NEW Aston Martin DBX: In-Depth Walkaround | Carfection 4K

Henry Catchpole takes an in-depth look at the new Aston Martin DBX and the engineering behind it.

Hop out of the back, pop yourself into one of those front seats and you again get a feeling of sitting in the DBX, not on it. There really is quite a sports car feel of been tucked down behind the dash, yet also, slightly confusingly, with a good view out. The infotainment is an upgrade compared to other Astons, as it is a generation further down the Mercedes line. That means a 10.25-inch screen in the middle and a 12.3-inch screen for the dash. The smell of fine leather permeated the cabin of the car that I sat in, but the most intriguing trim option is a world first application of wool (it’s an 80 percent wool, blend but it’s enough to get the Woolmark). The interiors of the two Lagonda concepts have contained noticeably soft furnishings, so this isn’t an entirely unexpected development, but I’m nonetheless intrigued by not only how it will feel, but how it will wear on the seats.
The other area of particular material intrigue is the ‘bridge’ between the two front seats. Large amounts of storage are available beneath it and there are the usual buttons on top, but the sides can be finished in flax composite (the car I saw), solid walnut or even a bronze metal mesh, and it thus takes on a much more sculptural aspect. Overall there is a much simpler, less cluttered feeling in the DBX compared to some of the more recent Aston interiors and I think that comes down to the clever covering of some of the speakers and vents in perforated leather (apparently another world first).
I realise I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the interior so far, but to be honest that is probably the most important facet of this new Aston Martin. Yes, the new version of the 4-litre, turbocharged V8 from the Vantage will be appealing to customers. And no doubt the fact that in Sport Plus mode it has similar roll characteristics to a DB11 (thanks to the 48volt electronic anti-roll system) will intrigue too. Some will probably also find a genuine use for the DBX’s ability to wade through 500mm of water and climb steep muddy slopes. But most will simply want it to fit seamlessly into and then enhance everyday life.
To that end, things that might not crop up on dealer spec sheets but will ultimately be more appreciated than the 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds, include the efforts to reduce NVH via the use of a single-piece carbon propshaft rather than a two piece item. Or the application of computational aero-acoustics technology to reduce road and wind noise for occupants. Or the hard points of the car that Aston claims have much greater stiffness than those of its rivals, thereby allowing softer bushings and greater refinement.
Likewise, customers may well notice the rear wing at the top of the boot and some may even be interested in how it directs air down over the rear to both keep the glass clear and then activate the rear kicker that clearly shares its lines with the Vantage. However, most customers will, I suspect be more concerned with what is revealed when the boot is lifted up (electronically, of course), the answer being a genuinely capacious 632 litres of luggage space.
Aston Martin is even making a big thing of the optional Accessory Packs, intended to further tailor a DBX to each customer’s particular proclivities. Owner of a dog? Adorably attached to a miniature pot-bellied pig? Then the Pet Pack, complete with portable washer, partition and rear bumper protector could be just the ticket. Or if you prefer to watch others exercising animals (such as horses or sheep dogs) then the Event Pack might appeal as it offers event seating, a picnic blanket, an event hamper and, because Aston Martin is still British, umbrella storage.
Given that this is the manufacturer’s first full five-seater, let alone its first SUV, the level of detail that Aston has gone to with the DBX is impressive. It shows how important it is to the company. Priced at £158,000 in the UK and $189,900 in the USA, the DBX is very much a luxury SUV. Yet Aston Martin will be hoping that the most practical and versatile car in its 106 year history will not only take the winged badge into new terrain, but also introduce it to a whole new customer base. Quite a few of whom will probably be rather keen on sitting in the back seats…
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