The seats are big and very widely adjustable, the steering wheel easily comes to where it’s best and I suspect that no occupant, whether driver or passenger, will feel short-changed.
Boot volume below the cover is similar to that of the Bentayga, at 480 litres, but less than you’ll find in the Range Rover. Of more relevance is that the floor is quite high (although there’s room beneath it too) and the DBX’s rakish looks are likely to have a small impact on to-the-roof, taking-the-kids-to-university loading. But, like with all these SUVs, it will be big enough. And the DBX’s towing limit is 2700kg: good for boats or horses.
There’s reasonable oddment space around the cabin, too. It’s weird to be talking about an Aston primarily in these terms, but here we are. What stay from sportier cars are the gear selector buttons on the dash. That’s great: I like those, and they free up space on the transmission tunnel for the controller for the Mercedes-based, Aston-faced and pretty straightforward infotainment system.
Familiarities and differences, then. The DBX’s speciality. Would you know this is an Aston to drive, if it were possible to test it blindfolded (don’t laugh, we had to do a risk assessment for that once)?
Yes and no. No car of this height and weight (2320kg) is going to act like a coupé half a tonne lighter, but there are hints of Astonness.
It feels like you sit relatively low for an SUV, with a high window line. It’s much more car-like than the Range Rover or Bentayga, more crossover than 4×4 – although I’ve also driven it a little off road, where it will do all that’s reasonably asked of it.
The DBX’s steering, at 2.6 turns between locks, is smooth, accurate, responsive and medium-weighted. And the ride is controlled. But by gum is the low-speed ride noisy.
Aluminium and air can be a high-volume combination, and while the DBX rides with suppleness over imperfections, it clonks audibly around town. That’s a shame, because it’s otherwise very refined and, away from poorer surfaces, quiet. Stability is so good that it makes a quite brilliant motorway car, with an 85-litre fuel tank.
Aston’s aural tuning for the V8 loses some of AMG’s rowdiness and replaces it with an expensive, if less characterful, smoothness, while the gearbox is mostly fine but doesn’t always shift with the responsiveness of Aston’s usual eight-speeder.
Is the DBX a driver’s car? Not in quite the same way that makes the Aston Rapide one of the world’s nicest four-doors to steer. But body control is good (it actually rolls less than a Vantage), with just a little looseness over crests and dips, and there’s a natural, easygoing flow to it. There’s enough torque to surf and power in reserve for overtakes; this is an SUV that can do 0-60mph in 4.3sec.