Even though its chassis and platform was derived from the Jaguar XJS, the Aston Martin DB7 nonetheless remains a proper Aston. Being a grand tourer, engine and ride smoothness were a priority, and the use of the Jaguar based straight-6 engine (AJ6 previously used in the XJS) was a no brainer.
The 3.2L supercharged L6 offered 335hp which was enough to launch the nearly 2 tons car to 60mph in 5.5 seconds. Pretty quick, but being a grand tourer, the buyers were more interested in comfort and ride rather than actual performance figures. It was released in 1994 and was the entry level of the Aston Martin line up just below the V8 Virage.
It was available in 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. Even though the auto suited the car better, its performance was relatively poor compared to high performance cars of its time. It is to be noted that the DB7 was also the only Aston benefiting (or not) from a steel construction rather than aluminium conventionally used for Aston’s bodies.
The DB7 was discontinued in 2004 but received a major upgrade in 1999 with the addition of the 5.9L V12 which boasted 420hp and allowed the V12 Vantage to reach 186mph with a manual gearbox configuration.
2002 saw the launch of the V12 GT and GTA variants which consisted on a slight power (435hp) and torque increase, but mostly on suspension, brakes and a few cosmetic changes such as new wheels. The GTs are more sought after than the normal versions as only 302 were produced. The standard DB7 though is rather common and was the most produced Aston with over 7,000 units.
There has been some controversy about its look and components being to close to an XK8, though the Aston had its own personality and can be easily recognised compared to the XK8 but the lines are indeed very (too much?) similar.
As for prices, it is one of the most affordable Aston Martins of the moment. Prices are a little lower in the UK starting at around £20K vs. 30K€ + in most European countries. The DB7 is also available in Volante config and is quite desirable in my opinion. Even though prices are on the low end of the curve, as usual with such cars beware of the maintenance cost or it could become a money pit. But honestly, what’s not to like about the DB7 (maybe the automatic gearbox) which will remain one of Aston’s modern classics thanks to its timeless design on which all successors were based.