Aston Martin Vantage Coupe full 9 point review
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.
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.
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.
Buying & Owning
The Vantage is meant to be an everyday sports car like the Porsche 911, albeit one that’s far more exclusive. It costs more than the Porsche to buy, it drinks fuel at a greater rate and it isn’t predicted to hold on to its value quite as well. Staggeringly high CO2 emissions mean huge tax bills – no matter whether you’re a private buyer or a (privileged) company car driver.
Quality & Reliability
Interior quality is a mixed bag. For example, the leather on the seats and dashboard is relatively high-quality stuff, but the indicator stalks and some of the dashboard buttons feel seriously cheap and flimsy. Reliability is hard to assess because Aston doesn’t sell enough cars to appear in the annual JD Power customer satisfaction surveys.
Safety & Security
It’s disappointing that there are no curtain airbags in the Vantage; it is fitted with front and side ’bags only. Electronic safety aids include stability control and emergency brake assist, which automatically applies maximum braking pressure if the system thinks you haven’t braked hard enough in an emergency. A Tracker system to help trace the car should it be stolen is standard, although it works only in the UK.
Behind The Wheel
The supportive leather seat is electrically adjustable and the steering wheel adjusts two ways, so you should be able to find a comfortable driving position. Vision is decent to the front and rear, but angled junctions are another matter – you have to lean forward to see if anything is coming. The stereo and sat-nav systems aren’t user-friendly at all, so can be distracting to use while driving.
Space & Practicality
The Vantage is a two-seater, unlike the rival Porsche 911, which has two (albeit small) rear seats. However, the 300-litre boot is big enough for a couple of sets of golf clubs, and there’s a foldaway parcel shelf. You can fit more luggage behind the front seats, too. The cabin is snug – occupants sit well towards the centre of the car – and there’s not much space for oddments.
Leather upholstery, climate control, rear parking sensors, electrically folding door mirrors, a six-disc CD changer, USB connection and big alloy wheels come as standard. Options include premium hi-fi systems and various interior finishes, but Aston’s personalisation programme means you can effectively have your Vantage however you want it.