The first SUV from the legendary automaker meets all of its high performance and luxury standards.

COURTESY PHOTO: ASTON MARTIN - The 2021 Aston Martin DBX is a high-performance mid-size crossover SUV with power and style.If it wasn't for James Bond, Aston Martin would not have nearly the mystique that it enjoys today. But the company wisely embraced the iconic British secret agent, and it's worked out well for both brands.

Bond started out in a DB5 back in the 1960s, but if he hadn't died at the end of the last movie, he'd be driving a DBX today. This is Aston's first SUV, but it holds on to everything that makes Aston an exotic aspirational brand.

COURTESY PHOTO: ASTON MARTIN - The 2021 Aston Martin DBX is sleek but can carry five people and their luggage in style and comfort.

First, there's the design. The DBX is sleek and sporty where most crossover-style SUVs just look egg-shaped. The characteristic Aston front grille is there, and the stance of the vehicle recalls Shakespeare's battle cry, "I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start." So, top marks for design.

Inside, the DBX is as comfortable as any sports car, with a clean dash design and just a few unique touches. For example, you select your gears using a series of buttons mounted above the infotainment screen in the middle of the dash. The upholstery is fine leather, heated for all passengers. The infotainment system uses a 10-inch screen, but it doesn't dominate the dashboard.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The interior of the Aston MArtin DBX meets all lexury standards and can be loaded up with the practically every available automotive technology.

Under the hood, Aston gives you a driveline worthy of Agent 007. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine has a great sound, even if you have the adjustable exhaust on its quiet setting. With 542 horsepower and 517 pound-feet of torque routed to all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission, the DBX is smooth and fast.

It should go without saying that the DBX has every kind of safety and advanced driver assistance feature. But we'll say it anyway — if you can think of it, the DBX has it.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The front bucket seats of the 2021 Aston Martin DBX would be suitable in any sports car.

On the road, the DBX is beyond solid. Aston's engineers gave this machine their best sports car suspension and massive brakes. It corners flat, with perfect traction, and has the power to leap forward out of corners. You could outrun any number of evil henchmen in this vehicle, even without machine guns and rocket launchers.

Of course, there's always a price to greatness. In the case of the Aston Martin DBX, it's a Casino Royale price tag of $180,500 to start, or up to $222,786 for the version we drove. Yeah, it's crazy expensive, but you knew it would be. The thing is, if you've got that kind of money to spend, the Aston Martin DBX is worth it.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Up to three people can ride in comfort and style in the rear seats of the 2021 Aston Martin DBX.

2021 Aston Martin DBX

Base price: $180,500

Price as tested: $222,786

Type: Midsize SUV

Engine: 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 (542 hp, 516 lbs-ft)

Transmission: 9-speed automatic

EPA estimated mileage: 14/20

Overall length: 198.4 inches

Curb weight: 4,940 pounds

Final assembly: Wales, UK

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2021 Aston Martin DBX has far more cargo space than any sports car or sedan.

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