Driven to Distraction

Aston Martin’s DBX SUV has had a power upgrade. The result, finds Mark Beretta, is an astonishing blend of poise, practicality and pure driving pleasure.

26 April 2023


Aston Martin has made an art form of blending comfort with performance. The DBX has always been a beautifully handcrafted, sophisticated car that performed like a classic grand tourer while still being big enough to move family or friends in magnificent comfort.

Now, it’s taken a massive leap in performance with the new DBX707. Dare I say it, of all the different shapes out there in SUV or big car land, the DBX707 is the most appealing to the eye – but what else would you expect from the designers of some of the world’s most striking and carefully crafted high-performance cars? Its shape is strong, sleek, fast, capable and very stylish.

There’s something very special about Astons, which originates from the fact that so much of the car is handmade. The quality leather is hand-stitched by the finest craftspeople, and machines just can’t match that. In fact, most of the work that goes into the DBX707 is still done by hand, and it’s a rare and romantic notion that these cars have been artisanally fashioned by humans using skills developed over decades.


These skilled craftspeople have poured their knowledge of stitching, shaping, engineering and finishing to ensure that each car is unique and has an unmatched quality – and there’s something really cool about knowing trained and talented humans toiled to make your car as perfect and beautiful as it could possibly be. But the DBX707 isn’t an ornament. It was designed to drive, and that’s what it does best.

SUVs, by their very size and nature, are big and heavy and take a lot to get moving. Not this Aston Martin – 110 years of engineering evolution have been injected into the DBX 707 and its mighty V8 32-valve, 520-kW Camtronic engine will no doubt put a smile on your face as it takes you from 0 to 100 kilometres an hour in an exciting 3.3 seconds.

Not only quick to get up and running, this car can also propel you to a top speed of 310 kilometres an hour with its silky-smooth 9-speed automatic transmission. If you don’t believe an SUV can perform like that, I give you Mr Fernando Alonso.

The Aston Martin F1 driver recently put the car through its paces on a closed track, and the result was both impressive and conclusive. Aston Martin made the event into a video called ‘The perfect lap’, and it makes very entertaining viewing to see what the DBX707 is capable of – underline the word impressive. This car goes like a rocket and handles like a sports car, and Alonso proves it with high-speed cornering, heavy braking and heart-pumping acceleration.

You can feel it for yourself straight away when you drive the DBX707. This car was made to be enjoyed by the driver, but it also doesn’t forget about the comfort of the passengers in the front or rear – they just need to be ready for an exhilarating ride; this car is a lot of fun to take command of!

Responsive application of power from the big V8 gets the DBX up on its toes and moving in a way not seen in other cars in this size category. It’s not jerky or lurching, just very well-balanced. It’s seriously about as good as it gets as a driver’s car.

Plasma Blue was the colour of my test car, and if you want to shine on the road and get away from Australia’s favourite colours of black, grey and white, this is your colour. It’s solidly a statement colour, but a car like this carries it off without a hitch, especially in Aston Martin’s signature metallic paint.

How to match the handcrafted leather interior is the next question, and Aston answers with Côte d’Azur Blue – if you thought the exterior was striking, the blue leather interior will knock you out. It feels luxurious and very special.

The embroidered Aston Martin wings on the front seat headrests are a stylish touch and, to delight all those Batman fans, the carpet colour is Dark Knight. The DBX707 is a serious driver’s car. The carbon ceramic brakes on the 23-inch wheels will get you stopped when you need to pull up fast. The DBX707 also comes with a sport exhaust upgrade – Astons have always had a beautiful note to them, and this car sounds as good as the best of them, if not the best yet.

The new model’s exterior pack includes a sharp front splitter, diffuser and sills all finished in gloss black. The front grille is another distinguishing feature, and a classic Aston Martin design finished in satin chrome.

The front bonnet has been given an aggressive, sporty look with two sets of twill carbon-fibre vent blades, and the look continues with twin carbon-louvre side grills. As far as tech toys go, there’s an inductive mobile phone charger, of course, and the key is unsurprisingly a fashion item in itself – it’s just so beautifully and unmistakeably Aston Martin.

If you’re chasing the exhilaration of the Formula One drive, you’ll feel just like Fernando with the carbon gear paddles on the steering column that let the driver select from nine gears with a flick of the fingertips. It takes the exhilaration of the DBX707 drive to the next level.

The steering wheel is another work of art in duotone leather and, of course, it’s heated – perfect for those early morning starts in the middle of winter. For my test, I was lucky enough to take the DBX707 to Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 12 Hour race, Australia’s greatest gathering of the grand touring community – one of our biggest car shows. And while there weren’t any Aston Martins racing on track this year, which was unusual, this Aston was right at home among the most stylish and sophisticated luxury cars in the world, attracting plenty of attention.

All up, I was able to experience the car across city, freeway and country driving, and on Australian roads, which are capable of throwing a lot at a car. The road to Bathurst, for example, has been known to have the odd pothole after big rains, and obstacles like fallen branches and wildlife are always a possibility. In all those different road conditions, the DBX707 was brilliant – nothing short of an exceptional driving experience.

One of the biggest selling points of the DBX707 is the ability to have luxurious comfort for four or five people plus massive space in the rear, all wrapped up in a high-performance package.

Driving this giant of the Aston Martin family never feels like you’re wrestling a big beast. It corners and accelerates with uncanny nimbleness, resetting expectations of what a big car can look like, perform like and, most importantly, feel like to drive.

It’s the best combination of big car and sports car handling I’ve ever come across. Quite simply, it’s a delight to drive.



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