Aston Martin DB9 Coupe full 9 point review
The V12 develops 470bhp, but it’s the almost diesel-like pull from low revs that impresses most. The DB9 is now available with either a manual gearbox or a six-speed auto that also functions as a paddle-shift manual. This is not a success – it’s acceptable in auto mode at medium speeds, but press on harder and it changes gear too slowly.
Ride & Handling
The steering is too heavy and shudders as you go from lock to lock. The DB9 is at its best on flat, smooth A-roads, where it is composed and grippy. It becomes unruly on anything bumpier, and the traction control is called into use too easily. The ride is on the sharp side of firm, even on the motorway.
The Aston’s 12-cylinder engine sounds fabulous, without being in your face on a motorway journey, and the V12 and automatic gearbox are smooth. However, there is far too much wind and road noise at speed.
Buying & Owning
The DB9 is seriously pricey when compared with similarly fast rivals, such as the Porsche 911. The Aston will be seriously expensive to run, too, although resale values shouldn't be any worse than those of most rivals. Such poor fuel economy does mean you'll have to stop frequently for fuel, though.
Quality & Reliability
The Aston V12 engine has proven itself and the automatic gearbox should also be reliable, though some strange warning messages flashed up on the dash of our test car. The cabin looks great, but some of the materials used are not all they could be, and the fit and finish is a disappointment.
Safety & Security
Volvo helped Aston develop the DB9, which has full electronic traction and braking aids and airbags, save for side curtains. It also has a multi-stage deformable front crash structure to cut down on repair bills in a minor shunt and protect in a major one. A Tracker system is fitted to help police find the DB9 if its defences are overcome.
Behind The Wheel
The dash is made of matt wood and aluminium, and the rest of the cabin is leather and carpet. The seats are fully adjustable and superbly supportive. The view out is good for a car of this type. The biggest downside is that the minor switches on the dash are too small and are not easy to read.
Space & Practicality
The DB9 makes a better sports car or tourer for two than a two-plus-two. With a couple of tallish adults up-front there’s negligible knee space behind, and the roofline restricts headroom aft. Unfortunately, those tiny rear seats can’t be folded to supplement what is a fairly small boot.
When you pay £100,000-plus, you expect a high level of equipment and you also want to be able to personalise the car. Aston Martin knows about these things, having been in the luxury car trade for decades, and has fitted the DB9 out accordingly. What that means, though, is that it isn’t as fully equipped as some cars which cost just two-thirds of its price.