One of the most fundamental elements of a James Bond experience—besides the guns, women, and outlandish villains—is the car. Various cars have been featured in Bond films, and their car chases have become one of the staples of the franchise.
The iconic British spy has driven Aston Martins, BMWs, Lotuses, Bentleys, Fords, and a vast array of other vehicles that he's picked up during his decades of adventures.
But which car was the coolest? What was Bond's best car? We're diving into the motor history of Agent 007 to pick our favorite James Bond cars and their best gadgets.
7. Aston Martin DBS (Casino Royale)
A stripped-back car given to Bond by MI6, the Aston Martin DBS was Daniel Craig's debut modern Aston Martin. And though it didn't feature for too long in the film, it was unmistakably cool.
The car was outfitted with a secret weapon compartment that housed his signature Walther PPK, as well as a medical kit complete with a defibrillator for those inevitable emergencies.
It came in handy after Le Chiffre poisoned Bond, who staggered back to his car and used the kit to stay alive. One of the wires had come loose, but Vesper reconnected it just in time and saved Bond's life.
Sadly, the car crashed when Bond chased after the bad guys holding Vesper hostage and swerved to avoid her as she lay in the road.
6. Aston Martin Vantage/Volante (The Living Daylights)
An incredible design that still looks beautiful today, the Aston Martin Vantage and Volante—they're the same car, except one is a convertible version with the roof removed—was a very cool Bond vehicle and the successor to the Aston Martin DB5.
The gadgets on this car are spectacular, with it being fitted with side lasers (that can sheer a police car from its wheels), side-mounted skis with studded tires (for driving across a frozen lake), and front-mounted rockets (to punch holes in trucks) with a heads-up display.
The car was destroyed by Bond when he used the rocket boost to jump over a police blockade, only to slide down into a snowdrift.
5. Aston Martin DB10 (Spectre)
Whilst Spectre was an overall disappointment, the Aston Martin DB10 wasn't. Built specifically for the film, this car is just a stunning beauty from one of the world's finest car manufacturers.
Fitted with the usual gadgets, the DB10's chase looked destined to become a Bond classic. However, because the screenwriters of Spectre took a lighter approach to Bond chases, pretty much none of its awesome gadgets were used.
A shame since it featured rear machine guns, ejector seat, rear flamethrowers, and several other goodies that weren't showcased.
The chase was full of beautiful shots through Rome, with not much going on. At least until Bond ejected from the Aston Martin to avoid Mr. Hinx, which is when the car crashed into a river and sank.
4. Lotus Esprit (The Spy Who Loved Me)
Involved in one of the best car chases of the 1970s, the Lotus Esprit looks cool. The all-white exterior made the chase feel like a sequence from a British version of Miami Vice, with several goons in hot pursuit.
The car had all of Bond's expected gadgets, slicks, and weapons galore; however, the coolest part was the fact it could turn into a submarine. The underwater sequence looks utterly mad when watched today, but back in the 70s, it was a jaw-dropping moment.
The moment Bond launches a missile from underwater to destroy the helicopter that's following? Unintentionally hilarious, but a cool Bond moment nonetheless. The Esprit made it out of the film unscathed, making it one of the few Bond cars that did.
3. BMW 7 Series (Tomorrow Never Dies)
By far the most gadget-laden Bond car of them all, the BMW 750iL was built with one purpose: an incredibly cool car chase.
The car had countless details, featuring the usual missiles, slicks, bulletproof glass, etc. Some new additions included the ability to drive the car remotely by phone and the inclusion of a wire cutter built inside the BMW badge.
Looking back, it was so far from the realm of belief that it sums up the Pierce Brosnan era. The car was a cool machine—no question about that—that was utterly ridiculous at the same time.
2. Aston Martin Vanquish (Die Another Day)
The Aston Martin Vanquish sits alongside the Aston Martin DB5 as the best-looking Bond car of all time. It was the return of Aston Martin to the Bond franchise after years of BMWs in prior movies.
Die Another Day was a really bad movie, but its car chase between the Aston Martin Vanquish and the Jaguar XKR was downright epic. The Vanquish featured rockets, ejector seat, laser-guided shotguns, studded tires, and invisibility. That's right, invisibility!
It was way over-the-top but undeniably cool. As Bond and Zao duke it out, Bond eventually uses the car's invisibility to trick Zao into driving into a collapsing ice hotel, then kills him afterwards. The Vanquish had a few knocks but made it out in one beautiful piece.
1. Aston Martin DB5 (Various)
The Aston Martin DB5, first introduced in Goldfinger, is Bond's signature car. The rest of them are given to him for missions by MI6, but the DB5 is the one he keeps for himself.
James Bond has driven the DB5 across many films in the series, and the image of Sean Connery driving it is quintessential Bond.
Its gadgets were—and still are—phenomenal: machine guns, revolving number plates, bulletproof exterior, large shield at the rear, and ejector seat, all wrapped up in a single car.
Bond has kept it through the years, and it's as much part of the character as his suits are. He's destroyed it on many occasions, but it always manages to get re-built in the end.