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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The DB7 has a gorgeous shape, a fantastic engine note and a world-famous badge

Against It has a poor driving position, small boot, high running costs and surprisingly low specification

Verdict Good ones look a million dollars; bad ones can cost it. Make sure you know which is which

Go for… Light colours and complete histories

Avoid… Cars with patchy servicing

Aston Martin DB7 Coupe
  • 1. The rear seats are really only usable by children on short runs
  • 2. The exhaust manifolds are known to crack, and if you have to replace both sides, it can cost in excess of £800
  • 3. The Aston’s nose is prone to stone chipping, which can lead to corrosion if not properly repaired
  • 4. If the suspension set-up is wrong, it'll eat through tyres quickly, so check for signs of wear
  • 5. Connolly leather upholstery needs regular conditioning to stay in good shape
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Aston Martin DB7 Coupe full review with expert trade views

There are few cars that make you feel more like an international man of mystery than a DB7 Vantage. With 420bhp on tap, the 6.0-litre V12 engine produces phenomenal acceleration - right up to 184mph - and sounds amazing when pressed hard. However, the car is wonderfully relaxed at real-world speeds, and with so much power available you can afford to be lazy with the gearchanges and simply cruise along. The Vantage sticks to the road like glue, but it drives more like a grand tourer than a genuine sports car. The DB7's cabin wraps you in soft leather and polished wood, but, while the hide of the seats looks inviting, the driving position is poor. Boot space is tight, but just about big enough for a set of golf clubs. The rear seats are really only usable by children on short runs.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Strong metallic colours are essential, especially for Vantage

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Generally, the six-speed manual gearbox allows you to extract the most from the sonorous engine, but it can make it hard to change gear smoothly, so most owners opted for the automatic 'box, which was reaplced by a sequential-shift Touchtronic system in 2000. .

The right specification and colour are crucial in the DB7: darker colours are less desirable. You may expect a high level of goodies, and the basics are all in place, but the car lacks high-tech items such as satellite-navigation or electrically folding door mirrors. You don't even get a CD player on the base model.

Main dealers are the best bet for finding newer examples, but there are plenty of cars available from independents. Most Astons are well cared for, so steer clear of less-than-pristine examples with high miles, and make sure the service history is complete. Be wary of very cheap deals.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Build quality dodgy but badge and rarity will ensure a safe bet, at a price

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Let's face it, an Aston’s not going to be cheap to run, and as on any high-end marque you can spend a small fortune on running and servicing costs. Using a main dealer will be expensive, so, going to an independent specialist will save you money.

If you’re intending to cover a reasonable number of miles in a DB7, you can expect to spend some time standing on petrol station forecourts. Fuel consumption can be 20mpg or even less, and, with the car in group 20, your insurance premiums will be high, too.

There are few competitors for the DB7 Vantage due to its outstanding performance. Ironically, the car that runs it closest is its stablemate, the Jaguar XKR. Cheaper to buy and run, the less powerful Jaguar is arguably a better drive, but it doesn’t come with the cachet of that winged badge on the bonnet.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Strong metallic colours are essential, especially for Vantage

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The big V12 will require some fettling, and you’ll need to find someone who knows what they’re doing to avoid big repair bills. If the suspension geometry is wrong, you’ll get through tyres rapidly. The exhaust manifolds are known to crack, and if you have to replace both sides, it can cost in excess of £800. Because the DB7 is quite heavy, the brake discs can warp, leading to a judder when braking.

The Aston’s nose is prone to stone chipping, which can lead to corrosion if not properly repaired. Accident damage is expensive to repair because many body panels are made from specialised materials.

The Connolly leather interior may be very soft, but it needs regular conditioning to stay at its best. A car that has been poorly maintained will look tired. The air-con is also suspect, and can be expensive to fix, so make sure it works on any car you want to buy.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Build quality dodgy but badge and rarity will ensure a safe bet, at a price

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide
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