A common question you get asked in this line of work is: “what’s the best car you’ve ever driven?” It is, of course, impossible to answer. I’ve been fortunate enough to have driven several that could stake a claim to that title. Do you want a supercar, sports car, muscle car, track day weapon, hot hatch, super saloon, even a super SUV? It can be like comparing Chopin to Jimi Hendrix; I like them both. So, the question changes. “If you could only have one car, what would it be?” I have two kids and regularly drive around the country watching football. Comfort, speed, style, practicality; I need them all. A Bentley Continental, an Audi RS6 or S8, a Range Rover, an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, a BMW M3, a Ferrari Roma, a Lexus LC500 convertible, a Polestar 1… Jeez, it’s a hell of a list. A list that just got a little bit longer with the Aston Martin DBX707.
We reviewed the standard Aston Martin DBX a couple of years ago and were suitably impressed. It sits in the middle of other super and luxury SUVs, not being too extreme nor so luxurious that it dampens all driving engagement. You could argue, however, that sitting in the middle of the extreme and the luxurious left it a little lost.
Well, the Aston Martin DBX707 comprehensively pushes the model towards the front of the extreme queue without any compromise on luxury. It’s the most powerful production luxury SUV on sale. The word luxury is important here because Jeep and Dodge have more powerful SUVs till. God bless America. You won’t find lashings of premium leather, suede, alcantara and mild roadside manners in their offerings, though. The Aston Martin DBX707 is still, well, an Aston Martin.
What’s the Aston Martin DBX707 like to drive?
Whilst I may have given it away somewhat with the intro, it’s superb. Whilst that does need to be qualified with ‘for an SUV’ the Aston Martin DBX707 is a brilliant car to drive in its own right. It’s just absolutely amazing for an SUV. From the moment you see it, with its more aggressive stance, hulking 23” wheels and laughably large rear diffuser with quad exhaust pipes, the Aston Martin DBX707 hints at being something special.
This continues when you climb in, with a lavishly appointed interior, good driving position and great visibility. Then you hit the start button and the V8 burbles into life. In the first few yards of driving the Aston Martin DBX707 is clearly a statement of intent that the standard DBX is not. Where that’s mild mannered and relaxed, the Aston Martin DBX707 immediately feels as though it’s making a point.
There are three succinct driving modes. GT, Sport and Sport+. In GT, the Aston Martin DBX707 cruises along as you’d expect a luxury SUV to cruise along. The ride is settled without being too firm, dealing with potholes and speed bumps easily.
Accessed via a scroll in the centre console, you can dial things up instantly. Sport brings more immediacy to the throttle responses and you can start to feel the 707 horses straining at the leash. Then, Sport+ dials everything up to 11. Valves open in the exhaust, throttle response is instant and you suddenly need to be at full awareness. Life starts to come at you pretty quickly.
The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 produces 707hp (hence the name) and 900Nm of torque. 0-62mph is ticked off in just 3.3secs.
But the Aston Martin DBX707 is still a behemoth SUV…
It is indeed but, alarmingly, the 2,245kg kerb weight does nothing to hold it back. It feels sprightly and punches towards the horizon like a supercar. Even in the twisty stuff it excels; it’s a behemoth SUV but you can really, really enjoy it. It feels more organic than its competitors, with enough body roll to keep you interested and genuine rear-wheel bias sensation.
It being August in England during my review, it chucked it down with rain. When you’re really leaning on it in such conditions it will understeer. In the dry, however, there is more traction than you’ll initially believe could ever be available. The way it darts into tight bends is confidence inspiring and then you can get on the accelerator as you would in something far smaller. The Aston Martin DBX707 feels like it’s on rails, with the torque vectoring sending the power to where the power most needs to be.
In such a setting, it also pays to bring the long, metal gear paddles into play. Whilst the auto-box is very good, it doesn’t always telepathically select the gear you want. No trouble, for the paddles are also a joy to use.
As standard, the Aston Martin DBX707 is fitted with six-piston 16.5” carbon ceramic brakes. They’re huge, but then they need to be. There’s an awful lot of car to stop from often frightening speeds, but they do a brilliant job. If you ever fancy taking on a track day, which you absolutely would, they will go for hour after hour without fading. The whole car just keeps on coming back for more.
What’s the Aston Martin DBX707 like to live with?
Whilst it’s easy to focus solely on the driving experience, the Aston Martin DBX707 is also a family SUV first a foremost. You wouldn’t purchase such a car if practicality wasn’t a major factor in your decision making.
It’s a massive car, just over five-metres long and 2.2-metres wide. Doing an airport run I was rather nervous taking it into the Gatwick south terminal short stay car park. Thankfully, the sensors and 360-degree overhead camera spared me any expensive repair bills.
There’s a 638-lire boot with a further 81-litres underneath if you don’t opt for a spare wheel. You’ll have no trouble getting everything in.
In the cabin, the focus is on luxury with the Aston Martin DBX707. All seats are heated and ventilated, there’s leather and suede everywhere and everything you touch feels expensive. The model tested came fitted with plenty of interior and exterior carbon fibre, too. The Aston Martin premium audio system is excellent and the suede speaker coverings are a nice touch.
The only negative point is the infotainment system. It’s not a touchscreen and you have to use a rotary dial to access menus and input data. It’s fiddly, somewhat unintuitive and incongruous in a car at this price point. The Aston Martin DBX707 starts at £190,000. Start ticking boxes on the extensive options list and that will soon inflate.
Infotainment system aside, however, there really isn’t anything to complain about. It only really stands out owing to the excellence around it. The Aston Martin DBX707 is wonderful place to be for whatever driving you’re about to demand of it. You’d get used to the infotainment system with time anyway.
I was expecting the ‘most powerful production luxury SUV in the world’ to be noticeably faster than the DBX but that to be about it. A V8 with more power and performance bullied out of it in a shouty manner. Something to stare down the Lamborghini Urus.
You instantly realise that the Aston Martin DBX707 is a whole lot more than that. In terms of power and performance yes, it’s a quantum leap from the DBX. Yet it also goes a lot further in terms of driving dynamics and engagement. It’s a genuinely enjoyable car to drive, and not just for an SUV.
The super SUV segment is crazy by design. The numbers, the performance, the prices; everything is dialled up to the absolute extreme of engineering capabilities. They need to be super cars, sports cars, luxury cars and family cars. The remit is broader than in any other sector. It often leaves them fatally compromised.
The Aston Martin DBX707 does the best job – so far – of ironing out these compromises. It works brilliantly in any setting. Calm and collected with the family, an absolute beast when you want to let it loose. The major flaw is how often you’ll need to stop for petrol. 17.0mpg across 238-miles of driving, since you asked.
Aston Martin set out to make an SUV that pushes the boundaries of the genre and it has achieved just that. It’s the best super SUV I’ve driven. Whilst it can’t defy physics entirely, it has a damn good go. Cars this big shouldn’t be this fast, this agile or this enjoyable to drive. It’s an exceptional car and not just for an SUV.