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Magical V8 sports SUV’s interior and tech get updated to keep it spinning money

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The security guards at Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters have it all right.

They patrol the campus from the confines of an understated but quite fetching white Aston Martin DBX of 2020 vintage (silver wheels, too). Aside from the fact that their counterparts in Maranello are unlikely ever to find themselves luxuriating behind the wheel of a £313k Ferrari Purosangue, there’s nothing unusual about this.

It's worth mentioning only because, for a moment, I almost didn’t recognise this old DBX, so demure did it look parked next to the extroverted mass of the new-for-2024, facelifted DBX 707 that we're in Gaydon to drive.

It’s fair to say that since it was launched in 2019, the DBX has been on a journey. As a driver’s car, it has always represented an unusually sweet blend of comfort and handling in the super-SUV sphere, but its ultimate raison d’être has always been to sell, sell, sell – to support the firm’s bottom line by successfully competing in what is a profitable but brutally fierce class.

That’s why, just a few years into the DBX’s existence, we got the flashy 707 version. More power, less weight, more grip, louder colours, a louder exhaust and more visual aggression, including a diffuser that wouldn’t have looked amiss on one of Aston’s GT3 racers. All of this in order to better appeal to anybody cross-shopping the DBX with the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus or Purosangue.

It proved so popular that Aston elected to drop the subtler original from its range. And now there’s another evolution. 

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INTERIOR

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aston martin dbx 707 review 2024 10 dash

However, where the initial 707 recipe was formulated for speed, noise and on-demand oversteer, this one mostly addresses the interior.

It’s a critical update, not least for the tech-focused Chinese market, where the DBX had traditionally sold well but has recently slipped back a touch.

Compare the original DBX’s chunky, hand-me-down Mercedes-Benz infotainment system with, say, the array in the BMW XM and you can see why an upgrade was desperately required for the model that accounts for more than half of Aston’s sales.

If the V-shaped deck of switchgear and slimline central touchscreen look familiar, it’s because this is the same in-house set-up that recently made its debut in the DB12 and Vantage coupés. At 12.3in, the display inside the instrument binnacle is fractionally larger in the DBX than it is in those cars, but elsewhere you have the same plethora of useful physical controls on the transmission tunnel and new but not quite responsive enough touch panels on the restyled – and very comfy – steering wheel.

Connectivity is considerably improved, too. The DBX now offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and has USB-C ports. In the context of a 697bhp car, this all sounds a bit prosaic, but if owners are just about willing to forgive the absence of these digital amenities in low-slung supercars, they certainly aren’t in more daily-usable options like the DBX.

The rest of the interior hasn’t been overlooked: there are new materials and details all around. Equally, the tenets of the DBX’s cabin – opulent upholstery, a class-leading atmosphere rich in its sense of light and space and rear leg room fit for an NBA star – haven’t changed. This remains an easy car to rub along with day to day, with only the lack of the rear-axle steering counting against the big Aston when it comes to manoeuvrability. 

RIDE & HANDLING

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aston martin dbx 707 review 2024 20 rear cornering

Out on the open road, the DBX continues to defy what anyone might reasonably expect of a 2.2-tonne family car with a high centre of gravity.

It behaves much like a super-saloon – a bloody well-sorted one set up by a company whose engineers understand that good road manners are non-negotiable but also have a sense of humour.

You can have either 22in or 23in wheels, and there are some spectacularly open-worked designs. I’d choose a smaller set for that touch more tyre sidewall.

The Mercedes-AMG-built twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine is carried over from before and offers what amounts to bottomless, breathy performance, put cleanly to the road via an electronic differential and gargantuan Pirellis at the back. The chassis – with air suspension and active anti-roll bars – is also largely unchanged.

Bring up Sport+ mode and the DBX is a snorting brute yet not at all ragged to drive, with a deliberateness about the driving controls and body movements that inspires confidence. It handles beautifully – not simply for an SUV but in absolute terms – and has playfulness to match its speed.

And what speed. On a good B-road, a V8 Bentayga wouldn’t see which way this car went. A V12 Purosangue might, but that’s in another league of expense. Then you can dial the DBX back into GT mode and have a silken tourer on your hands, notwithstanding road roar that’s just a little too present. 

VERDICT

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Even those who aren’t exactly enamoured with overbearing performance SUVs will have to admit that the DBX remains an immensely broad and capable all-round package. And for those who do want such a car, the Aston’s appeal is only heightened now that it has an infotainment system that’s up-to-date and usable, if not as slick as the best in the class. What I’d really like to see is it all wrapped up in a body with the restraint of security’s trusty steed.

Richard Lane

Richard Lane
Title: Deputy road test editor

Richard joined Autocar in 2017, arriving from Evo magazine, and is typically found either behind a keyboard or steering wheel.

As deputy road test editor he delivers in-depth road tests, performance benchmarking and supercar lap-times, plus feature-length comparison stories between rival cars. He can also be found on Autocar's YouTube channel

Mostly interested in how cars feel on the road – the sensations and emotions they can evoke – Richard drives around 150 newly launched makes and models every year, and focuses mainly on the more driver-orientated products, as is tradition at Autocar. His job is then to put the reader firmly in the driver's seat. 

Away from work, but remaining on the subject of cars, Richard owns an eight-valve Integrale, loves watching sportscar racing, and holds a post-grad in transport engineering.