The fabled British automaker’s first sport-ute – BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX – will definitely leave you shaken and stirred, blogs Road Test Editor Howard Walker.


 There’ll come a time when Bond, James Bond, will need to hand back the Walther PPK, the MI6-issued Omega Seamaster and the License to Kill. He’ll get hitched, settle down, and no doubt have a couple of rug-rats with Moneypenny. The current 007, Daniel Craig, is 53 for goodness’ sake. Arthritis and AARP are surely just around the corner!

Of course, with matrimonial bliss will come spatial needs. It’s no good rushing around in a classic 1960s two-seater – even one with machine guns and ejector seats – when there are baby seats to fit and IKEA flat-packs to bring home. Taking it as a given that Bond will always drive an Aston Martin, the company has thankfully recognized 007’s dilemma and come up with the perfect new Bondmobile: the ‘21 DBX. An SUV no less.

But this is not your typical sport-ute. Here is arguably the sportiest, most agile, most dynamic load-hauling 4×4 out there. One that will definitely leave even 007 shaken and stirred. It’s also arguably the most gorgeous-looking SUV money, or even Moneypenny, can buy. And with that trademark front grille – a carbon copy of the one on Bond’s much-loved ‘64 DB5 – it’s unmistakably an Aston.

I love the swept-back windshield and swoopy roofline. I love that curvy, bulging hood which, I reckon, used Daniel Craig’s six-pack abs showcased in Casino Royale, for design inspiration.

While the company hasn’t enjoyed the greatest reputation for quality and reliability in the past, it’s comforting to know that much of the DBX’s key technology comes courtesy of Mercedes-Benz. Heck, even Aston’s new CEO, Tobias Moers, was formerly boss of Mercedes-AMG. Pop that curvy hood to see the fruits of the Aston-Mercedes partnership. Powering this new DBX is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that does duty in a bevy of Benzes, along with the Aston DB11 and Vantage.It’s been massaged by Aston to better suit SUV duty, cranking out an impressive 542-horsepower and muscley 516 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a Mercedes-sourced nine-speed automatic and rear-wheel-biased all-wheel drive, the DBX can sprint from standstill to 60 in just 4.3 seconds.

But instead of borrowing a 4×4 platform from Mercedes, the company developed an all-new one for the DBX; an I-beam-stiff concoction of glued and riveted aluminum. And it drives like a dream. Naturally it’s quick; dial-up Sport in the drive mode system and it will rocket away from a stoplight like a rock out of a catapult. But it’s not the hard-edged, blunt instrument it could have been. The snap, crackle and pop exhaust is there, it’s but subdued, less vocal.

BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBXIn place of hard-riding sports suspension, the DBX features three-chamber air springs for a smoother, silkier ride. They even do double-duty raising the body to wade through waist-deep water. But what will stagger you is the sheer nimbleness and agility when you start powering the DBX through curves. With an electronic anti-roll system quelling just about any body roll, and the kind of precise, well-weighted steering that feels hard-wired to your brain, it’s an SUV that really thinks it’s a sportscar.

Inside, the Aston’s cabin is a joyous place to experience all this action. Most surfaces are slathered in buttery-soft Bridge of Weir leather with gorgeous double-stitching. Here there’s proper space for five adults, plus their luggage, with rear-seat legroom being especially stretch-out comfy. And the full-length panoramic sunroof floods the cabin with light.

I wouldn’t pick the somber, all-black Kentucky coal mine interior of our test car when there are so many more interesting combos to choose from. And the gimmicky, high-mounted push-button shifter on the dash of the BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX will drive you crazy!

Pricewise, you’ll pay $176,900 for a base DBX – around the same as a V8-powered Bentley Bentayga – though our extras-laden test car stickered at a lofty $205,086. Its only other real rival is the similarly-priced 670-horsepower Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo S.

As for 007, a DBX would definitely help ease him smoothly, and speedily, into parenthood. Perhaps “Q” could even design him a couple of custom kiddy seats. Minus the ejectors, of course!

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