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Aston Martin DB9 2007 Review

Aside from the purchase price, it would be expensive to insure, fuel, maintain and repair. But while the Aston costs the same as some other desirables, it simply isn't like the others. The DB9 needs a learned hand, a vacant road and a cool head to find respect.

Otherwise it is a migraine.

It is not an easy car to drive — especially in comparison with its step-sister, the Jaguar XK coupe — and nor is it especially comfortable, despite Aston clearly marketing this as a fully fledged Grand Tourer.

The GT name fits, as long as the road surface is smooth — as it is in the important markets of Europe and the US but fairly rare in the antipodes where precious road tax is used to pave votes, not roads. In saying that, the DB9 isn't uncomfortable in the same way as crossing the Nullarbor by dray. Leather-wrapped seats with pedantic hand stitching are form-fitting so extended kilometres don't cause muscle pain.

The steering wheel falls perfectly to hand, and the foot wells are unexpectedly wide, a product of Aston putting the engine at the front and the gearbox at the back. The instruments are big and clear and the switchgear is man-size, and suitably identified in simple language.

But there is precious little personal storage space. Aston Martin's owner's manual is only 75mm deep, not because it looks chic but because it's the only size that fits in the envelope laughingly called the glovebox. The boot will take a soft overnight bag and another one for the make-up.

Be happy with that because Aston has dispensed with the spare wheel.

Puncture? There's a 1800-number to ring and someone will be right along. In the meantime, there are issues to discuss like when the children come along for the ride. Like, where to store their lower limbs.

My daughter played origami in the back seat, buckled and bowed behind a passenger seat firmly forward and with her head forced forward because of the low roof height. She's 15.

Clearly, the superb leather trim has clearly been wasted in the twin scalloped portals at the back.

Best they simply become much needed storage space.

I will also whinge about the ignition key that must be slide into a barely visible hole in the steering column. It's only partially over because it is extremely awkward to twist given the proximity of the fascia.

Once clicked over, with a modest assembly of panel lights for consideration, it's over to the centre console for a stab at the start button.

And here's where the fun starts. Here's that first dousing in the waters of fear as 12 pistons start their roaring, journey in the hot cylinders of hell.

Prod again at the row of transmission selection buttons on the dash. But wait, there's more.

Now release the right-side handbrake and firmly twist the steering wheel while applying judicious weight to the accelerator. Familiarity brings exploration and you find the Sport button — basically hell with an extra serving of cayenne pepper — then the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel rim.

You will tempt fear by coaxing the engine on a bit further to revel in its seamless power-delivery set.

It starts with a hollow, lonely cry as the engine passes through 3000rpm then takes on a deeper note hitting 5000rpm, then it's a gutteral scream of as the tacho swings towards 7000rpm.

Being inside this can while the mechanical bits are going berserk is akin to being strapped naked, wearing only spurs, to the back of a peckish lion and then digging your heels in.

The rush of speed, usually the most dominant of adrenalin-pumping senses, gets overwhelmed by the ear-thrashing roar of raw, raging power.

This is James Bond's ride so Aston doesn't hold back, cutting the rope that once civilised 450 horsepower (it sounds a lot more menacing than 335kW, doesn't it?) to sling its aluminium-can body down the bitumen at speeds of up to 300km/h.



PRICE: $245,500

ENGINE: 6.0L/335kW/570Nm

PERFORMANCE: 0-100km/h 5.1 seconds, top speed 300km/h

ECONOMY: 16.5L/100km official; 16.8L/100km tested


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Range and Specs

Volante 5.9L, PULP, 6 SP MAN No recent listings 2007 Aston Martin DB9 2007 Volante Pricing and Specs
(base) 5.9L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $85,100 – 107,580 2007 Aston Martin DB9 2007 (base) Pricing and Specs
Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist


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