This week, Aston Martin won the SUV horsepower war by revealing the DBX707. So called for its metric horsepower rating, it blends practicality and excitement like no other car in the company’s current line-up.
With its gigantic front grille and additional aero pieces, however, it’s not the most elegant thing the British company has wheeled out in its recent history. So, we figured we’d pluck something Aston-shaped out of the classifieds that is a little classier, yet still plenty versatile and quick.
Pre-DBX, the only Aston Martin that could accommodate more than two adults in some vague degree of comfort was the Rapide. It’s a strange car, this, thanks to Gaydon lacking access to a conventional family car vehicle architecture at the time. Instead, the Rapide was built on the VH architecture first used for the DB9, but stretched by 250mm to make room for more doors and additional legroom.
Because of the car’s coupe roots, it’s not anything like as handy as a Porsche Panamera. 317 litres of luggage space sounds respectable enough on the face of it, and you do get a hatchback boot lid, but the boot itself is an awkward shape. But hey, you can drop the rear seats, expanding the total space to 900 litres. Ideal for a run to the local tip run. Maybe.
Boosting practicality further, the rear doors have the same ‘swan’ opening arrangement as the fronts, with an upwards motion cutting the risk of an exiting passenger clouting the kerb.
Our pick is a 2013 Rapide S listed on Autotrader. The S served as a replacement for the original car, bringing with it an uprated 5.9-litre V12 producing 552bhp, making for a 0-62mph time of 4.4 seconds. That’s over a second slower than the DBX707, but with a slipperier shape, the Rapide S has top speed bragging rights - it’ll keep going until 203mph. The mightiest DBX, on the other hand, is all out of ideas at ‘just’ 193.
Being a 2013 model, this Rapide misses out on the slicker eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox added the following year, but the presence of the older six-speed isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. The fact is, there’s rarely much choice out there since Aston sold so few of these things. If the numbers on How Many Left are to be believed, only 779 are currently registered for road use in the UK. Of those, just 41 are the Rapide AMR run-out special.
The 2013 Rapide S has covered just under 40,000 miles and has three former owners on the logbook. It’s well equipped, has a full main dealer service history, and looks great in Volcanic Red, a special ‘Q’ finish that’ll help it stand out even more. The cost of all this? £59,980, which is less than a third of the DBX707’s anticipated price tag. A bargain, in relative terms. Just try not to think about the cost of keeping it serviced and feeding that V12 with super unleaded.