Test-Driving The 2022 Aston-Martin DBX, An Elegant Brute

A blizzard of high-end auto manufacturers have jumped on the SUV bandwagon in the last ten years, for better or worse. One gets behind the wheel of some of these creations, drives a bit, then says “This is nice but I’d rather have the Ghost or the Continental GTC.”

Not so with the DBX. It’s a monster. No bumper sticker needed reading “My other ride is a Vantage.”

My $185,500 test SUV was left for me at a hotel in Tarrytown, New York. It was midnight and pouring rain when I arrived, so I didn’t get a look until the next morning when I came out of the hotel and saw the same angry, angular, hiked-up body I’d seen in Beverly Hills in December 2021, and felt the same devolvement of vocabulary – “Woah..this is nice.” “Geez.”

I got in and looked around in awe, belted up, started the engine and – another woah. Godzilla under the hood. A Twin-Turbo 4.0L V8 making 542 horsepower and 516 lb.ft of torque.

Like I said, it’s a monster. You don’t know you’re driving an SUV most of the time – it drives like one of AM’s other monsters. Grumbly acceleration, whipping through the corners of forested roads in Pound Ridge, N.Y. stopping instantly when I asked it to.

My week’s test took me to the hills of Westchester as well as the innards of Manhattan and, briefly, to Cobble Hill, Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn. I chauffeured family, friends and colleagues to, fro, there and back.

I flogged this ride, was in it constantly, and filled its tank twice with $5.85-a-gallon premium. I hammed it up with the photos, too. The DBX is like a $185,500 jacket – you look better in it or even next to it. Even Lincoln Center looks a bit more upscale, yes?

Some basic facts:

*It’s got a nine-speed automatic transmission with AWD – you’ll take it out in the snow with no fear.

*It can tow 5,940 pounds.

*It accelerates from 0-60 in about 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 181 MPH.

*Its fuel Economy (city/highway/combined) is a miserable 14 / 20 / 16 mpg, meaning there’s a literal price to pay for this much power.

*It’s got fat 22’’ inch silver sport wheels, a power tailgate and 12-way power seats.

*It’s got a satisfying, rich, crispy-tremble rumbly-bass Aston Martin premium audio system with 14 speakers. Crank the classical, the metal, the hip-hop, the comedy or the news – the sound fills the cabin with rich audio yummy goodness.

The options are many, and luxurious. Behold:

And the ride? It’s got an air suspension with adjustable spring rates and five-level height adjustment, so the bumps and potholes can go chase themselves. There’s also a 48-volt electronic anti-roll control system, replacing the usual anti-roll bars and allows individual wheels to take a bash and not affect any of the other wheels.

Sport mode delivers, of course, maximum velocity and a standard, torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system and you roll like a boss, bub.

Inside? Lovely. Elegant. Leather, leather everywhere, as opposed to some manufacturers who sneak the bit of plastic in here and there.

Just one gripe:

I don’t like pushbutton shifters, and the dashboard layout of this particular shift has “D” the farthest from the driver. “P” is closest. It seems to me that one quickly needs “D” more than “P.”

That’s it for the complaints. What I loved most about this ride was that it truly offered the versatility and size of an SUV, but the drive was sheer sports-car adrenaline. If you’ve got a brood and the coin to pay for transportation of same but also wanting to get your horsepower on, this is your baby.

Stay tuned, too, for the 2023 model, which promises even more horsepower.

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