2009 Aston Martin DB9 Volante

This Volante looks especially gorgeous with its creamy white paint and brown interior. I agree with Phil that the cabin materials are wonderful. The extravagant, handcrafted wood and leather are perfectly accented by the large aluminum pieces used for the center console and door handles. However, the switchgear doesn't quite make the cut. The power mirror controls are straight out of our old long-term C30, and the window, roof, and lock switches all have a similar Volvo aura. Punching a gear-selection button reminds me of riding an elevator - or Junior Mints - but either way it's not good. It is certainly a world-class cabin, but just a bit shy of perfection.

The suspension character, on the other hand, is perfect. I drove the DB9 home on the back roads over some seriously broken pavement and it never flinched. Bumps are damped quickly without ever being harsh. The V-12 provides a wonderful exhaust note and on-demand power. Passing is possible at any speed in virtually any gear. The transmission is good but can be abrupt during low-speed, off-throttle downshifts.

Like Phil said, this is a unique car. It might not carry the air that similarly priced exotics do, but it's a beautiful package that offers uncompromised sport and luxury.

Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor

New Car Research

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