The exceptional dynamic adaptability of some super-SUVs, aided as it is by state-of-the-art drivetrain, suspension and steering technologies, has proven to be more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to creating simple, lasting everyday driver appeal.
Right from the off, however, the DBX clears its throat and starts projecting some charisma, which is a promising sign. Even if you leave the car in its default GT drive mode, its V8 engine starts woofling in its enticingly soulful way – and it can be made quite a lot louder if you really want it to be.
The DBX ambles around agreeably at low speeds. Although the transmission can begin to grab at ratios a little brusquely when you cycle into Sport and Sport+ drive modes, it’s always smooth in GT. Here it hangs onto gears for just long enough that you can enjoy listening to the revs rise just above 3000rpm, at which point the active exhaust’s baffles open a little, and drink in the richness of the experience.
Out of town, when exploring the farther reaches of the accelerator pedal’s travel, you’ll find the gearbox can be a little slow, at times, to kick down; likewise, it isn’t as quick-shifting as you might like it to be in its manual mode – although that’s only a marginal failing.
More likely, if you’ve experienced the outright pace of a Bentley Bentayga Speed, Lamborghini Urus or perhaps a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, is that you might just ask, the first time you marry pedal with carpet: “Is that all?” The DBX’s outright potency certainly isn’t blockbusting: it needed 4.6sec to hit 60mph from rest and just over 13 seconds for a standing quarter, while the Urus was more than a second quicker in both respects. Aston clearly hasn’t missed those markers by accident but by intention.