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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For A fantastic-looking supercar with stacks of performance and a chassis to match

Against It's not very practical, it gulps fuel and has a very short range between refills

Verdict An uncompromising, high-maintenance, high-tech, high-performance super-tourer

Go for… V12

Avoid… V12S

Aston Martin Vanquish Coupe
  • 1. The clutch could be a weak point, so check the gearchanges are smooth
  • 2. Look out for any juddering in first or reverse gears as you ease the car into tight spaces
  • 3. Both models use the same reliable paddle-shift gearbox
  • 4. Rear seats are barely adequate for children, even on short journeys
  • 5. The V12 engine is reliable but needs careful maintenance
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Aston Martin Vanquish Coupe full review with expert trade views

In S trim, the 520bhp V12 Vanquish is the fastest road car Aston Martin has ever produced. Thanks to a top speed of 200mph, it's almost capable of going three times quicker than the national speed limit. The 'ordinary' 460bhp V12 is only marginally slower. Both sound superb and feel monstrously fast.

Happily, the Vanquish has excellent brakes and a chassis that can deal with all that power - provided you know what you are doing behind the wheel. However, there's much more to this car than just sharp handling. It's as much a driver-oriented grand tourer as a sports car. It has an excellent ride and can cross continents not only quickly, but also comfortably.

Inside, the gorgeous cabin has a cosy feel and all but the tallest drivers should have enough room. When new, customers could choose between additional rear luggage space or two occasional-use child-size seats, so check what you're buying.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

A few around now after eye-watering new depreciation. Buying used is the right choice

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

Do you go for the high-performance version or the even-higher-performance version? When the Vanquish was launched in 2001 - with a fanfare of James Bond publicity - it came with a 460bhp, 400lb ft V12 engine. With a 190mph top speed and 0-60mph in a mere 4.8sec, you would have thought that performance could not have got any better.

The S version came along in 2004. It used the same glorious-sounding 5932cc V12 engine, but this time with an extra 60bhp, raising the output to 520bhp. Pulling power was up to 425lb ft, while the top speed increased to 200mph. Aston Martin managed to shave a little off the 0-60mph time, at just 4.6sec.

Both models use the same racing-style paddle-shift gearbox and are reasonably well equipped. On the 'in for a penny, in for a pound' philosophy, we'd opt for the full-bore S.

Trade view

James Ruppert

2 + 2 configuration broadens the retail appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru

If you keep your bank account in Switzerland, you probably won't have too much to worry about. For the majority of us, a car like this is not going to be cheap to run.

It won't be cheap to buy, either. When the Vanquish first appeared there was a two-year waiting list and only 30% of the 300 built each year were destined for the UK market. Prices remain strong, so your problems won't be over once you have tracked down the ideal car on a dealer's forecourt.

Both cars are hideously thirsty. Officially, the V12 returns 16mpg and the S 14mpg; but use either in anger and that fuel figure will slide all too easily down into single figures. The short fuel range between refills is a pain, too. Servicing and group 20 insurance ratings inflict further financial hurt.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

A few around now after eye-watering new depreciation. Buying used is the right choice

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

Even if you are looking at a non-S version, 460bhp is an awful lot of power to put through any gearbox. The clutch could prove the weak point in the Vanquish's transmission system.

If everything feels fine at high speed with crisp gearchanges and no hint of slipping, check the clutch and gearbox thoroughly at parking speeds. Look out for any juddering in first or reverse gears as you ease the car into tight spaces. Use your nose, too - overworked and tired Vanquish clutches smell far from sweet.

When you spend this much money, have the car checked out by a professional. You may be able to spot electrical and cabin defaults, but potential engine problems will be harder to spot and much more expensive to rectify.

Cars built between 10 November 2001 and 9 November 2004 were recalled to have throttle problems rectified.

Trade view

James Ruppert

2 + 2 configuration broadens the retail appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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