Aston Martin V8 Vantage review

Baby Aston now goes as well as it looks, thanks to a range of mechanical tweaks

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£114,850 to £123,300

Intro

Baby Aston now goes as well as it looks, thanks to a range of mechanical tweaks. As a result the Vantage is now a serious rival for the all-conquering Porsche 911.

Image/Styling

If you want to get noticed, then this could be the car for you. Based on the same platform as the larger DB9, the V8 Vantage is arguably the greatest looking car in the British firm’s line-up, and it backs up its visual presence with an ear-splitting exhaust note. Buyers wanting even more attention can choose the soft-top Roadster version. Forthcoming V12 RS version is influenced by the firm’s Le Mans racers and boasts bulging wheel arches, extra vents for cooling and a rear spoiler.

Interior/Practicality

If anything, the interior is even more stunning than the exterior. Deep leather seats, a neat instrument cluster and crystal key mark the Vantage out as a special place to spend time. Surprisingly, cruise control, satellite navigation and heated seats are options, but the 300-litre luggage capacity of the coupe makes the Aston a practical proposition. Eagle-eyed buyers might spot the occasional use of switchgear from the Ford parts bin.

Engine/Performance

Recent revisions have seen the Jaguar derived V8 motor increase in size from 4.3 to 4.7-litres. As a result, power has now risen by 40bhp to 420bhp, while the sprint from zero to 60mph has dropped to 4.7 seconds. The standard six-speed manual gearbox can suffer from a notchy shift action, although the optional Sportshift semi-auto is now much improved and serves-up fractionally quicker acceleration.

Driving Experience

Wide-ranging changes to the suspension have transformed the Vantage driving experience. With plenty of grip, sharp steering and ride comfort just the right side of firm, the Aston now has the depth of talent to match the accomplished Porsche 911. Those buyers wanting even more driver involvement can choose the optional Sports Pack, which features lightweight alloy wheels, stiffer springs and revised dampers.

Ownership Costs

You might me surprised to learn that the performance enhancing revisions to the Aston have actually boosted its green credentials. CO2 emissions drop from 358g/km to 328g/km, while fuel economy rises to 20.4mpg – an increase of 1.8mpg. However, the V8 falls into the highest tax bracket and the improvements in efficiency are relative, as you’ll still pay heavily at the pumps. Thankfully, strong demand means residual values still remain high. Second hand buyers need to check history carefully as early car making a second hand purchase on a cars suffered from various electrical gremlins.

Safety/Environment

Dual stage airbags are standard for driver and passenger, as are side airbags. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) also feature on the list of safety items. In addition there’s also Positive Torque Control (PTC) to help prevent the rear wheels from locking in an engine braking situation.

OUR CHOICE: 4.7 V8 Coupe Sportshift

Engines, performance and drive

0

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

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Interior, design and technology

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Practicality, comfort and boot space

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Reliability and Safety

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    2dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £114,850

Most Economical

  • Name
    2dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £114,850

Fastest

  • Name
    2dr ZF 8 Speed Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £123,300

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