The Aston Martin DBX is the only car we’ve had that’s so wide it wouldn’t fit through the vehicle gates at our dog compound. And I caught my Aussie Shepherd resting her snout on its rear fenders from the back seat. It’s mean, it’s magnificent, it’s the Aston Martin of SUVs. We got to try one with the $2,100 Pet Pack and one other interesting option: the 707-horsepower engine.
Ah, to be comparison shopping ultra-luxe hi-po SUVs. Between this Aston, the Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Ferrari Purosangue, and Lamborghini Urus, you’ve got a pretty broad range of designs and vibes to pick from in this elite tier of “utility” vehicles. That’s before you even get to the regular-luxury extreme SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Merc G-Wagen and AMGs, BMW XM, Audi RS Q8, and the higher-end Range Rovers. To my rich rednecks, sorry, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is sold out (though I’m sure you’ll be able to find a recent repo for sale somewhere).
The DBX pulls up in a blaze of black-tie energy, made possible by decades of association between the Aston Martin brand and James Bond. Now’s the part where I thought I’d be writing “Unlike Astons of yore, this one’s practical!” but despite the DBX’s usable back seat and cargo bay, it’s not a particularly easy car to daily drive and live with.
Welcome to Will It Dog, The Drive's car review series for canine owners. Here we'll look at what the Aston Martin DBX super sport ute is like as a dog taxi. We'll focus on the car's physical attributes when it comes to carrying animals rather than driving dynamics.
|2023 Aston Martin DBX707 Specs for Dog Owners
|Base Price (as tested)
|Seating Capacity (people)
|Seating Capacity (dogs)
|EPA Fuel Economy
|15 mpg city | 20 highway | 17 combined
|22.5 cubic feet behind second row | 54 cubic feet behind first row
|All the thrills and personality of a true supercar, with just a tiny bit more cargo space. Also all the relentless intensity of a true supercar, with a deeply annoying interface.
|Will It Dog Score
Aston Martin DBX Pet Pack and Dog Accessories Kit
This Aston Martin SUV is the first vehicle we’ve dog-tested that was delivered to us with a dedicated dog options kit.
The DBX Pet Pack ($2,100) includes the very robust and elegant bolt-in cargo partition you see in these photos and a nice leather-trimmed bumper protector that you roll out like a red carpet for when you want your animal to hop up into the back. This is handy because the bumper sticks out like a superhero’s chin. There’s also a little portable wash-station thing which didn’t feel quite as high-end as the rest of the kit.
It also includes a large handbag dog carrier with mesh windows, a tiny leash, and a zipper bag with two dog bowls. The bag is pretty nice, though it could only contain dogs that are small enough to be carried or tucked into an under-seat airplane storage slot. If you just want those items but don’t need the DBX-specific cargo partition, you can get it for $1,650 as the Aston Martin Dog Accessories Kit.
If you’re looking to take on a $200,000 loan for one of these vehicles, another $2,100 is basically nothing so if you think the AM-branded dog stuff is cute, go for it. But fair warning: This stuff was not built for Australian Shepherds or Golden Retrievers. The leash and bag are viable for dainty dogs only.
Interior Materials and Layout
The DBX707 has two aggressive (though comfortable) front seats and a rear bench with two pretty pronounced buckets. The Pet Pack’s cage blocks any access between the cargo bay and the second row of seats and it’s bolted in—you can’t easily pop it off and drop the seats. There’s plenty of room in the back seat for adults but I wouldn’t call it cavernous. With a black interior especially, the cockpit is quite cocoon-feeling.
Scent, as an automotive brand-based quality, isn’t discussed enough. I love the sweet smell of a Mercedes-Benz, while I don’t particularly care for the somewhat janitorial odor of Toyotas—heck, we could do a whole other post about this. But I’m bringing it up because out of everything I’ve driven, from clapped-out trucks to low-flying spaceships like the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, no vehicle smells quite as nice as the inside of a new Aston Martin.
Fine leather is probably the strongest, most distinctive olfactory tone, but there’s a rich crispness to it that Aston seems to have mastered. Being drenched in it every time I climbed into the DBX put a huge smile on my face—and I’m excited to report that it is more powerful than the stank of a damp dog.
But speaking of dogs and their dampness, you’re definitely going to want to use a seat cover in this thing and load your animals in carefully. There really aren’t any throwaway surfaces in the DBX, meaning everything from the headliner to plastic areas in corners looks well-made, precious even. It’d be tough to watch long claws or muddy paws touch anything inside this vehicle after investing six figures in it!
Climbing In and Out
I would probably be inclined to lift my dog in and out of this vehicle by hand, to minimize the odds of them putting a tear in anything on their way. But even if your dog’s gentle, the DBX could be a little challenging to enter. Because of how far out the rear bumper and valance protrude, a dog has to jump fairly high and forward to get from the ground into the rear cargo area. Our female Aussie Sheps had no problem boing’ing up and in, but the heavier males weren’t as eager. The 75-plus pound Golden Retriever we had at our test took one look and said “No way.”
There is a kneeling function in the air suspension and a special mode that squats the rear specifically for taking on cargo. That certainly helps, and it’s easy to remember the function exists because the buttons are right on the inside of the rear door. Still, our biggest test dogs weren’t into it.
All our animals could climb into the side door in the car’s low mode, though. The biggest and heaviest still struggled a bit, they had to use the footwell as a step but they were a little too porky to fit comfortably. Once seated, the pooches seemed happy. The bucketing shape of the rear seats is great for a small to medium-sized dog to curl up in, but if your dog likes to sprawl across the rear bench they might find some lumps a little annoying.
Driving With the Dog
The cargo cage that comes with the Pet Pack would indicate that dogs are meant to ride behind the second row. That’s a good idea from a safety perspective, as it keeps them completely partitioned from the driver and controls. And there’s no leather back there for them to perforate. There also aren’t any side windows for them to see out of from back there, though of course, they could look aft at whoever’s behind you.
Bramble was OK back there once she got settled; the car’s belching exhaust didn’t seem to bother her though she was very annoyed that she couldn’t get good sniffs of the outside world and she couldn’t receive any mid-ride pats.
In the second-row passenger seat, where she usually rides, she was much happier. I was amused to see her wistfully gazing into the distance with her snoot resting on the fender more than a few times.
The proximity of the rear seat to the center console makes it fairly easy for even a smaller dog to climb forward, which can be dangerous and distracting. Belting in the beast mitigates that from happening, and will help keep your creature safe in a crash, too.
Not to be too morbid, but you’ll want to be extra careful avoiding a hard stop with an unbelted dog in the back seat here because of the front seat design. They won’t crash into a leather cushion—it’s hard, clear-coated carbon fiber back there.
Driving in General
The DBX707 is a lot of fun to drive—and also kind of annoying. Blasting off from a stop to the snarl of a V8 is delightful, shifts punctuate the drama of acceleration like Indiana Jones’ whip-cracks, and ripping up mountain roads in something this tall and heavy makes you feel like an unbeatable final boss. It swings and snorts but stays in control as you slash your way around deserted areas. I have a feeling you’d go through brakes and tires on a track, but I chickened out long before I ran out of power on secluded roads.
Sustained cruising is also quite nice. While the seats are taut, they’re supportive in the right places, and exterior noise melts right out while you’re making good time on the highway. But man, shunting one of these around town is tedious.
There’s always a soft hum of frustration fizzing between my ears when I’m forced to plod along behind dented Camrys and other NPC traffic in cars this powerful. Having Bramble on board helps mitigate that—I want maximum comfort for my fluffy baby so my need for speed subsides.
The DBX707 itself, however, seemed a little grumpy. Even in the chill driving modes, it was just a little jerky and jabby in its response to inputs. The steering’s heavy enough to require getting used to, too. That said, I want to point out that such quirks are typically endemic to an aggressive car. Honestly, it’s even valid to say that this particular type of roughness is charming in a car that’s supposed to be sporty and characterful. It’s just important to note since this supercar is clearly trying pretty hard to be a viable daily driver.
Unfortunately, there’s also some rudeness to the DBX’s basic human-machine interface. The push-button shifter is garbage, for one thing. Poking the dashboard to engage a gear does not feel cool, and the buttons are so far away from the driver’s seat that shifting between park and drive and reverse is mildly straining. And I’m a six-foot-tall dude with fairly long arms! This bothered me a lot over my 400 miles with the thing. Another infuriating thing: Apple CarPlay connectivity was wonky and unreliable, and even when it was connected, inputs came with a ridiculous delay.
The DBX certainly has the size to carry multiple animals, and your willingness to load this thing up like a farm truck will depend on how concerned you are with potential scratches. I would say two grown Goldens could fit in the second row with one more in the way back. But any breed bigger than that will have to be solo in the passenger seats.
Once again, the material choices in the DBX might make you hesitant to cram a hard-sided kennel in there. The rear cargo area was too small for our medium-sized Enventur Diggs inflatable kennel, but I was able to inflate it in the passenger compartment. You certainly wouldn’t be putting any 90-degree metal-edged boxes back there, though.
A small kennel or animal carrier would slide into the back without a problem.
Aston Martin DBX707 Dog-Friendliness Verdict
I think it’s adorable that Aston sells a branded dog kit for this thing, and the cargo cage especially is very nicely integrated into the vehicle. You certainly can transport dogs in a DBX … small to medium-sized pooches who are comfortable riding in the wayback will be especially happy. But I can’t call this vehicle particularly well-suited to dog shuttling. If I’m being totally honest, I didn’t find it particularly pleasant for daily driving at all.
If you’re looking for an extreme sports-GT car experience, but want back seats and a decent-sized cargo bay, the DBX does it, looks very distinctive, and is memorable to drive. All valid reasons to want a machine like this. But if you’re hoping for a refined luxury experience with sporting pretense and ability, I think this Aston Martin’s quirks and charms could start to feel grating.
The DBX707 is a truly amazing feat of engineering. It performs ridiculously well for something of its stance and size. Its surprising efficiency—the EPA has it rated for 20 whole mpg on the highway—is frankly award-worthy. Most importantly, though, it brings that old-world sense of occasion that makes European exotics memorable and special to drive. It’s a great Aston Martin, even if it’s just passable as a practical utility vehicle and somewhat annoying as a daily driver.