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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Aston is a quintessentially British brand, and the DB9 looks stunning and sounds great

Against It's more a GT than a sports car, and there are reliability and build-quality problems

Verdict It looks fabulous and sounds fantastic, but the DB9 could be better to drive

Go for… DB9

Avoid… Not applicable

Aston Martin DB9 Coupe
  • 1. Check the tyres for wear: if it's excessive, it could be a sign of a fault in the suspension
  • 2. Boot space is small - just about big enough for a set of golf clubs
  • 3. Rear seats are barely adequate for children, even on short journeys
  • 4. Check the fit and finish in the cabin: some owners have complained about it
  • 5. V12 engine requires careful, and costly, maintenance to keep it in tip-top condition
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Aston Martin DB9 Coupe full review with expert trade views

Aston had a hard job replacing the DB7, but some believe the DB9 is even more striking. This is an all-new car with the exception of the V12 engine, but power has risen to 450bhp, giving 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds.

Inside, you’ll find a new, bespoke interior, which does away with the old Ford-sourced switchgear. Everything feels modern and dynamic. The dashboard is matt wood and aluminium, while the rest of the cabin is leather and carpet.

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 ride is on the sharp side of firm, even on the motorway.

The rear seats are okay for children on short runs, but realistically there’s no usable space in the back, so this is essentially a two-seater. The boot’s also very small and the 200-mile range of the fuel tank may frustrate you. The DB7's cabin wraps you in soft leather and polished wood, but, while the hide of the seats looks inviting, the driving position is poor. Boot space is restricted, but just about big enough for a set of golf clubs.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Highly sought after. Build quality improved over DB7 but still not 100%

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

This DB9 only comes in one flavour - V12 - so your choice is limited to the various optional extras fitted when the car was new. There are 20 colours of paint, 20 hues of leather and eight shades of carpet to select from. However, in other respects, the car isn’t as fully equipped as some which cost just two-thirds of its price.

The DB9 is available with either a manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. The latter also functions as a paddle-shift manual, but not very well.

DB9s are exclusive cars, so the best used examples tend to be with dealers, although independent garages can be a source of slightly cheaper cars. When it comes to competition, the Aston doesn’t really have any. You could go the Italian supercar route, but that’s likely to cost even more. The sensible Porsche may feel sterile in comparison, although it will be cheaper.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Stunning looks and performance. Still too new to judge reliability. Hefty price tag

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

The UK only receives about 360 new DB9s a year, so prices for used cars are likely to remain high for the foreseeable future. Naturally, the car will be costly to run. Service intervals are every 7500 miles and Aston dealers have a reputation for handing out large bills.

The official fuel consumption figure is 17.1mpg. However if you're very gentle with the throttle, or spend all your time crawling around town, you could see high teens.

If you live in a built-up area or don’t have a squeaky-clean no claims bonus, you can expect your insurance premium to rise to a four-figure sum.

If you plan to drive a DB9 as it was intended, you’ll need to replace the tyres on a regular basis. Main dealers are expensive, so the best bet could be an independent specialist.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Highly sought after. Build quality improved over DB7 but still not 100%

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

If you buy a car that’s still within its two-year unlimited mileage warranty, all failures should be covered. Just make sure the service history’s complete and the parking brake recall work has been carried out.

However, the DB9 does have some reliability issues. Most of them tend to be about general build quality, but the fancy Linn stereo has also caused the odd problem, with some units malfunctioning and then needing replacement. In addition, there have been cases of other electrical gremlins, such as faulty tyre pressure gauges.

The V12 engine is tried and tested, although there are stories of the engine management light coming on for no apparent reason. There have also been engine and gearbox failures, although these appear to be rare. Clutch problems have also been noted. Many owners complain about the fit and finish of the cabin, with numerous squeaks and rattles developing.

The Aston’s nose is prone to stone chipping, which if not properly repaired can lead to corrosion. Accident damage is expensive because many body panels are made from specialised materials.

The Connolly leather interior may be very soft, but it needs regular conditioning to stay at its best. A car that has been poorly maintained will look tired. The air-con is also suspect, and can be expensive to fix, so make sure it works on any car you want to buy.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Stunning looks and performance. Still too new to judge reliability. Hefty price tag

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing
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