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The most important Aston in a generation undergoes the industry’s toughest test

It was, for years, the prophecy that every lover of extravagant supercars, epic limousines, sleek GTs and exciting sport cars dreaded.

But just as the introduction of an SUV worked like a charm for Porsche, so it is currently working out very nicely indeed for Bentley, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce. Having for so long been anathema to so many, the super-luxury, conspicuously consuming 4x4 has turned saviour of a sort.

There’s a key difference between this and the Lamborghini Urus: the latter wants to show you it can do anything a supercar can. The DBX makes its own rules. I really liked how it mixed dynamic fluency with precision and feel.

Aston Martin has just become the latest of the ‘big fish’ luxury car brands to launch such an ostentatious SUV. It has done so with a view to stabilising its business, to opening up parts of the global car market that have hitherto been closed to it and to providing the revenue base on which its wider strategic ambitions can be built. Gaydon’s five-metre-long, five-seater cash cow – the all-new DBX – has landed.

And what a profitable introduction it could – indeed, should – prove to be. The Cullinan has become the fastest-selling new Rolls-Royce the company has yet known. The Bentayga outsold Bentley’s next most popular model by a factor of at least two to one for the first three years of its life, and the Urus is enjoying even greater domination by volume of its Lamborghini showroom siblings.

With even the mighty Ferrari gearing up to enter the super-SUV segment in 2022, Aston Martin clearly won’t be the last to this giant-sized feast. Moreover, if the appearance of its own take on high-riding motoring for the wealthy elite is anything to go by, it hasn’t been prevented by either convention or technology from taking its own unique slant on providing what this rarefied stratum of the utility car market may currently be missing.

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Stand by to find out exactly how unique and different the DBX really is, and whether such a vehicle can still feel like a proper, familiar Aston Martin to drive.

The DBX line-up at a glance

The DBX is currently a stand-alone model. The Mercedes-AMG V8 represents the sole engine offering, although there’s every chance that Aston Martin will introduce a V12, along with a more affordable plug-in hybrid, at some point down the line.

A big part of the DBX’s future sales success will no doubt hinge on whether or not the latter materialises.

First drives