An Aston Martin with a 4.7-litre V8 sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Then how about one with a 5.9-litre V12? You can have either, and the noise you hear when you push the starter button is incredible. The V8 is quick, although it’s not quite as rapid as you might expect – even when revved hard. There are no such issues with the V12 Vantage S, which is savagely fast.
Aston Martin Vantage ride & handling
The Vantage is a physical kind of car, with hefty controls that require a lot of effort to operate. It’s agile and pointy enough, especially the more hardcore V8 S version, although it still doesn’t grip or change direction as well as many rivals, including the Porsche 911. That said, its steering provides plenty of feel, so you know exactly how well the front tyres are gripping. The ride is firm but forgiving enough to take the edge off bigger bumps, although the S versions are extremely stiff.
Aston Martin Vantage refinement
As with most sports cars, there’s plenty of road noise on the motorway, although wind noise isn’t too bad. Engine noise is a background murmur when cruising, but crack open the throttle and a metallic timbre rises to a glorious growl that you won’t be able to resist hearing again and again. The manual gearbox is stiff and notchy, but it’s preferable to the jerky semi-auto Sportshift ’box.