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In-depth reviews

Aston Martin Vantage review - Interior, design and technology

The Vantage blends traditional craftsmanship with modern hi-tech materials and technology

With the previous-generation Vantage, Aston Martin had a timeless classic on its hands; it was perfectly proportioned and, despite its long production run, it was almost universally acknowledged as being the best-looking car in its class. So, when it came to replacing it, Aston Martin was stuck between a rock and a hard place – needing to reinvent the design yet keep it unashamedly looking like an Aston.

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While looks will always be subjective, we’d say that, for the most part, the new Vantage looks stunning, with muscular lines, strong rear haunches and some lovely detailing. The large, new grille is more polarising and it certainly seems to work better with some colours than others. And, if you don’t fancy one of the standard colours, there’s always the possibility of having one built to your own specification via the Q by Aston Martin personalisation service.

Inside, Aston Martin has gone to great lengths to improve on the previous-generation Vantage and it has made great strides forward. Today’s car is suitably luxurious and comfortable, yet it also has a sense of drama that’s missing from many of its rivals, which can be seen as rather too clinical.

There’s a traditional instrument cluster in front of the driver dominated by a centrally mounted rev counter, while the buttons and switches on the centre console are logically laid out and work very well. As in many cars these days, the gears are selected via buttons rather than a traditional lever, and while it works well enough, in practice it’s not as intuitive as having a traditional gear lever.

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Overall, the quality and finish are spot on and the choice of materials is in keeping with what you would expect from a £120,000 sports coupe. Perhaps the gearchange paddles could be a little more tactile and there are a couple of areas where the trim isn’t quite as well integrated as in a Porsche, but overall the interior is a big step forward for Aston Martin.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

One of the reasons that the Vantage’s interior is such a step up from what went before is the new Mercedes-sourced infotainment system. It uses the Comand set-up that will be familiar to thousands of Mercedes drivers and, while it might not be quite as modern as the set-up in the latest Porsche 911 or in Mercedes-AMG’s own GT, it is still streets ahead of the clunky system in the previous Vantage.

Everything is controlled via an eight-inch touchscreen, which includes sat-nav, as well as Bluetooth, iPhone and USB connectivity and playback, and a DAB tuner.

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