Our favorite Aston is also the most affordable Aston.
The V8 Vantage offers entrance into the exclusive club of Aston Martin ownership at a price that is not much more than that of an optioned-up Porsche 911. You’ll spend more for the V8 Vantage S or the V12 Vantage, but even at $185,715, the twelve-cylinder Vantage strikes us as a comparative value. The Vantage’s shorter chassis makes it lighter and more nimble than its more expensive siblings, and the V-12 engine is the same 510-hp V-12 that was found in Aston’s top-of-the-line DBS (until it was replaced by the more powerful Vanquish this year). The Vantage’s appeal goes beyond superlatives, though. This is a true driver’s car. With either engine, the Vantage rewards the driver with communicative steering, responsive handling, and authoritative thrust. The V12 Vantage is available only as a coupe with a six-speed manual; the V8 Vantage offers a choice of a manual or a six-speed automated manual transmission and is available in fixed-roof or droptop form. In terms of intensity, the V8 Vantage S slots between those models with wider rear tires, enlarged front brakes, a quicker steering ratio, a stiffer suspension, and a seven-speed automatic surrounding the unchanged V-8 engine. Like all Astons, the Vantage boasts an exquisite interior with clumsy ergonomics and a simple, slightly outdated style.
new for 2013
Rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, and a backup camera are now standard on all Vantages. The optional equipment list has grown to include interior and exterior carbon packages and the luxe package with a 700-watt stereo. The V8 Vantage S can now be had with a six-speed manual gearbox in place of the seven-speed automatic. There’s a new V12 Vantage roadster, but you can’t buy it in the U.S.
ABS, front and side air bags, stability and traction control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system are all standard.
The “value” Aston is a driver’s car
V12 Vantage is faster than the old DBS
V12 Vantage drinks copious amounts of fuel
Base Price Range: $120,515–$185,715
TRIM LEVELS: V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage S, V12 Vantage
BODY STYLES: Coupe, convertible, 2-passenger
ENGINES: 4.7L V-8, 420/430 hp, 347/361 lb-ft
5.9L V-12, 510 hp, 420 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 6- or 7-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 83.0 cu ft
CARGO SPACE: 14.0 cu ft