The V8 Vantage offers entrance into the exclusive club of Aston Martin ownership at a price not much more than that of an optioned-up Porsche 911. Of course, you can always spend more on the V8 Vantage S or the V12 Vantage. Even at $185,650, 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 found in the DBS. It is 0.2 second quicker to 60 mph and yet sells for $94,926 less than Aston’s most expensive car. The Vantage’s appeal extends deeper than numbers, too. It’s a true driver’s car. Regardless of which engine is under the hood, 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 either fixed-roof or droptop form. Like the rest of the Aston range, the Vantage boasts an exquisite interior with clumsy ergonomics and a simple, slightly outdated style. The smaller wheelbase also means a tighter cabin, which can be an inconvenience for taller drivers. The N420 edition adds a dose of visual distinction with carbon-fiber body add-ons, carbon-fiber sill plates, a sport suspension riding on ten-spoke wheels, and Alcantara seat inserts.
Trim Levels: V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage N420, 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 automated manual
Passenger volume: 83.0 cu ft
The Vantage has a new S model for 2012 that wedges its way between the V8 and V12 Vantages and uses the same 4.7-liter engine as the V8 Vantage. The chassis benefits from wider rear tires, enlarged front brakes, a quicker steering ratio, and a stiffer suspension. The six-speed automated manual is replaced with a seven-speed unit that Aston says is
20 percent faster at swapping cogs, but it is still afflicted by slow shifts.
ABS, front and side air bags, stability and traction control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system are all standard.
All: 11-14 mpg city/17-21 mpg highway
- V12 is faster than a DBS
- The “value” Aston
- A driver’s car
- V12 is thirstier than a DBS
- Compact cabin
- Stale interior
The purest and sportiest Astons.
- Ferrari California
- Jaguar XKR
- Maserati GranTurismo
- Porsche 911