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Aston Martin DBX: Top 7 Things We Love About This Athletic Luxury SUV

2021 Aston Martin DBX(Photo/Bryon Dorr)
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Our Motors Editor, Bryon Dorr, spent a long weekend with one of the pinnacle SUVs on the market today, the Aston Martin DBX.

SUVs are why we are able to enjoy many of the sports cars and luxury cars we do today. Many sports cars manufacturers have stayed afloat by offering SUVs.

The Cayenne saved Porsche from bankruptcy and SUVs like the Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga, and Rolls Royce Cullinan have turned struggling niche automakers into profitable viable businesses. This model has been proven to work so effectively that in the next 2 years, we’ll see SUVs from Ferrari, Maserati, and even Lotus.

I got to spend a long weekend with Aston Martin’s answer to the SUV, the DBX. It’s a unique grand tourer with space to haul the family in complete luxury.

I spent 193 miles behind the wheel. I drove it all over Portland, Ore., and took a day trip out to the Columbia River Gorge. My testing involved plenty of rough city streets, tight curvy mountain roads, flowing two-lane backroads, and some straight, wide-open highway.

Let’s look at the top seven things that impressed me about this Aston Martin SUV, and then cry a little over the price it would cost to have one in your own driveway.

What We Love About the Aston Martin DBX

2021 Aston Martin DBX
It’s a $1,600 option for the badging on the DBX to be black; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

1. Crazy Quiet Cabin

2021 Aston Martin DBX
Leather, fine detail, and luxury define the interior of the DBX; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

Besides engine noises — which Aston Martin assures me aren’t piped in through the speakers — you hear very little inside the DBX. No matter at highway speeds, carving back roads, or rolling through the city, you’ll be insulated from the outside world inside the luxury cocoon that is the Aston Martin DBX.

In the city, I pulled up to a car with its windows open pumping horrible loud music. I had my window open. As I closed the window, the music volume faded as you’d expect. Then the window was shut, and it was barely audible at all. My dad was in the passenger seat and looked over at me in the same amazement that I had.

The acoustic glass and sound deadening in the DBX are extremely impressive.

2. Beautiful Paint

2021 Aston Martin DBX
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

The Zenon Grey paint job on this DBX is one of the best paint jobs I’ve ever seen on a production vehicle. It’s super deep, full of metal flake, and it just glows in the sunlight. Pictures will not do this paint job justice in any way.

The paint on this press loaner had the “Contemporary Paint” option that costs an additional $2,600. We can only assume it’s very worth it, as it’s beautiful.

3. Gorgeous Booty

2021 Aston Martin DBX
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

While SUVs have become homogeneous in so many ways, the DBX stands out from the crowd with its swoopy, elegant styling that makes it look like it’s always moving quickly. It’s honestly more of a lifted station wagon or shooting brake design than it is a traditional SUV.

The highlight of that unique signature Aston Martin styling for me is the rear three-quarter view of the vehicle. It looks more sports car than SUV and has tons of cool little details that make it pop.

The full-width LED lighting across the back of the DBX also helps accentuate its curvy lines. Even the cutout pattern in the metal around the exhaust tips oozes refinement and attention to detail.

2021 Aston Martin DBX
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

4. Wheels That Are a Work of Art

2021 Aston Martin DBX
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

While 22-inch wheels are standard on the Aston Martin DBX, the wheels on this example are a $3,100 optional upgrade. They are called “Ribbon Gloss Graphite DT Wheels.” I find them to be super unique, and somehow luxurious and sporty at the same time.

These are some of my favorite luxury vehicle wheels on the market today, right up there with some of the fine creations on modern Alfa Romeo vehicles.

5. Satisfying Paddle Shifters

2021 Aston Martin DBX
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

No, you can’t get the DBX with a manual transmission, but just like all modern performance vehicles, it does have paddle shifters to control the 9-speed automatic.

While I’m not generally a lover of shifting gears with paddles on the backside of the steering wheel, and no third pedal, the DBX impresses. Shifting with the paddles is crisp and satisfying. The paddles are aluminum, large, and have small machined ridges on the backside that are hard not to caress as you’re going down the road.

6. Versatile Suspension

2021 Aston Martin DBX
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

The triple chamber air suspension with adaptive damping, AWD with active transfer case, and electronic active roll control (eARC) all combine to create an impressive ride in this sporty SUV. Not only does it always feel planted, but also has very little body roll for such a tall vehicle.

In Sport driving mode, the DBX has a very athletic feel that is super stable at speed and rails around corners. In GT mode, the DBX has a relatively plush ride while still being sporty, and it eats up horrible road conditions — which we have lots of in Oregon — with ease.

7. Easy Entry/Exit

2021 Aston Martin DBX
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

The door sills on the DBX are nearly flush with the floor. This makes it super easy to get in and out of the vehicle. While this might seem like a small, insignificant thing, multiple passengers of various heights and sizes commented on it.

The air suspension also drops the big SUV down to a very manageable height for easy entry as well. Luxury is not having to struggle to get in or out of a vehicle, no matter how tall or physically able you might be.

The Aston Martin DBX Requires a Fat Wallet

AstonMartinDBXBryonDorr-14
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

While there is a lot to love about the DBX, we do have to note a few things we weren’t impressed with. First up is the price tag. Pricing starts at $180,500, with our review vehicle having a $222,786 window sticker.

The horrible fuel economy wasn’t impressive either, as we saw only 12.1 mpg in our testing. Testing did involve lots of city driving and spirited backroad jaunts, however. The DBX is rated at 14 city/18 highway mpg by the EPA and ,of course, requires premium fuel.

Surprisingly at this price point, the DBX also doesn’t have a touchscreen, heads-up display, or massaging seats. And, while the engine puts down plenty of power, it has noticeable turbo lag off the line.

The DBX does have a “Trail” driving mode and hill descent control, though, so if you wanted to take this expensive luxury SUV off the pavement, its onboard computers will take care of you. Just be aware that you might scratch those massive, beautiful 22-inch wheels and/or gorgeous paint job. Neither of which will be inexpensive to fix.

2021 Aston Martin DBX
It’s always fun to share the finer things in life with the next generation. My 8-month-old daughter loved the DBX; (photo/Bryon Dorr)
2021 Aston Martin DBX
While the DBX fits in my garage, it for sure doesn’t fit in my budget; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

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