Recently I had a few days driving around the North Island in what might just be the coolest vehicle I'll ever drive.
The Aston Martin DBX707 was a great joy to take out on a road trip that provided a delicious taste of fabulous excess.
This is a vehicle made for people who want the most powerful, most luxurious, most expensive SUV available in Aotearoa. It has a very good shot at being all three.
Exactly how expensive? Well, it starts at $390,000 plus on-road costs, but the model I reviewed had options that pushed that up to just under a whopping $477,000.
For most of us, this is one of those 'if-I-win-Powerball' sort of things. But even if you have millions and millions, this vehicle presents an unusual combination that I think makes it a bit more niche than other options that cost nearly as much as a house to buy.
It's a hugely powerful sports car in the body of an ultra-luxurious, spacious SUV. Many folks would probably prefer one or the other, but for those who would like the two in one, it's hard to imagine them being disappointed with this.
OK, so just how powerful are we talking? Here are some of the tech specs to give you an idea:
- Power: 520 kW (697 bhp)
- Torque: 900 Nm (663 lb ft)
- Acceleration: 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.3 secs
- Max Speed: 193mph (310km/h)
- Engine: V8/32 valve (Camtronic)
- Transmission: 9-Speed Automatic.
In a nutshell, this thing is incredible to drive. It sounds amazingly grunty and when you put the pedal to the metal, the way it rips forward will never stop being a thrill.
It's actually frustratingly powerful. When you turn onto the motorway and hit 100km/h or 110km/h in a few seconds, this thing is barely getting started and is begging to do so much more.
The speedo goes all the way up to 330km/h and I imagine everyone who buys a DBX707 will absolutely have to take it onto a track to really open it up. It's almost painful being limited to what is safe and legal on public roads, while getting a sense of how much more this has to offer.
Speaking of keeping safe, the handling of this Aston Martin is terrific and makes you feel super secure at all times. Nothing feels like a strain with it. It's like how I never felt like I scratched far beyond the surface of its power - I didn't with its handling either.
All that power is, of course, housed in a wonderfully stylish shell. The colour of the model I reviewed was 'satin titanium grey', which actually looks like a shade of green, but with an immaculate finish you normally pay big bucks to have applied after buying a new car. Like everything with the DBX707 it screams premium lavishness.
Then there's the eye-catching 23-inch wheels with bronze carbon ceramic brake (CCB) callipers embossed with the Aston Martin logo, which is also on the centre of the forged textured black wheels.
There are loads of fancy design tricks pulled with this to make it all work the way it does. A lot of what may look like style choices on the exterior are actually important elements of how it controls the airflow and temperature and maximises the power. If you appreciate that sort of thing, definitely have a look around online for a deep dive into how it all works.
Inside, the lavishness continues through the interior packed with features to elevate the comfort and style.
One of my favourites was a very pleasant touch of literal coolness beyond the standard aircon. As well as seat-warming technology, there is also a set of cooling fans in each, which was just lovely on the hot days I was driving around Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.
However, it is inside that my only criticisms of the vehicle were found. Firstly, there's only USB-A ports with no USB-C support in the centre console, like it's 2018 or something. There's also no wireless Carplay support - that needs to be wired.
The primary infotainment screen also doesn't support touch controls: instead there's a touchpad and large dial in the centre console. These are good, but it's very intuitive to use touchscreen controls and it'd be better if they were also included, so whatever each individual finds most convenient is supported.
However you get your phone connected and then control the music, the DBX707 boasts an amazing factory sound system. It's also got all the tools you'd expect like adaptive cruise control, speed limit warnings and a really fun set of paddle shifters.
Changing drive modes is also highly satisfying, carried out with another big dial. I mainly used GT - which was the sort of standard mode - and Sport, which emphasised power. There is also Sport Plus if you take it on a track or something similar, as well as a couple of other ones.
Having a longer period of time than I did with the vehicle, getting get deep into the settings and customising the different elements before testing out how each tweak changes the driving experience would be very satisfying.
There's also a show-off button - push this and it opens up the exhaust valves to demonstrate louder grunt to people nearby.
That form of showing off is nothing compared to having someone in the vehicle with you as you put your foot down. During my review period I was fortunate enough to take some family members out for a few joyful drives and they were all amazed by it.
Sure, there's a novelty factor that might wear off over time, but I just can't imagine it ever getting boring. I reckon even after years it'd remain a thrill every time you take off in the DBX707.
There are plenty of luxurious SUVs out there to check out from the likes of Mercedes, BMW, Porsche and Range Rover, but Aston Martin's DBX707 is definitely demanding of attention, setting a very high standard with its combination of power, style and luxury.
Newshub was supplied an Aston Martin DBX707 for this review.