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MOTORING

Beauty and the beast: test driving the Aston Martin DBX

Words by Rob Chilton

EDGAR trials the historic British brand’s first SUV and finds a split personality

Cruising gently around Dubai Marina in Aston Martin’s elegant DXB is a delight. Seated regally on luxurious leather that’s been stitched like a gentleman’s brogue, we glided around corners and rolled over speed bumps in a British bubble of sophistication.

Control buttons on the steering wheel have been thoughtfully and neatly positioned, a design touch that was aided by Aston Martin’s Female Advisory Board. The ticking of the indicator sounds like a calming heartbeat; the 25cm touchscreen panel and navigating tool are easy to use; the sound from the 4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine found in the DB11 and Vantage, is a whisper.

Curvy and cool

I picked up my daughter from nursery. “Ooh Daddy, this is a big car!” she exclaimed as she demolished her granola bar, scattering crumbs across the full-grain leather. The DBX is certainly big. Five adults fit inside easily, with boot space for four golf bags, while frameless door glass and a panoramic sunroof create the feeling of light and space.

Uncluttered buttons are sensibly placed

Daughter safely buckled in, I merge onto Sheikh Zayed Road, carefully press the gas and – whumpf – the elegant and gentlemanly DBX is gone, replaced by a growling tiger of speed, noise and masculinity. The stiff yet light bonded aluminium body holds firm as it roars along the road. Top speed is 291kmh while 0-100km is achieved in 4.5 seconds – this thing is an animal.

That spoiler means business

Back in the suburbs, everything calms down and the Incredible Hulk becomes Bruce Banner. We step out and take a look at the lines. The DB grille on the nose, the spoiler at the back (borrowed from the Vantage) and the front wing vents that give the impression of a snarl – the sort of thing pilots used to paint on their WW2 planes – all yell speed. But look again and the DBX’s elegance once more comes to the fore with gracefully elongated lines of a ballet dancer.

An SUV with snarl

Naturally, Aston Martin was never going to make its first SUV a boring and purely functional car made for ferrying children, smelly soccer kit and the family dog. But it is nevertheless impressive and surprising just how successfully the carmaker has managed to blend SUV practicality with speed and snarl in the DXB.

AED 836,538 (incl 5% VAT)

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