Aston Martin DB9 Volante full 9 point review
The DB9 Volante is powered by a 5.9-litre V12 engine that pulls seriously hard from low revs, so overtaking is effortless. Buyers can choose from a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic with manual override; the latter swaps ratios smoothly, but feels a little flat-footed when you want to push on.
Ride & Handling
On smooth, fast roads the DB9 Volante feels composed and grippy, but throw in some surface variations and it fidgets. Also, while the ride is more forgiving than the coupe version’s, bumps and broken surfaces send shudders through the steering wheel. The steering is overly heavy, too.
The Italians aren’t alone in making fabulous-sounding 12-cylinder engines. The Aston sounds as good as any and, with the roof down, there’s less to separate you from the glorious howl it bellows under acceleration. The huge tyres kick up lots of road noise, though, and you aren’t that well protected from wind buffeting with the roof down.
Safety & Security
Volvo helped Aston Martin develop the DB9, and it has a full range of electronic traction and braking aids, plus four airbags. In the event of a rollover, the windscreen can support twice the car’s weight, and protection hoops pop up behind the rear head restraints. A security tracker system and an alarm are fitted, which should help protect your pride and joy.
Buying & Owning
The DB9 Volante is seriously pricey when compared with similarly fast drop-tops, such as the Porsche 911 Cabriolet. 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 cabin looks great, but some of the materials and the standard of fit and finish are a disappointment in places. Aston Martin doesn’t make enough cars to be included in reliability surveys, such as the JD Power study, but as with many supercars that are built in comparatively small numbers, reliability may not be as good as you’d expect.
Behind The Wheel
There’s plenty of adjustment to the superbly supportive driver’s seat, so you should have few issues finding a comfortable driving position. Forward visibility is fine, but the rear window is miniscule, which makes reversing a matter of faith with the roof up – although you do get rear parking sensors to help out. The minor dashboard switches are small and difficult to read, and the infotainment system is fiddly.
Space & Practicality
The DB9 Volante retains the back seats of the DB9 coupe, but don’t go thinking these can comfortably accommodate people. With a couple of average-sized adults up front, rear legroom is virtually non-existent. You’re better off using the space for luggage that the smallish boot can’t swallow.
Climate control, powered front-seat adjustment, sat-nav, leather upholstery and a terrific stereo are all standard, but that’s not exactly generous given how much the car costs. For a price, Aston Martin will happily customise the car with any extra you can think of.