Do you know how many shiny new SUVs and crossovers hit Canadian roads last year? It was a lot; 783,048 to be precise. The year before that, 928,080 new SUVs hit the road, and so on and so on. But how many of those mass-produced soft-roaders and sport utilities were truly exceptional and unforgettable? Very few. The Aston Martin DBX, however, is. The instant you open the door and step into the British automaker’s first ever SUV, there is no doubt that this is a special car.
We’re willing to go out on a limb and say that the Aston Martin DBX is going to be the SUV of the summer. Here’s why.
1. It’s unlike anything else — no, really
Aston Martin is not part of some huge corporate conglomerate that also makes mass-market hatchbacks. Instead, it’s a small, independent 108-year-old British company that’s best known for making cars favoured by a famous fictional spy. While most companies wanting to add an SUV to its lineup would do it the easy way — buy a platform from another company to build on — Aston did it the hard way: developing an entirely new platform from scratch. That’s why the DBX is so well proportioned, why it has such a good stance, and why it handles so well. That’s why it’s really, truly unique.
2. Its cabin is all-leather everything
Photos won’t ever quite capture what it feels like to sit inside the DBX. Most cars have leather seats and some have leather dashboards, but this cabin is built like a pair of handmade wingtips. Everything is clad in full-grain leather — sourced from Bridge of Weir — and it is the softest, most buttery hide you’ll find in a car; it’s like sitting inside a giant luxury handbag. The broguing (decorative perforations) is a detail you don’t see in other cars. Along with a spectacular panoramic glass roof, the DBX is what you want to be lounging in if you find yourself stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
3. It drives like an Aston Martin should
This might sound strange, but the DBX somehow drives so much like Aston’s DB11 grand-touring coupe that it’s uncanny. Bumps that you instinctively brace for are soaked up only to barely feel them at all. The car’s steering is crisp and responsive without being tiresome or overly sensitive. Even the sportiest mode is perfectly calibrated for use on less-than-perfect public roads — something which can’t be said of most vehicles.
4. It’s fast
Under the hood of the DBX is where you’ll find one of the car’s few non-Aston Martin-made bits. The engine is a twin-turbo V8 sourced from Mercedes-AMG. It’s good for 542 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, and runs through a rear-biased all-wheel drive system. The DBX enjoys an abundance of torque that builds almost instantly, carrying you like a tidal wave. (Some other pieces are sourced from Mercedes too, namely the infotainment system and some of the knobs and buttons. It’s not the most cutting-edge tech, but that’s a compromise we’re more than willing to make in a boutique car that drives this well.)
5. It’s a sign of things to come
The company is under a new leadership team with Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll as executive chairman. His investments helped set up Aston Martin’s new assembly plant in Wales and get the DBX out the door. Priced from $203,500 in Canada, the DBX is priced to steal drivers away from the likes of Bentley and Lamborghini — and we expect it will.
Aston also has its own Formula 1 team now and a juicy lineup of future sports cars, mid-engine supercars, and practical plug-in hybrids on the way. If every new Aston is as exceptional and unforgettable as the DBX, we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
All images courtesy of Aston Martin.