Test Drive: Behind The Wheel Of Aston Martin’s DBX707 Super SUV

We tested Aston Martin’s most powerful SUV yet in the hills of Montecito.

(Stinson Carter)

“It’s a pretty shouty green,” said a friend, describing the color of the new DBX707 that I’d be driving from Los Angeles to Montecito and back. Technically, the color was Kermit Green, and cruising Muppet style is an $8,400 add-on.

The moment I laid eyes on it, the shouting echoed through the underground parking lot where it waited for me and my family for our trip up the coast. I clicked the fob, and it gave me an amber flash as I approached, the sideview mirrors extending in welcome as if to shake my hand. Head on, it felt like I was staring down a giant, green king cobra in full flare. 

We’re Gonna Need Another Word For ‘SUV’

As I slid into the driver’s seat, I felt the heavy click of the door and savored the contrast between the confines of the coach airplane seat I’d just left and the coddling perforated leather bucket seats of a mid-six-figure Aston Martin. To call it an SUV just doesn’t seem right. These supercar crossovers really need their own vehicle class already.

Inside the DBX707 is far sportier than cushy. The start button and all of the gear modes—Park, Neutral, Reverse, Drive—are all buttons on the dashboard, which takes some getting used to. The inside feels spacious thanks to the massive moon roof, though in actuality it’s pretty svelte in there. 

The parking attendants gawked at it while we loaded in our luggage. They had all noticed the car when it came in that morning from the logistics company driver, and so naturally, they were sizing me and my wife, kids, and travel car seats up like they were all thinking the same thing: “That is who’s picking this thing up?” 

Moments later on the 405 Freeway, I felt a sudden need to escape the LA vortex. The irony of a vehicle that fine is its ability to make you think about insurance algorithms by zip code, algorithms that are about as dull as the car is sexy. Thankfully these thoughts faded as we got out into more open country. 

High School Reunion For Two

We stopped in Thousand Oaks to visit an old high school pal of mine, and the Aston announced our arrival with a rumble so loud his entire family and the neighbor’s kids came out into the yard. Before we left an hour later, he made me start up the engine another couple times, just to hear it roar. 

In the parking lot of the In-N-Out Burger where we had lunch, kids streamed out with bellies full of milkshakes, smiling and pointing at the DBX like it was a superhero’s car. I was beginning to realize that the shouty green was not only big in the seven-figure tax bracket, but also among seven-year-olds. Somehow, they made me like the color more.  

A Wolf In Wolf’s Clothing

The Montecito hills are a dream backdrop for an SUV powerful enough to shrug off any climb and nimble enough for any turn. The tight steering and suspension knifed through curves like a scalpel. The narrow roads and S-curves kept my focus sharp. This is no car, and no country, for idle glances at your phone—you’ve gotta be all in when you’re driving the DBX. 

Under the hood of the DBX707 is a 697-horsepower, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine. Thankfully, it also has powerful brakes. Even in the GT mode, which is its most “normal” driving mode, it’s by no means normal. Bump it up to the Sport and Sport+ modes and there’s nothing but a racetrack that can truly handle it. Overkill is often the point with a vehicle like this, and the DBX707 has overkill to spare. 

Tell The Guys To Park It Up Front

We had tickets to a polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. You know what kind of crowd to expect when you see that “CQ” in the spelling instead of a “CK.” The match was sponsored by Bentley, but as soon as we rolled up in the DBX, the head valet at the entrance gave us a nod of respect and said, “Tell the guys I said to park it up front.”

We stomped the divots. We cheered for one group of superhuman Argentinians to outscore another. It was an experience I would probably be intimidated by normally, but when it’s your Kermit Green Aston parked directly in front of the clubhouse, it’s easy to let yourself just be amused by it all. 

The next day, we took the DBX to lunch at the San Ysidro Ranch, the low-key but ultra-luxe Santa Barbara resort where JFK and Jackie O had their honeymoon, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh exchanged vows, and where even Winston Churchill once stayed. And I can report that the Aston was particularly shouty there. I was beginning to enjoy the audacity of the color hue the more it contrasted with the propriety of the places where I took it. 

We took the Aston back down the coast at dawn on our last day. The magic of Montecito gradually morphed into the tension of LA freeways, and suddenly I was ready to not be responsible for the safety of the DBX anymore. Getting back into the garage, I somehow managed to reinforce whatever judgments had been made when I picked the Aston up by not having the ticket on-hand that I needed to open the lift gate—requiring one of those same attendants to come let me in. It was the universe restoring balance after my four days of automotive smugness. 

Final Thoughts

The suggested retail price for the DBX707 that I drove is $288,000. I guess the usual, “You could buy a house for that,” doesn’t really work in today’s real estate market. But you could certainly buy the hell out of a “Save This House” mansion on Instagram for that, as long as you don’t mind Iowa. That said, I don’t think they have quite the same audience. 

A friend of mine, the commercial photographer and ocean explorer Michael Muller, drives an Aston Martin every day. He once told me that it’s a shot of adrenaline every time he drives it. For him, it’s the perfect antidote to the mental toll of driving in LA, and when he said that I understood what he meant. If you can swing it, and it changes your daily quality of life, why not? 

For me, it wasn’t even the rush of driving it that I enjoyed the most. It was firing up that screaming engine over and over again with my old high school buddy outside his suburban house. It gave us feelings that cut through the decades that changed us from teenagers in Seattle rocking out to Nirvana into dads who nowadays settle for Moana. For a moment there, that SUV was a time machine. 

I don’t know many people who would buy a car for nearly three-hundred grand, no matter how incredible it is. But as for the price of a feeling you haven’t had since you were sixteen, that’s simple. How much have you got?