Aston Martin DBX707 India review: price, power, performance, features

How much power is too much power? We drive the most powerful SUV you can buy on Indian roads.

The Aston Martin DBX 707 has not changed since we drove it last, but the setting sure has, and that makes all the difference. Against the picture-perfect backdrop of Sardinia in Italy, the near-picture-perfect SUV looked and felt right at home; you could almost hear the James Bond theme music.

Today, at the ugly end of the monsoon, just outside Mumbai, the entire outlook is different. I’m worried the road is too greasy and gravelly, that an errant farm animal might stray into my path or, worst of all, that these toothpick-spoked 23-inch wheels won’t survive a run-in with one of the several dozen potholes pockmarking the road.

Yes, this is an SUV, which should mean it’s practical and perfect for roads like ours. But it’s also the most powerful SUV money can currently buy, and by extension, a very serious piece of hardware that deserves to be handled with care. And you need serious money to buy it too – Rs 4.63 crore, ex-showroom, before options. Has the world of super-sport SUVs finally gone too far? Or has Aston Martin achieved the perfect storm?

Aston Martin DBX 707: engine, power and performance

There’s nothing left but to fire it up and take the plunge, and immediately, this feels like no ordinary luxury SUV. The huge 285 front and 325-section rear tyres rumble and fidget down a seemingly smooth surface, with barely any rubber between the road and rim. The steering is light enough, but the DBX feels its size, and we’re currently in GT mode – the mildest of all the settings.

Acceleration is brutal, and sensitive to how hard you punch the throttle.

However, and this is where the 707 feels different to others of its ilk, even in GT mode, it’s very sensitive to how you treat the throttle pedal. Push too quickly past a certain threshold and all 900Nm is unleashed, and you had better be on your toes when that happens. I suppose it’s difficult to mete out such enormous power in a measured way, and at its most ferocious, you’ll even get some torque steer – yes, in a rear-drive-biased AWD SUV.

Its most ferocious is Sport+, and of course, this mode warrants at least an attempt, road conditions notwithstanding. Everything is suddenly more intense – the steering, the suspension, the brakes, the sound, the throttle response. The DBX roars forward, quickly reaching speeds you weren’t planning to reach, heightening your alertness to the environment around you.

Crowded centre console does at least provide some useful shortcut buttons.

You might think that after you’ve crossed the 550-600 horsepower mark in a big SUV, that they’re all the same. That it’ll feel powerful, but that most of the performance will stay in reserve, unused. Not here. This feels tangibly more powerful than almost anything else. Whether you’re doing 20 or 200, the DBX doesn’t hand-hold you through its performance.

It’s loud too, AMG’s finest work having been worked on further by Aston’s own engineers. Incidentally, though you might think so from its outputs (and its raucous sound), the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 isn’t the dry-sumped, track-spec M178 used in the AMG GT Black Series. No, instead it’s the M177 (from the E 63 S) heavily revised by Aston Martin, with new ball-bearing turbochargers and a remap, among other changes, to arrive at 707hp and 900Nm.

4.0 twin-turbo V8 borrowed from AMG and thoroughly reworked for 707hp, 900Nm.

Harnessing all that power is a revised version of AMG’s 9-speed Speedshift MCT gearbox, which suits its role in this car almost perfectly. At lower speeds, with less ferocious driving, it’s pretty smooth and seamless, and dialled all the way up, with your foot planted if you dare, shifts are suitably fierce. However, it doesn’t always react to your inputs quick enough, which is not what you want in the heat of things, with 900Nm in play. It’s better then, for the most aggressive of driving, to switch to manual mode and use the superb, column-mounted paddles – the hallmark of a proper supercar.

Aston Martin DBX 707: handling, dynamics and comfort

Frankly speaking, brave as you might be, Sport+ feels a bit excessive on most Indian roads; save it for the track. Instead, wind down to Sport, and you’ll have a much better time with the DBX 707. And this goes for everything, from the powertrain response and the sound to the steering and suspension.

In Terrain mode, fully raised air suspension gives 235mm of ground clearance.

There’s air suspension at all four corners, and as you can probably tell from the photos of it parked in a field, it can be raised to a ‘Terrain’ or off-road height, which gives it a useful 235mm of ground clearance. Overall, though, the ride from this setup errs more on the side of sporty but compliant than comfy and plush, as it should be. The lumpy feeling you get is more down to the tyres than the suspension but, of course, it helps if you stay away from the firmer suspension settings, which you can do via the dedicated suspension button.

Steering never feels too heavy, but it’s sharp and quick, so the 707 can feel twitchy.

The steering, though it weighs up nicely, thankfully never feels too heavy or cumbersome. You’re always able to manoeuvre the big Brit easily at any speed. It is, however, very quick and precise, which in a vehicle so big takes some getting used to.

In Sport+ and on the limit, it can feel a bit twitchy, more so because there are greater forces of acceleration, retardation and momentum at work than usual. There’s grip, yes, but it feels altogether livelier than most big super-SUVs, rotating around you in a way only a two-seat sportscar otherwise would, and even stepping its rear out slightly with a bit of provocation.

48V roll mitigation system works overtime to keep things tidy, but it’s a lot of mass.

Body control is seriously impressive thanks to a 48V active anti-roll-bar system, but ultimately you can’t beat physics, and some amount of roll will creep in when you’re really going for it. What does appear to break some natural laws is the way the 707 comes to a halt, though. Huge carbon ceramic brakes are standard and incredibly effective, and I found myself checking my rear-view mirror every time I used when using them to the fullest.

Aston Martin DBX 707: exterior and interior 

The regular DBX is – in my opinion – one of the greatest feats of large SUV design around, managing to be elegant and purposeful all at once, without compromising on space and practicality. The 707 sacrifices some of that elegance with some of the changes they’ve made, like the new front bumper with its horizontal DRLs, an even larger grille, and the addition of so many sharp edges on an otherwise curvy shape. At the back, you’ll find a huge rear diffuser low down, vents in the bumpers, a more aggressive roof spoiler and quad exhausts.

You can even opt for smaller 22-inch wheels rather than the 23s, not just for the better ride, but also because the designs are more interesting. Overall, though, the DBX design still stands out for being incredibly dynamic and head-turning. I love those headlights, the vents in the bonnet, the pod-like wing mirrors and the way the rear window slams down and then rises again in a ducktail. It’s bold, to say the least.

Quality is superb, and though this colour is dull, the customisation possibility is vast.

The interior of this particular car – trimmed in grey on grey as it is – might not seem bold at all, but if you customise it with some of the many, many options in Aston’s catalogue, its brilliant design will really stand out. You can mix and match leather colours, contrast stitching, inlays, metal trim and so much more, and here’s where the DBX leans into super-luxury rather than super-sport territory. The driving experience is all about the performance, but in here you have 16-way powered front seats, with heating and cooling at the front and rear too. The leather is soft, the metal is cool, and the ambience is dripping with quality.

2-gen-old Mercedes infotainment works decently but is dated and isn’t a touchscreen.

The back seat is pretty good too; comfy, if a touch upright, and you even get a large 638-litre boot. If there’s one area the DBX comes up short, it’s infotainment. It uses a version of Mercedes’ two-generation-old system, which feels dated now and isn’t even a touchscreen. But this is something that will be changed with the facelift.

Aston Martin DBX 707: price and verdict

The DBX 707, then, has proper supercar performance, and amazingly, despite its size, the handling to match too. But its rarefied corner of the market is about to get a bit more crowded. Before the end of 2022, Lamborghini will launch the Urus Performante, which is meant to be a new benchmark for SUV handling, and then, of course, next year will come the 725hp Ferrari Purosangue, which will also surpass it on power.

But that’s then, and this is now, and the DBX 707 is a compelling super-SUV whose driver involvement will suck you in, if its dramatic design and sumptuous interior don’t first. But even in this segment, you can’t ignore the price – Rs 4.63 crore is considerably more than even an Urus. In fact, until the Ferrari comes along, the only SUV more expensive is a Rolls-Royce.

Suspension is firm yet compliant, but huge 23-inch wheels give a lumpy ride.

But then all Aston Martins come at a premium, including and especially the standard DBX. This time, however, it could just be worth it, as it well and truly has the bragging rights to back it up. 

Also See:

Aston Martin DBX 707 video review

Aston Martin DBX India review, test drive

2021 Aston Martin DBX video review

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