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In-depth reviews

Aston Martin Vantage review

The Aston Martin Vantage blends modern styling with a Mercedes-AMG V8 and is one of the most appealing cars in its class

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

  • Excellent performance
  • Compliant ride
  • Bold styling
  • Interior build quality
  • Expensive options
  • Not as sharp to drive as a 911

The previous incarnation of the Aston Martin Vantage was an extraordinarily popular car for the British company and, in that respect, this model should carry on where the previous one left off. The old Vantage was really feeling its age, but the new Vantage addresses all of its predecessor’s issues so it can compete with class-leaders such as the Porsche 911 and the Audi R8.

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Today’s Vantage features a modern, potent V8 from Mercedes-AMG, which offers stunning performance while retaining the traditional Aston Martin character and charm. Combine this with a depth of dynamic ability and remarkable refinement, as well as a classy cabin and modern infotainment, and it’s easy to see why the new Vantage should be a real winner for Aston Martin.

It can be tough being a small, bespoke manufacturer in a world where ever-increasing development costs make bringing new models to market an eye-wateringly expensive business. And for many years Aston Martin struggled to launch new cars – the previous Vantage was in production for 13 years, which is almost unheard of these days, when mainstream manufacturers replace their core models far more frequently.

But the new Aston Martin Vantage spearheads the revival of the company, and a flurry of new models has seen it rising back to the top of the pack. Aston’s first new model in this new wave was the sublime DB11 and the Vantage builds on its good points, but at a more attractive price point. That puts it up against rivals such as the Porsche 911, Audi R8, Mercedes-AMG GT and Jaguar’s F-Type SVR.

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At just over £120,000 before you’ve plundered the extensive options list, the Aston Martin Vantage needs to be good, because its rivals are all interesting and entertaining choices. But the good news is that it is a very good all-rounder, with a breadth of talent that arguably isn’t matched in this class. Perhaps the Porsche 911 is ultimately a sharper car to drive, while the Mercedes-AMG GT has a more thunderous soundtrack, but there’s plenty to like about Aston’s new entry-level model.

The company has made the bold move of sourcing the Vantage’s engine from Mercedes-AMG, so the car has the familiar 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that develops 503bhp and 685Nm of torque – which is good enough for a sub-four second 0-62mph time and a top speed of 195mph.

It's never just about the numbers, though; a car in this class needs to deliver its performance in a thrilling way – and the Vantage doesn’t disappoint. Switching between its three driving modes changes it from cruiser to finely honed sports car and, unlike some of its competitors, it’s also surprisingly refined with an unexpectedly comfortable ride.

It’s strictly a two-seater, though, which does make it a little less practical than some of its rivals with 2+2 seating. But the interior is well appointed, with swathes of leather and a infotainment system (also from Mercedes) that’s streets ahead of what used to be the norm in Aston Martins. It’s perhaps not as cutting-edge as what you’ll find in the latest Porsche or Audi, but it’s easy to operate and works very well. The car’s 350-litre boot is also a plus for this class of car – many of the Vantage’s rivals offer far less luggage carrying capacity.

Ultimately, the Aston Martin Vantage is a huge step up from the model that went before it. Its performance and refinement are exceptional, and for those looking for a brilliantly well rounded sports coupe it has very few peers indeed.

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