Here’s why you shouldn’t buy the gorgeous Aston Martin DB7

We think you should listen to us and avoid the Aston Martin DB7 despite its good looks. Following our advice will likely save you time and money when troubleshooting some common problems with the DB7 range.

However, if you can handle the endemic problems with DB7 and you don’t mind the bromodic platform also discussed in this article, then by all means go ahead and buy yourself the magnificent DB7.

The British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin produced and sold the DB7 grand tourer from 1994 to 2004 after unveiling the car about a year earlier at the 1993 Geneva Motor Show. Customers could get them in coupe and convertible body styles.

Related: Aston Martin DB7 and 9 Other Used Sports Cars Worth Every Penny

Presentation and variants of the Aston Martin DB7

By November 1992, the DB7 prototype was complete and ready for debut. The duo of Ian Callum, a British car designer who worked at Ford, TWR, Aston Martin, and later, Jaguar; and Keith Helfet, a South African car designer and graduate of the prestigious car styling program at the Royal College of Art in London, were responsible for the design of the DB7.

It’s worth noting (and you’ll see why later in this article) that as Principal Stylist at Jaguar Cars, Helfet designed the stillborn Jaguar F-Type Concept Car. As for Callum, he left Jaguar in 2019 to start his own car design company, Callum Design and reinvented some vintage cars, including the Jaguar Mark 2 and a classic Corvette. It therefore seems natural that the Aston Martin DB7 is inspired by certain Jaguar automobiles. Its 6-cylinder mill was based on the Jaguar AJ6 engine.

You see, Ford acquired 75% of Aston Martin in 1988 and then bought a majority stake in Jaguar soon after to create a sustainable business plan for the two historic British automakers. For this reason, the development of the DB7 included elements of the British and American brands. The facts are that the development of the DB7 benefited from financial support from Ford and components from Jaguar Cars.

In fact, the DB7 ran on a heavily modified Jaguar platform, the XJS, as the successor to the Jaguar XJS offered by TWR’s Tom Walkinshaw. The car represented an “entry level” model of the hand-built Aston Martin Virage V8 introduced a few years earlier, one of the reasons why you should say “no thanks” and probably opt for the DB5 at the square.

However, that can’t be too bad for a nameplate that represents the most-produced Aston Martin vehicle of all time. By the time it was replaced by the DB9 in 2004, the DB7 had sold over 7,000 units. The DB7 has two variants including the 1999 DB7 V12 Vantage and the 2002 V12 (manual) GT or (automatic transmission) GTA.

Related: What we already know about the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Common problems associated with the Aston Martin DB7 and why you shouldn’t buy it

The Aston Martin DB7 coupe has four common issues a potential buyer should be aware of. They include steering issues, water leaks, cracks in the exhaust manifold, and rear vibration. The steering problem occurs through kicking sensations when cornering at high speeds. This is usually due to problems in the upper triangle bushes. The “kick” isn’t as noticeable as it is in medium-speed corners, but what gearhead likes to ride around in an Aston Martin?

The next is water leaks which usually manifest as water leaking into the front foot wells. This problem is typical of a leak in the awning glass or a problem with the door seals. The best of both devils is a fault in the door seals, because a leaky cowl glass can cause further damage to the cooling fan motor, and you don’t want that.

The next is exhaust manifold cracking, which is very serious as the DB7 is particularly prone to this problem. It usually manifests as a loud growl, especially on cold start. You can save yourself all the need for advice on opening the hood and checking the manifold for cracks by not buying the DB7 at all.

Last on this list is the vibration coming from the rear, and it’s not a pleasant feeling at all. It is usually caused by a faulty rear radius arm, a common problem with the Aston Martin DB7.

We are specifically reminded of the DB7 Volante, which had some reliability issues, although fixed in the following DB7 V12. So if you find yourself sniffing around the original Volante, be prepared to deal with endemic issues including rapid tire wear (no thanks to the poor suspension setup), cracked exhaust manifolds ( what a surprise) and warped brake discs. Also, be prepared to spend a small fortune to fix the air conditioning which tends to need fixing.

Maybe this litter of problems doesn’t bother you. After all, all cars have problems, right? Maybe. But why court your misery when the classically styled, contest-winning DB5 is calling your name and the performance-focused DBS Superleggera is furiously catching your eye? We know the DB7 is the cheapest of the bunch, but that’s what happens when an Aston Martin is never driven by James Bond.

Here’s the real deal-breaker for us. The DB7 was based on a 21 year old car (the Jaguar XJS). Even as an evolution of the platform, it is still a two-decade-old platform. Thus, the DB7 is hardly a poster of innovation. The original styling was based on the stillborn Jaguar F-Type (XJ41 – coupé / XJ42 – convertible, not to be confused with the modern F-Type) – hello Helfet. Why Ford canceled the project is best known to them, which reinforces our suspicions of the DB7 inheriting the stillborn design via the XJS platform. Perhaps that explains the DB7 Vantage’s 3,860 lb curb weight. You do not think ?

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