2022 Aston Martin DBX

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2022 Aston Martin DBX Test Drive Review: The Driver's SUV

Much like the Porsche Cayenne, the 2022 Aston Martin DBX is the first SUV model from a historic sports car brand. And just like the early days of the Cayenne, there are likely skeptics out there who believe Aston Martin is diluting its brand by building a family-friendly SUV. CarBuzz recently spent a few days driving the new DBX, and we quickly learned that any doubts about this car being a "proper Aston" can be put to rest. On its first try, Aston Martin has built one of the finest-driving SUVs we've ever sampled. In some respects, it even outmatches the Porsche Cayenne.

Aston Martin is far from the first exotic automaker to branch out into the SUV segment. The Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Maserati Levante, and aforementioned Porsche Cayenne all loosely compete with the DBX, each offering a slightly different flavor of uber-luxury crossover. In the US market, the DBX is only available with one engine, a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 borrowed from Mercedes-AMG producing 542 horsepower. Unfortunately, that's not the only thing Aston borrowed from Mercedes, as the infotainment is yanked straight out of an outdated S-Class. Though the interior is far from perfect, Aston Martin's first-ever attempt at building an SUV is nothing short of astonishing to drive.

2022 Aston Martin DBX Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2021 DBX?

The DBX has only been on sale for roughly a year, and there's a good chance it will have the Porsche Cayenne effect on the famous British manufacturer, becoming the company's best-seller. Aston's first SUV has been widely praised for its broad range of abilities, making it one of the top choices in the segment. We also appreciate Aston Martin keeping the DBX relevant by making minor upgrades on the 2022 model. There are four new interior environments to choose from, a sportier seat option, available 23-inch alloy wheels, and wireless charging.

Pros and Cons

  • It looks distinctly like an Aston
  • Ultra-luxury interior
  • Comfortable cruiser
  • Lots of customization options
  • Genuinely fun to drive
  • Outdated infotainment system
  • Other SUVs are quicker
  • Transmission could be sharper
  • Rivals are more affordable
  • Rear styling is controversial

Best Deals on DBX

2022 Aston Martin DBX Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
V8
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$192,086

DBX Exterior

The DBX is one of the more successful performance SUVs out there. It seems Aston Martin's design language works, no matter what body style you apply it to. The DBX is stunning in the flesh, and captures more stares than an average SUV. Aston's front-end design language works even better on a bigger car. As for the Vantage-inspired rear end, it's a love-it-or-hate-it element.

Because this is a high-end SUV, you get a panoramic glass sunroof, bi-LED headlights, including LED daytime running lights, and a set of 22-inch alloy wheels as standard. You can further enhance the appearance of the DBX by doing a deep dive into the vast customization menu.

2022 Aston Martin DBX Forward View CarBuzz
2022 Aston Martin DBX Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2022 Aston Martin DBX Lateral View CarBuzz
See All 2022 Aston Martin DBX Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The dimensions of the DBX suggest that Aston Martin went for refinement and handling rather than off-road ability. This SUV has a length of 198.4 inches, is 80.7 inches wide with the mirrors folded, and 66.1 inches tall. Aston claims a curb weight of 4,940 pounds, distributed between the front and rear in a 54/46 split. The most impressive figure is the wheelbase, which is 120.5 inches long. That's 6.5 inches longer than a Porsche Cayenne, giving it an impressive stance. It's also wider than the Porsche. On the downside, the longer wheelbase means the DBX is less suited to off-roading. With the air suspension set to maximum, the breakover angle is still only 18.8 degrees, and the maximum ground clearance is 9.3 inches. The Aston is quite alright on a gravel road, but we can't imagine taking it for any hardcore off-roading.

  • Length 198.4 in
  • Wheelbase 120.5 in
  • Height 66.1 in
  • Max Width 78.7 in
  • Front Width 66.9 in
  • Rear Width 65.5 in
  • Curb Weight 4,940.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

You know a manufacturer is serious about colors when the various options are broken down into subcategories like blacks and greys, purples and blues, greens, reds, bronzes and oranges, and silvers and whites. There are more than 50 colors available, and that's before you get to the grille finish, wheels, brake calipers, and exterior packages. Sadly, Aston sent us a rather plain white one to drive.

We much prefer one of the extroverted colors like Kermit Green, Royal Indigo (purple), Lime Essence, and Cosmos Orange. Those who want something more tasteful can dive right into the nine silver and white options or any of the more sedate options under the various subcategories. Quite simply, it will be hard to find two Aston Martin DBX models that look identical.

  • China Grey
  • Q Satin Xenon Grey
  • Q Satin Ming Blue
  • Q Satin Aston Martin Racing Green
  • Q Satin Lime Essence
  • Q Satin Golden Saffron
  • Q Cosmopolitan Yellow
  • Q White Stone
  • Q Platinum White
  • Jet Black
  • Q Satin Jet Black
  • Onyx Black
  • Ultramarine Black
  • Xenon Grey
  • Q Cumberland Grey
See all 49 colors

DBX Performance

The DBX soldiers forth with AMG's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, and we're ecstatic about that. Mercedes-AMG is currently dealing with supply-chain issues with this engine, but it hasn't impacted the DBX. As we've said before, the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 will go down in history as one of the finest ICE engines ever made. It's turbocharged, but it loves to be revved, provides a glorious soundtrack, and feels naturally aspirated. It's a win in every possible way.

In the DBX, the AMG engine delivers 542 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Those specs are less than some rivaling SUVs, but plenty for a good time. A nine-speed automatic transmission sends all that power to a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. Aston claims it will do 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and will only stop accelerating once it hits a top speed of 181 mph. Not bad, but not class-leading either. The Aston is more about driving enjoyment than raw performance numbers. While the DBX doesn't hurl itself at the horizon as fiercely as the BMW X5 M, it delivers a more rewarding driving experience. If it matters to you, the DBX can manage a towing capacity of up to 5,940 lbs. While this adds to the practicality, it's worth pointing out that the Porsche Cayenne can tow as much as 7,700 lbs.

2022 Aston Martin DBX Engine CarBuzz
2022 Aston Martin DBX Exhaust CarBuzz
2022 Aston Martin DBX Engine Bay CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

The DBX uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, designed and built by Mercedes-AMG, but "inspected" by Aston Martin in the UK. There is a straight-six mild-hybrid model, but it won't be coming to the USA. There are also rumors of an upcoming V12, but for now, this is it. AMG's V8 has a broad range of talents, though, so you'll rarely be thinking about another engine when driving the DBX V8. It works well in any situation that requires low-down torque, but it's also rev-happy when you want to go fast. The peak 542 horsepower only arrives at 6,500 rpm, but the 516 lb-ft is available from 2,000 rpm to 5,000 rpm, making the DBX eager to accelerate without hesitation.

A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard, and it works well under normal conditions. Shifts are imperceptible, and we'd even call them smoother than many Mercedes cars with the same transmission. If we had one complaint, the DBX doesn't change gears as quickly as a BMW X5 M or Porsche Cayenne Turbo. That's a shame, because the DBX's metal column-mounted paddle shifters are extremely satisfying to use.

  • Engine
    4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Justifying the DBX's hefty base MSRP is difficult on paper, but it becomes easy when you get it on the road. In its standard GT (Grand Touring) drive mode, the DBX wafts around comfortably, offering occupants a genuine luxury experience. Place it into Sport or Sport +, and the whole vehicle shakes itself alive like a dog who just heard the word "walk." Many automakers struggle to make their high-performance crossovers feel like their sports cars, but Aston seemingly nailed it on the first try. The steering, chassis balance, and handling prowess are all reminiscent of a two-door Aston Martin grand tourer like the DB11. It may be a tall-riding SUV, but from the inside, we'd be hard-pressed to tell it apart from one of the so-called "proper" Astons. We particularly enjoyed the DBX in Sport + mode, as it allowed the nine-speed automatic transmission to avoid getting trapped in higher gears. Even in GT or Sport, the DBX is still eager to blast past slower traffic with its mountainous torque.

The DBX feels quick in a straight line, but it's far from the head-smacking acceleration found in a BMW X5 M or Porsche Cayenne Turbo. It surges forward with great immediacy, but picture a gentle shove rather than a violent jolt. Where the DBX truly shines is around the bends. Aston blessed this SUV with adaptive triple chamber air springs, powered by a 48-volt mild hybrid system that can send up to 1,400 Nm of anti-roll force per axle. Put simply, the suspension uses electricity to send air to whichever corner is about to receive the most load. In practice, the DBX can enter corners at ballistic speeds without the body roll typically associated with an SUV. When it's time to exit the corner, Aston's four-wheel-drive system sends most of the power rearward, meaning the DBX is happy to hang its buttocks out. This is an SUV you can easily slide without fear of crashing, as the stability control is smart enough to reel it in right before you make a $200,000 mistake. Calling the DBX's handling anything short of magnificent would be an understatement. Yes, there are quicker SUVs available, but the DBX proves there's more to having a good time than posting superior performance figures.

DBX Gas Mileage

A twin-turbo V8 powering 5,000 lbs of SUV was never going to be frugal. According to the EPA, you can expect 14/18/15 city/highway/combined mpg. At least the DBX isn't outrageously thirsty within its segment, as the Porsche Cayenne Turbo is only capable of 14/19/16 mpg. Aston Martin also had the good sense to give the DBX a large 22.5-gallon tank, though we think there is still room for improvement in this department. The 338-mile range is just short of convenient.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    22.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 14/20 mpg
* 2022 Aston Martin DBX AWD

2022 DBX Interior

If Aston Martin is smart, it will take some of the money from DBX sales and invest it towards the interior. This cabin has some great elements, but the technology is lagging. The good bits come from Aston Martin. Interior quality is superb, thanks to copious amounts of leather. Many cows were harmed to make this car, but at least they died for a noble cause. You also get microsuede, soft-touch materials, and real metal to complement the high-end leather. It's exactly what you'd expect from a high-end manufacturer.

Unfortunately, there's still evidence of infuriating technology decisions. Aston borrowed the electronics from Mercedes-Benz. That sounds great, as Merc's new stuff is fantastic, but Aston hasn't borrowed the latest and greatest. This is not the latest MBUX system, it's the several-generation-old COMAND unit. There's no touchscreen interface despite the screen looking large enough and close enough to touch. Instead, you use a control knob. Thankfully, the climate control buttons for the heated and ventilated seats are separate, but most of them are touch-capacitive rather than physical. The rest of the cabin is pretty enough to forgive these oversights, but we hope Aston updates the tech sooner rather than later.

2022 Aston Martin DBX Dashboard CarBuzz
2022 Aston Martin DBX Driver Seat CarBuzz
2022 Aston Martin DBX Back Seats CarBuzz
See All 2022 Aston Martin DBX Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Aston Martin DBX is purely a five-seater, with no option to squeeze seven passengers into a cramped third-row. Though this limits the practicality as a large family hauler, we think Aston made the right choice, as all five passengers in the DBX will be comfortable on a long trip. Front leg and headroom are both excellent at 41.7 and 40.9 inches, respectively, while those figures are 40.9 and 40 inches in the rear. The DBX lacks any massaging seats, but the front and rear seats at least offer heating and ventilation functions.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.7 in
  • Front Head Room 40.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 40.9 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.0 in

Interior Colors and Materials

Much like the paint colors, Aston's interior options are vast. To start with, you have to choose an Interior Environment. The options are Inspire and Accelerate, available in monotone and duotone finishes. Essentially, these are just shortcuts, so you have something to start with. Inspire represents old-school luxury, while Accelerate adds a few sporty touches. If you opt for the duotone option, you can select the primary color from more than 20 options. Can't find a color that works for you? You're too picky. Moving on to the secondary color, the selection is just as extensive. We expected the configurator to tell us some combinations can't be done, but you can create a genuinely terrifying purple and orange combination if you really want to. Mansory would be proud. You then select the color of the brogue, followed by the headlining. The latter is only available in black or the primary color you chose.

The interior customization process isn't done yet, however. You still have to decide what kind of stitching you want and the color of the seatbelts, carpets, and trim inlay. The various interior trim inlay options include Piano Black wood, Light Olive Ash Open Pore wood, carbon fiber, and gloss Bronze mesh. The prices for these various bits are not displayed on the website. Whatever you build is sent to the nearest Aston dealer, and they'll phone you with the final - and likely eye-widening - cost.

DBX Trunk and Cargo Space

The DBX has a 22.3-cubic foot trunk, which is below par in this segment. Below the load shelf, that figure shrinks to 17.3 cubes. 22 cubes is still a lot of room for most daily needs, but it pales in comparison to the BMW X5 M's trunk which offers more than 10 cubes of additional space. When you need to transport something bigger, the 40/20/40-split-folding rear seats can be folded forward. Or, you know, you could just buy a base Ford F-150 to keep around the house for those odd occasions.

While the Aston's trunk isn't as big as its rivals, you can buy custom-made luggage sets that get the most out of the available space. Your dog will also love the Aston. It's the only car we know of with dog-related optional extras, like dog beg, dog accessory kit, and even a dog washer.

Interior storage includes twin cupholders front and rear, twin front center armrests with covered storage, door pockets, and a locking glovebox.

2022 Aston Martin DBX Trunk Space CarBuzz
2022 Aston Martin DBX Maximum Trunk Space CarBuzz
2022 Aston Martin DBX Rear Passenger Seats CarBuzz

Aston Martin DBX SUV Infotainment and Features

Features

The DBX comes fully loaded, and you cannot add a lot to it. It comes standard with power-adjustable front seats with memory, a power-adjustable steering column, heated front and rear seats, keyless entry, automatic tri-zone climate control, dual-zone ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colors, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The standard driver assistance suite consists of adaptive cruise control, a speed limiter, forward collision warning with auto emergency braking, blind-spot warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane change warning, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, and door exit warning. A 360-degree camera system helps the driver keep an eye on the SUV's surroundings. Ahead of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital cluster.

Infotainment

We touched briefly on the infotainment technology, which is housed on a 10.25-inch TFT screen. Though it looks large enough and close enough to the driver to accommodate touch controls, the only way to use this system is a Mercedes parts bin rotating controller. It's telling that all three German luxury automakers have switched back to touchscreens, and the DBX uses a more complicated scroll knob. Fortunately, Apple CarPlay is standard, so you can use Siri to enter controls via voice command. Unfortunately, as a sign of this system's age, CarPlay is wired-only and Android Auto is not available at all. As a consolation, the DBX comes standard with a stellar 13-speaker audio system with 790 watts. SiriusXM satellite radio, four USB ports, an SD card port, navigation, and Bluetooth are included too. It's not the best tech, but at least Aston doesn't charge you an arm and a leg for it like some of its competitors.

DBX Problems and Reliability

Since the DBX went on sale in the US, Aston's sales increased 224%. Aston will lose a chunk of those sales if the DBX is not bolted together correctly, so it's nice to see only one recall lodged against the 2021 model. A total of 151 units were shipped with missing headliner foam blocks, and that's it. A new model is usually recalled several times during its first year on sale, making this quite an achievement for such a small manufacturer. No recalls have yet affected the 2022 DBX.

Every DBX is sold with a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty. The same goes for the powertrain, but complimentary scheduled maintenance isn't included.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    3 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Corrosion:
    10 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    2 Years \ Unlimited Miles

Aston Martin DBX Safety Review

No Aston Martin DBX crashworthiness review has yet been conducted by the NHTSA or IIHS. It's unlikely we'll ever get a safety rating since both institutions tend not to smash $200,000 worth of luxury SUV into a concrete block. In our opinion, the DBX should be a safe car. It comes with a lot of active and passive safety features.

Key Safety Features

The DBX is equipped with driver and passenger, side curtain, and side thorax airbags. Aston also adds seatbelt pre-tensioners, a 360-degree camera, ABS, traction and stability control, hill start assist, and hill descent control. The advanced driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, a speed limiter, forward collision warning with auto emergency braking, blind-spot warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane change warning, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, and door exit warning.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Aston Martin DBX a good SUV?

You need to toss the price out the window when considering the 2022 Aston Martin DBX SUV. If that sounds crazy, the DBX likely isn't for you. There are other fast SUVs available for much less, including (but not limited to) the Audi RS Q8, BMW X5 M and X6 M, Jaguar F-Pace SVR, Maserati Levante Trofeo, Mercedes-AMG GLE 63, and Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Within the same price range, the Bentley Bentayga delivers a more luxurious experience while the Lamborghini Urus provides stronger performance. But as we've said, the DBX makes more sense on the road than it does on paper. Though the SUVs we listed here will keep up with the DBX, we think Aston Martin offers the best balance of long-distance cruiser and competent back road weapon. Perhaps the Porsche Cayenne drives as well, but it's far more common and won't stand out as much on the road.

Just like any other Aston Martin, the DBX doesn't jump off the page with raw performance numbers. That's not what the brand has ever been about. But unlike so many other exotic automakers, Aston managed to build its first SUV without losing what makes its other grand tourers feel so special. We hopped into the DBX cynically believing it could never measure up to the Aston name, but it exceeded our expectations. The DBX earns its Aston Martin wings and a space in our hearts as the perfect driver's SUV.

🚘What's the Price of the 2022 Aston Martin DBX?

The base price of the Aston Martin DBX SUV begins at $176,900 but nobody will ever pay that little for one. Even the destination charge of $3,086, excluded in the starting price, is higher than for most other automakers in the USA. As we mentioned earlier, Aston Martin doesn't list the price of exterior colors, interior trim, personalization options, or accessories. You build the car online, and Aston points you toward the nearest dealership to find out what the damage is. Looking at what's already available on dealer floors, you can expect to pay between $200,000 to $225,000 for a personalized DBX.

2022 Aston Martin DBX Models

There's only one model in the range for 2022, and it's powered by an AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine producing 542 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission sends the power to a rear-biased AWD system.

As standard, the DBX comes with full exterior LED lights, a panoramic sunroof, and 22-inch alloy wheels. On the inside, it has power-adjustable heated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, keyless entry, tri-zone climate control, ambient LED lighting, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The standard driver assistance suite consists of adaptive cruise control, a speed limiter, forward collision warning with auto emergency braking, blind-spot warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane change warning, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, and door exit warning.

The infotainment is sorted via a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch non-touch center display. The system comes standard with navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, four USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and a 13-speaker sound system.

See All 2022 Aston Martin DBX Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Aston offers various Lifestyle Packages, like the Expression Package. Sounds mighty impressive, but it's nothing more than a key pouch, polished carbon fiber tailpipe finishers, comfort headrests, illuminated treadplates, and valve caps with the Aston Martin wings. There are also various packages aimed at different kinds of customers and their chosen hobbies. These include the Pet Package, Event Package, Field Sport Package, Adventure Package, Snow Package, Bike Package, and Golf Package. None of these packages change the driving characteristics of the car, but they do impact trunk space.

The Touring Package is a bit more special, however. You get a four-piece luggage set and a cabin saddlebag to get the most out of the available space.

πŸš—What Aston Martin DBX Model Should I Buy?

There is only one "trim level" of Aston Martin DBX for now, but the customization options are nearly endless. The DBX comes highly equipped as standard, but that didn't stop Aston from loading our tester up with $38,400 worth of options adding up to a $218,386 as-tested DBX price. Most of these add-ons include various exterior styling tweaks, extravagant interior trim, and other minor changes, so we'd say it's entirely possible to configure as DBX under $200,000. The vehicle starts at $176,900 (before destination), and we'd set aside a few grand for an extravagant paint color and some upgraded interior stitching. The Sports Exhaust upgrade seems well worth the $2,300 upgrade, and after that, you can probably log off the configurator without emptying your whole life's savings.

Check out other Aston Martin DBX Styles

2022 Aston Martin DBX Comparisons

Lamborghini Urus CarBuzz
Bentley Bentayga Bentley
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Aston Martin DBX542 hp14/20 mpg$192,086
Lamborghini Urus 641 hp12/17 mpg$218,009
Bentley Bentayga 542 hp15/24 mpg$177,000

2022 Aston Martin DBX vs Lamborghini Urus

The Lamborghini Urus is aimed at sportier drivers who crave more lunacy from their SUV. It has the same size engine as the Aston, but it develops 641 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque to play around with. That gets it from 0 to 60 mph in just over three seconds, torching the DBX in a straight line. It also has 17.3-inch brake rotors and an AWD system that can send 87% of the torque to the rear axle. Like the Alfa Stelvio QV, it's an SUV that was made to drive quickly. Fortunately, it's also a bit of a puppy dog. It's the least intimidating Lamborghini ever, and it feels like a cushy Audi Q7 until you start hooning around a bit. The Urus is faster and has a modern, high-quality interior with a touchscreen interface. The Urus has a higher base price but its wow factor is off the charts - it's the one we'd have.

See Lamborghini Urus Review

2022 Aston Martin DBX vs Bentley Bentayga

The Aston DBX and Bentley Bentayga are remarkably similar, but different in a crucial way. The post-facelift Bentayga is more handsome than before, but it's nothing compared to the DBX. With the twin-turbo V8, the Bentayga is on-par with the DBX, though it offers a massive twin-turbo W12 that outguns anything Aston Martin currently offers. Bentley takes it up a notch on the inside. The attention to detail is staggering, and you can feel where the money was spent. It's quite evident that Bentley had more money to play around with while designing its first SUV, but we're not entirely sure that makes it better than the DBX. The DBX is more enjoyable to drive, which is why we'd pick it over the Bentayga.

See Bentley Bentayga Review

Aston Martin DBX Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2022 Aston Martin DBX:

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