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Aston Martin Vantage

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Aston Martin Vantage
8/10

Overall
verdict

Still very desirable, but getting on a bit.

Additional Info

  • Fast, pretty, relatively cheap. Like dating a Barnsley supermodel
  • Top Gear wildcard

    How about a Maserati Granturismo S? noise, beauty, charm and cachet. Just like the Aston.

  • Our choice

    V8 Vantage 4.7 V8 430 S 2d

    Price £94,995

    BHP 430

    LB FT 361

    MPG 21

    CO2 299

    0-62 MPH 4.50

    Top Speed 189

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What is it?

Aston’s smallest sports car (the Cygnet city car can be ignored here), the Vantage is a similar size to Porsche’s iconic 911, so not quite as wide or unwieldy as larger supercars. Gently revised since launch in 2005, it remains one of the best-looking vehicles on the road – a testament to Aston’s ability to create genuinely timeless classic design. It’s not exactly a cheap option, with the basic 420bhp, 0–62mph in 4.7, 4.7-litre V8 listing at just over £90k, but you do get a sense that you’re in a ‘proper’ 180mph Aston Martin, with all the pub bragging rights that entails.

Driving

The Vantage comes in several flavours, and none disappoint. Early 4.3-litre V8 cars made a glorious noise but lacked the outright pace to really go with the urgent soundtrack, but the later 4.7 variants closed the distance between aural pleasure and actual forward motion. Not quite as precise as a 911, more overtly sporting than a contemporary Jaguar XKR, the Vantage is a nice balance between usability and go-faster thrills, with lovely steering and very neutral, easy-to- assimilate balance. The Vantage S (more power, harder suspension) is the one to go for if you really like driving fast on the road, the N24 race-spec variant if you want to do the odd track day. The ultimate is the musclebound V12: 510bhp, 0–62mph in 4.2secs, 190mph, a manual gearbox and a whole heap of smoky-tyred excitement. Roadsters (2007-on) tend to be more for pose than go, and you’ll pay about £8k extra to replace the roof with canvas

On the inside

Aston’s ability to inject a touch of theatre to an interior appears in the Vantage, with copious use of top-quality wood and metal, all arranged in a pleasingly pared- down fashion. There’s plenty of space for two adults and luggage, making the Vantage a surprisingly practical car and an honest, usable daily driver, and various upgrades to the satellite navigation and other electrical systems mean that the baby Aston feels at least on the pace with technology. It can feel a bit dark and cave-like, but you’ll forgive that every time you glance back at the car as you walk away; it really does look great.

Owning

Every new variant chips value from the previous generation, with early cars now at very reasonable money. The Vantage apparently suffered from some electrical gremlins at the start, now solved, and residual values are generally good for low-mileage, well cared-for cars. Be aware that you’re talking about an Aston, though, so group 50 insurance and 35 per cent tax on everything (CO2 figures aren’t the best, with the basic V8 being 320g/km), with equally wilting servicing costs.

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Latest road tests

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August 2014
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November 2013
8/10 Aston Martin Vantage V12 Roadster driven
May 2013
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8/10 Aston Martin Vantage N420 driven
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