Aston Martin DBX707: speed demon

Brummell test drives Aston Martin’s powerhouse DBX707 for five days of immense driving pleasure following a thunderous jolt on the Goodwood Hill Climb

Motoring 12 Jul 2022

Helmet: tick. Seatbelt: tick. Sleeves down: tick. Driver Andy Tokley ­– Aston Martin’s talented senior vehicle engineering manager DBX ­– and I are, seemingly, all set to put the marque’s powerfully dynamic luxury SUV through its paces on Goodwood Festival of Speed’s famous Hill Climb.

Until, that is, we quickly realise Brummell’s choice of dress and bare legs (it was a hot day) are not part of the safety protocol. ‘You will do the Hill Climb today,’ announced Andy as he leapt out of the car to retrieve his Aston Martin-branded rain jacket from the (very spacious) boot, which I proceeded to wear as trousers by slipping my legs into the arms. Luckily, after a tense pursed lips and head shake from the start-line marshal, Andy’s resourceful solution passed muster and in no time, he’d activated the 707’s Race Start Function, pushed pedal to the metal and we were zooming up the hill at 75-90-120-150-190mph. Reaching 65mph in a firecracker 3.3 seconds and with 707HP (that’s 157 more than the standard car) this is one powerful beast.

In just over a year, Andy and the team at Aston Martin have taken the DBX and enhanced every part to amplify performance, driving pleasure and on-road presence, and, boy, does this car know how to make its existence known; jazz hands and all. Its fully boosted powertrain 4.0 litre twin turbocharged V8 engine oozes charisma, charm and intelligence. It has a wet clutch nine-speed auto transmission, smart agile handling, carbon ceramic breaks as standard – the biggest of any production car at 420mm front and 390mm rear pinned down by six piston callipers – and enhanced cooling thanks to an additional air intake under the floor. On paper, it pretty much ticks all the boxes: the sturdy rigour of the most powerful SUV available, with the torque of a McLaren P1 and the slick looks we’ve all come to expect from Aston Martin. It was a real thrill to be Andy’s passenger for the hill climb but what if I was in the driver’s seat?  Would the DBX707 really live up to former CEO Tobias Moers’ vision for ‘perfecting the balance between the empirical and the emotive’?

Luckily, we did get the chance to test it out. When Brummell took the keys of the DBX707 for five days prior to the momentous Hill Climb at Goodwood, it didn’t take long for us to realise we’d really enjoy this car. The comfortable driving position – high up off the road with luxury sports seats with 16-way electronic adjustments – makes you feel like the king or queen of the road before you’ve even started the engine (at the press of a button, if the key is in range). It’s a weightier car than most SUVs but its power means it doesn’t feel like a heavy car; it moves with all the ease of a sports car, with enhanced pedal feel. The power steering does have a weight to it when taking corners, which offers a reassuring level of control for the driver and makes for a fun experience.

So far so good. Aston Martin is not the first luxury marque to go into SUV mode, and it won’t be the last but the DBX707 offers drivers just that bit more than your average SUV. With a variety of driving modes, GT is the comfortable option for navigating the stop and start of London roads but tap it into Sports plus and really open it up for more open roads and motorways and it becomes very quickly apparent how much this car can really do. Your fellow drivers will hear you coming and you will feel the roar but chances are you won’t hear with the double glazed window closed. Once inside you will feel like you’re in your own spacious (and supremely comfortable) Aston Martin bubble: the only place to be whether you’re stuck in a 20-zone or zooming along the M40.

The comprehensive infotainment system, controlled using an easy-touch mouse in the centre of the car, offers a complete menu of options – perfect for enthusiasts looking for all the details and those who like discovering new quirks in a car they’ve owned for a while. But while this puts the fun in functional, nothing can beat the pure, unrivalled enjoyment of actually just driving this car. It feels so good, so easy, so comfortable, so powerful but also so controlled. It is the ultimate driver’s car.

The DBX707 definitely ticks all the boxes for form, function and experience. It’s designed to go really fast, be really comfortable, to be a pleasure to drive, to take you anywhere you want to go and to give you everything you need in a car and more. And the best bit is that whatever you actually do with the car, you know it is capable of all these things and so much more. So even when you are stuck in traffic, you can be happy knowing you could be going 193mph if you wanted to. And even if you spend most of your time navigating winding city roads, you could be spinning it off the beaten track, if you really wanted. And that’s a very commanding position to be in.

Andy Tokley put it best when he described the car as simply ‘Performance. Dynamic. Fun’ Tick. Tick. Tick. We couldn’t agree more Andy.