The Aston Martin DBX has quickly – and perhaps unsurprisingly – become the practical choice in the range. SUVs have a tendency to take that position. Trent Nikolic gets acquainted with the DBX707 to find out if the phenomenal price tag is justifiable.
- Ride is unexpectedly plush
- Styling is eye-catching and premium
- Engine is a belter
- The cabin is a bit, too, blue…
- Cabin design and execution showing their age
- No touchscreen is annoying
Do you wish, like I do, that sports car manufacturers concentrated on building sports cars? That they left the SUVs to the brands who have always built SUVs? It’s a simple thought, I know. And one that seemed to work for decades.
I’ve got bad news for you, and a healthy serving of the obvious if you do. The future looks like one where the Aston Martin DBX707 is the rule rather than the exception, and there doesn’t appear to be any sign of change.
That means, more than ever, we’ll be forced to assess the likes of the DBX707 as a dynamic sports SUV whether we like it or not. The question here, though, is also whether it can handle the daily grind as a family SUV, because regardless of the price tag or power output, an SUV needs to be an SUV.
As such, there’s a practicality element it must be able to adhere to, as well as being useful. A buyer with deep pockets still expects the same thing from an SUV as a buyer on a budget. They just have more to spend.
I’m not sure anyone looked at the original DBX and thought it needed more power – we certainly didn’t. And yet, in what are surely the dying days of being able to justify internal combustion frivolity, Aston Martin has delivered a 520kW/900Nm hammer blow. Sports SUV indeed…
You could argue that since the Porsche Cayenne debuted, every other performance car manufacturer got in the slipstream, but few have succeeded in carrying over the design signatures of their sports car or saloon to an SUV.
Rolls-Royce, for example, has tried it – much to pretty much everyone’s horror. I’d argue that Porsche has done a decent job with both the Cayenne and Macan. You could argue that the Urus looks like a Lamborghini with its visual theatre, but I reckon Aston has done it best with the DBX.
It looks like an Aston Martin. Despite the brand being synonymous for sensuous and muscular GT cars.
The DBX707 is a stylish, eye-catching SUV, but make no mistake, its swooping lines and dramatic attention to detail hide the fact that this is a big vehicle. It’s just more than five metres long, with a hefty 3060mm wheelbase, and a width that extends past two metres even with the exterior rear-view mirrors folded in.
If size equals presence, the DBX707 has some genuine chops. The rear doesn’t look as Aston – if that even makes sense – as the front, but it’s not unfinished by any means.
The DBX707 will go into battle against some serious hardware. Porsche, Audi, BMW, Lamborghini, Bentley and Ferrari all want a piece of this cashed-up action. As such, Aston Martin’s highest-performance SUV will have to make some sense to buyers beyond the exclusive badge on the sheetmetal and the stylish design.
The numbers are monstrous – and that includes the price – but there’s no doubt the DBX cuts a figure as debonair as James Bond’s choice of brand should. It would actually be pretty cool if it were the DBX 007 come to think of it. There’s the one James Bond reference I’ve allowed myself in this review. Let’s get back to the heavy-hitting DBX707.
How much does the Aston Martin DBX707 cost in Australia?
It would be trite to say that the DBX707 costs a hell of a lot in this country, but that’s also an accurate statement. Priced from $428,400 before on-road costs, if you don’t mind. And that’s just the starting price.
We don’t have the cost of the individual options of our test Aston, but the full starting price as tested is $526,000 before on-road costs. In Australia, it’s fair to say that just about every Aston Martin buyer will play the customisation game pretty heavily and the configurator will get a decent workout. Spending 100 grand in options might seem like a lot, but it’s easy to do at this end of the market. It costs a lot to look this stylish evidently.
Standard equipment highlights surround the largely bespoke use of premium materials just about everywhere. The carpets, the leather, the stitching, the fit and finish, and the general design of the cabin especially, speak to the level of quality the buyer will expect.
Our tester has lashings of optional equipment throughout the cabin, as well as carbon-fibre exterior enhancements, not to mention the gargantuan 23-inch wheels, which look sensational, but somehow don’t detract from the ride quality. More on that later.
How much space does the Aston Martin DBX707 have inside?
This is a proper GT-like SUV that looks to be the practical choice for blasting across European countries in short order. There’s plenty of room inside the cabin, but not one person opened the door and didn’t audibly exclaim when they spotted the eye-watering blue leather trim.
There’s no doubt it’s an in-your-face decision, and it’s one I’m not sure too many buyers would opt for. I actually like the interior and exterior colours being the same, but the blue on blue is pretty hardcore when it’s as blue inside as the 707 is.
The driving position is high and mighty, and the seats themselves, despite erring on the firmer side, remain comfortable. I liked the way you could sit yourself right down into the cabin if you so choose, and visibility remains excellent for almost all drivers too.
The door handles, which look neat, are a bit silly in real terms. Aston Martin calls them ‘handshake’ handles, and you have to push one end into the door to release the other end, which you then pull to open the door. No-one worked them out quickly the first time, and as neat as they look in a streamlined sense, I think regular door handles would be a smarter option.
Storage up front is decent for a vehicle that needs to echo a lounge club for seat comfort and luxury. Two cupholders are in place, and the door pockets have smallish storage available in them too. There’s also some room up front for smaller items like keys and wallets.
The second row is accessible and comfortable for two fully grown adults, even if you’ve got tall occupants up front. I’d recommend not squeezing three adults across that row for a long drive, but two will encounter no problems at all. Back seat bandits get cupholders, map pockets in the seat backs, and small pockets in the doors.
USB ports keep passengers’ devices charged up on road trips, and second-row passengers also get console air vents as well as pillar air vents. Fan controls feature as well, and the outboard rear seats are heated and cooled.
While the DBX707 is a big SUV, its boot space isn’t massive. 638L is on offer, along with a further 81L under the boot floor, and it’s quite a high lip point to load up into. That means shorter owners will struggle to manhandle heavy items up and into the boot. The sharp slope of the rear section of the roof means the opening itself isn’t huge either.
Under the boot floor you’ll find the space-saver spare tyre. Oh, one last thing. If you’re tall, you’ll almost certainly thump your head on the tailgate when it’s open, until you learn to duck.
Handily, you can lower the second-row seats to liberate more luggage space with the touch of a trigger switch in the luggage area itself. It’s a clever design that also sends the seat backs forward and down in one easy move. ISOFIX points in the second row will satisfy parents with little ones.
|2023 Aston Martin DBX707|
|Boot volume||638L seats up
Does the Aston Martin DBX707 have Apple CarPlay?
The infotainment system is an area where the DBX707 frustrated every Drive tester who spent time with it. Yes, it has infotainment and a screen that works. No, it’s not a touchscreen and that can be, frankly, infuriating.
Some might be mildly annoyed, others might have little patience for it. I was in the latter category, and it makes controlling your smartphone way harder than it needs to be.
You need to control the system via the meaty rotary dial that works through the various menus, and it’s fair to say you do get used to it, but I’d argue you shouldn’t really need to. In 2022, tech execution should be relatively cut and dried. And simple.
That’s why we’re all on the smartphone train. Simple, buttonless, touchscreens. It’s not hard. The system itself worked well once we understood how to best control it, though.
The screen measures in at 10.2 inches, and while the satellite navigation, for instance, isn’t as bang up to date in terms of graphics as some, it does work well. The same goes for the general menu functionality within the infotainment system. It’s a bit old world in some ways, but it works.
The driver’s digital instrument display is also a good one, which feels sporty and premium from behind the wheel. While the lack of a touchscreen remains a gripe for the infotainment specifically, the buttons that are in place to control various functions are reassuring to use on the move. The steering wheel controls aren’t overloaded either, and they are easy to work out once you get familiar too.
One thing that does take some getting used to is the push-button gear selection up on the top of the dash. It’s not where you go immediately looking for it, but you do get used to it.
Is the Aston Martin DBX707 a safe car?
As is the case with most super-premium vehicles on sale in this country, the DBX707 hasn’t been tested by our local ANCAP outfit, nor is it likely to be. It doesn’t have a Euro NCAP rating either. That’s the case for the regular DBX as well as the 707 we’re testing here.
|2023 Aston Martin DBX707|
What safety technology does the Aston Martin DBX707 have?
Standard equipment includes adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition, lane-keep assist, a speed limiter, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Interestingly, the AEB, which detects pedestrians, doesn’t have cyclist detection or the junction-assist smarts that many systems feature now. There’s also a rear-view camera and front and rear parking sensors.
On test, none of the systems did anything silly or dangerous, which is the hallmark of safety equipment that works. The blind-spot system is a good one, working well right up to highway speed, not that you have huge blind spots to worry about in any case.
We did have the rear cross-traffic alert come into play once backing out of a driveway, but it had detected a car that was going to stop for us anyway. Still, better safe than sorry in that regard.
How much does the Aston Martin DBX707 cost to maintain?
We can’t give you much in-depth detail on the servicing situation with the DBX707 beyond the three-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, which is a little on the skinny side in 2022 terms. Five years would be more in line with where most manufacturers are going.
Services are required every 12 months or 16,000km, and Aston Martin doesn’t have a capped-price servicing plan as we so often report on here. That’s between you and your service centre.
|At a glance||2023 Aston Martin DBX707|
|Warranty||Three years, unlimited km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 16,000km|
Is the Aston Martin DBX707 fuel-efficient?
Here’s where you’re likely to be surprised. The DBX707 is actually quite frugal, even when you spend most of your time in stop/start city traffic. Aston Martin claims a not inexcusable 13.5L/100km over the combined cycle. And, with no attempt whatsoever to be efficient, we saw a live usage figure of 14.2L/100km over our three days of testing.
That’s hardly out of the ordinary for a nasty big V8 that unleashes 520kW when you’re in the mood. Will the buyer care how much fuel it uses? Almost certainly not.
|Fuel Useage||Fuel Stats|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||13.5L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||14.2L/100km|
|Fuel type||98-octane premium unleaded|
|Fuel tank size||87L|
What is the Aston Martin DBX707 like to drive?
If an Aston Martin were easier to test drive, I’d recommend that you all saddle up in a DBX707 just to get a sense of how bloody fast an SUV can be. It looks fast, the prodigious outputs mean it should be fast on paper, and in the real world it’s a brute of a thing on any road. And man, does it feel fast from the driver’s seat.
To give you something of a greatest hits list, the Aston Martin DBX707 boasts 520kW, 900Nm, two turbos, eight cylinders, all-wheel drive, nine gear ratios, and a 0–100km/h run in just 3.3 seconds. Remember that this is a hefty, full fruit, 2245kg SUV.
The weapons-grade V8 brings the 707 to the badge in the form of 707PS (or what we’d refer to as 520kW here), and it is, at all times, a thunderous monster of a power plant. AMG-sourced, angry as hell, and always ready to rocket the DBX toward the horizon at ludicrous pace, it’s a masterpiece of technology that will soon be written about in historical terms.
Do you need this much capability? No. Do you want it? Yes.
The engine, as powerful and ballistic as it can be, is beautifully harnessed by the excellent nine-speed multi-clutch automatic, which gets the power to all four wheels efficiently and snappily, whether you’re thrashing at redline or meandering around town.
It can be headache-inducing if you want it to be, or as relaxed as you like. Either way, it’s a lovely SUV to drive on any road.
Think again about the 0–100km/h time of just 3.3 seconds. This isn’t a supercar or even a sports car. It’s an SUV that can easily do the family duties on the weekend. It’s almost magical how broadly capable the DBX707 is in real terms. And the noise. The noise is sensational.
Forget the Race Start mode. That’s just asking to have your licence removed from your wallet. But in Sport+ mode, the thunder that exits from the tailpipes is a sensational soundtrack.
On a twisty country B-road, you’re going to have to work hard, as you would with any vehicle of this heft. The steering is sharp and responsive enough, but you will feel the weight, and the transfer of that weight means you will need to keep your wits about you at pace. Still, you can hook in on your favourite road and have way more fun than you ought to in what doubles as your family SUV.
What surprised us the most on test, especially given the state of our roads in late 2022, was the ride compliance. Even more so given the optional 23-inch steamrollers lurking under each guard.
We were genuinely impressed with the bump absorption and ride comfort over just about any surface, no matter how poor it might be. Adjustable air suspension obviously helps here, but there’s intrinsic quality to the suspension system and the way it’s been designed.
You wouldn’t be able to hustle the DBX707 around a track as easily as the quickest SUVs out there, but that’s not the point either. The mere fact that an SUV this big can feel this fast on any road is a stark reminder of everything that is great about the current crop of performance V8 engines. And the platforms they sit within for that matter.
|Key details||2023 Aston Martin DBX707|
|Engine||4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo petrol|
|Power||520kW @ 6000rpm|
|Torque||900Nm @ 4500rpm|
|Drive type||All-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Nine-speed multi-clutch automatic|
|Power to weight ratio||232kW/t|
|Spare tyre type||Space-saver|
Should I buy an Aston Martin DBX707?
Rarely is such savagery packed beneath such a beautifully designed exterior. There’s subtlety to the styling of the DBX. Subtlety and attention to detail. Despite the unarguable brawn that lurks beneath that very cool bonnet.
The twin-turbo V8 is a powerhouse such that we might not see for too much longer. As such, if you’re a fan of the brand with the pockets deep enough, get into the conga line now while you still can. It’s a dance you’ll enjoy endlessly if you do.