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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The Vantage offers strong performance, superb handling and stunning looks to match

Against It's immensely thirsty, there are no curtain airbags and side visibility is poor

Verdict The Vantage is almost as good to drive as the Porsche 911, but far more exclusive

Go for… 4.3 V8

Avoid… Not applicable

Aston Martin Vantage Coupe
  • 1. Be sure you can live with the poor vision to the side
  • 2. Interior build quality is the best on any Aston, so you shouldn't experience any problems
  • 3. Practicality is reasonable with space for two golf bags in the boot
  • 4. Cars built between October 2005 and May 2006 were recalled because of a starting problem
  • 5. Check the six-speed manual gearbox works perfectly - and the clutch, too
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Aston Martin Vantage Coupe full review with expert trade views

It might only be the baby of the Aston Martin range, but the V8 Vantage lost its milk teeth a long time ago - it's more than sharp enough to bite chunks out of its main rival, the Porsche 911.

Thanks to an almost even front-to-rear weight distribution and the use of lightweight materials in its construction, the V8 Vantage is a fine-handling machine. It's stable at high speed on the motorway as well as being responsive and agile on twisty roads.

It's a fine everyday car, too, thanks to the easy-to-live-with nature of its V8 engine. However, when you want it to go fast, it's capable of setting a blistering pace.

The cabin feels beautifully finished; the only downside is very poor side vision when pulling out of junctions. Practicality is reasonable with space for two golf bags in the boot.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Now looking attractive as a used buy

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

It shouldn't take too long to come to a decision on which one to go for, because by the end of 2006 Aston Martin had only released one model, the 4.3 V8.

While the V8 engine doesn't have the prestige of the V12s fitted to the rest of the Aston range, there's no questioning its performance. There's 380bhp on offer and 302lb ft of pulling power from low revs. Exploited to the full, that results in a 0-60mph time of 4.9sec and a top speed of 175mph, putting it right on the money with Porsche's 3.8-litre 911 Carrera S. The gearbox is a six-speed manual.

By late 2006, Aston Martin had not equipped the V8 Vantage with curtain airbags. But, otherwise safety is impressive, with side airbags, traction and stability control all standard.

Equipment also includes climate control, electrically adjustable seats, a six-CD multichanger, sat-nav and parking sensors.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Aim for Metallic Metorite Silver, with optional sat-nav and alarm upgrade

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Everything is relative, and while a car like a V8 Vantage could never be described as cheap to run, Aston Martin has ensured it is comparable with a Porsche 911 in terms of servicing and maintenance costs.

It was priced higher than the Porsche - around £20,000 more than the entry-level 911 - when it came on the market in summer 2005, and all the indications are that it will do a very good job of holding onto its value.

Insurance is as high as it gets with a group 20 rating. Officially it should manage 11.2mpg around town and 16.2mpg out on the open road, but there's fat chance of that happening; once you start pushing that beautiful aluminium throttle pedal to the floor 10-12mpg will be the harsh and expensive reality.

A heavy right foot will also make the Vantage work its way through rear tyres pretty quickly, too.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Now looking attractive as a used buy

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

The days of loyal Aston Martin customers being prepared to forgive the cars for their reliability problems are long gone. In the modern world, even British-built supercars have to be reliable. Happily, under Ford's ownership, Aston Martin responded to the challenge with an ever-improving reliability record.

However, the V8 Vantage has blotted its copybook slightly. In its short life there has been one recall, dealing with the car's failure to start and affecting cars built between 27 October 2005 and 23 May 2006. Cars either had trouble starting or refused to start altogether.

Interior build quality on the V8 Vantage is the best on any Aston, so you shouldn't experience any problems with loose trim. There's no paddle-shift gearbox to worry about, but check the six-speed manual gearbox and the clutch for any signs of excessive wear and tear.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Aim for Metallic Metorite Silver, with optional sat-nav and alarm upgrade

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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