambient lighting and power-folding door mirrors. That's on top of the electric seats, panoramic glass sunroof, and leather and Alcantara interior trim. Finally, if you're exceptionally well-heeled, Aston Martin lets you create your own bespoke, money-no-object specification.

In terms of running costs, the official fuel economy figure suggests a meagre 19.9mpg is possible, which in real-world driving easily drops into the low teens. Unsurprisingly, with a 4.0-litre V8 engine under the bonnet, the CO2 emissions are on the high side, placing it in the top 37% bracket for company car tax.

Still, the closest rivals have similar thirsts and tax ratings, and like them the DBX should hold its value reasonably well.

Euro NCAP hasn’t safety-tested the DBX, but it gets plenty of kit to help prevent you from getting into an accident in the first place. That includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking (AEB), a forward collision warning system, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, rear cross-traffic warning, traffic-sign recognition and blind-spot warning. There are also Isofix child seat attachments on the outer rear seats.

“While you get lots of equipment as standard, I’d be tempted to tick the box for the optional 23-speaker, 1600-watt Bowers & Wilkins stereo upgrade.” – Doug Revolta, Head of Video


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Aston Martin DBX infotainment touchscreen

FAQs

  • Now that the ‘regular’ 542bhp version of the car has been discontinued, you’ll pay more than £200,000 for a DBX. You can see the latest prices on our New Car Deals pages.

  • The DBX’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine produces 697bhp, or 707 metric horsepower (PS).

  • If you take it to an airfield or a track with a long enough straight, the DBX can hit 193mph. That's pretty astonishing for a sports SUV.

  • The Ferrari Purosangue has a fractionally higher top speed than the DBX: 194mph versus 193mph. However, Ferrari argues that its car isn’t an SUV at all, and the Purosangue is certainly far less practical.

At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £197,300
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £145,000
RRP price range £197,300 - £207,800
Number of trims (see all)2
Number of engines (see all)2
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol
MPG range across all versions 19.9 - 19.9
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £14,393 / £15,170
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £28,786 / £30,340
Available colours