2017 Aston Martin DB11

2017 Aston Martin DB11

Episode 3702
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

While other luxury brands may be all about seeking attention with pomp and circumstance, weekly press releases, and celebrity endorsements; Aston Martin just keeps plugging away and doing their own thing, on their own terms. That means all-new cars are few and far between, and worthy of celebration all on their own. So let’s get the party started with this all-new DB11!

People seem to forget that the Aston-Martin brand has been in the biz for over a hundred years, and while they aren’t necessarily changing the way they do things, there are now more new products in the pipeline than at any time in recent memory. And, this 2017 DB11 kicks it off in style.

While there is still a legendary V12 under the hood, and the proportions remain similar to recent Astons, the look is certainly a quick step towards the future. With a modern take on the classic Aston grille, it’s simply a gorgeous car; some staffers even remarking it’s the most beautiful rolling stock they’re eyes have ever seen.

It has the paint finish of a high dollar custom hot rod, simply flawless; and no exterior badging to distract you from its beautiful lines. 

What looks to be just trim tacked on to create a floating roof, is actually an Aeroblade that funnels air through the C-pillar for added downforce. There’s no doubt this car looks fantastic from any angle. 

And lurking beneath all of those curves is an all-new aluminum chassis; using a mix of pressings, extrusions, and castings, to achieve a new level of stiffness without increasing weight.

Going further “next level” is a new 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 replacing the DB9’s 5.9-liter naturally-aspirated unit. It’s not only a first for the brand, but the engine is their own design. This twelve delivers 600–horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque and can sound as nasty or as quiet as you want it to be. It’s tucked behind the front wheels to help keep weight more centered.  

If things in the center stack look familiar, it’s because they were sourced from Mercedes-Benz. The leather and wood surfaces all around it however, are clearly a step above, exuding hand-crafted individuality.

Nestling our commoner hindquarters in those luxurious front seats had us feeling like real high rollers. We didn’t even attempt to cram into the back ones.   

You won’t find a shifter in here, rather P, R, N, and D buttons bookending the start button in the center stack. 

A full-color 12-inch TFT gauge panel, features unique virtual instruments; but between the big tach right in the center of it, and the large shift paddles behind the wheel, you get a sense that there’s a lot more here than just posh and circumstance. 

It may not be the fastest car on the road, but it sure feels like it when you punch the gas. It delivers everything it has right from the get-go, and the 8-speed automatic transmission swiftly puts it to good use. Yet it all happens in an incredibly refined way.   

It does feel big behind the wheel, not so much a nimble toss-around toy; but very much like a large, smooth, and very posh mile-eating machine. Aston gives you plenty of options for finding your comfort zone, as you can adjust the suspension independent of the dynamic driving modes. 

Even if we don’t really have the roads in this country to get the full appreciation of what the DB11 has to offer, you’ll enjoy the experience no matter what road you find yourself on. It oozes upper crust, but in an inclusive way that makes you want to be a member of whatever club it takes to own one of these. 

Priced at $214,820 to start, this kind of luxury motoring costs dearly. But dare we say, it feels very much worth it, feeling more prestigious and a step up from rivals at that price point. 

That’s because Aston Martin considers themselves more than just a car company, but a maker of luxury goods. And like any true indulgence item, they’re not necessarily going out of their way to attract new customers; rather keeping those accustomed to breathing this rarified air coming back for more.

The 2017 DB11 is a supremely luxurious and competent product for those who know what to look for in a Grand Touring automobile. A fitting car to usher in a whole new era for a brand that we can’t wait to experience again and again.


  • Engine: 5.2 liter
  • Horsepower: 600
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft.
2023 BMW X7 Driving

2023 BMW X7

Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More

Episode 4238
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.

When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.

There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…

…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.

2023 BMW X7 Interior Dashboard

Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.

The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.

At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!

New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.

In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.

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Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.

There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.

Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.

It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.


  • Engine: I-6
  • Horsepower: 375
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
  • EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined