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- Highs Classic and elegant grand-touring style, powerful V-12 engine, luxurious interior.
- Lows Unpleasant noise reaches the cabin at high speeds, steering could be sharper, has rear seats in name only.
- Verdict The DB11 is both beautiful and brawny, which makes it a quintessential grand tourer.
The Aston Martin DB11 traces its model lineage to the DB3 sports-racers of the 1950s and 007’s DB5 grand tourer of the mid-1960s. The current model began with the 1996 DB7, which was updated to the DB9 of 2003 and then more heavily revamped for 2017 and renamed the DB11. It retains the previous model’s VH platform, but with all-new sheetmetal, lots of composite materials, and a stiffer, lighter structure using magnesium door structures and an aluminum body. The DB11 is a large two-door grand touring 2+2 sports coupe with a V-12 engine powering the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
What's New for 2017?
In addition to all-new sheetmetal for the DB11, which this year replaced the DB9 flagship GT, there’s a new 600-hp twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V-12 engine developed in concert with AMG—Mercedes-Benz’s performance tuning division— replacing the old car’s naturally aspirated 6.0-liter V-12. The partnership with Mercedes, which has taken a stake in Aston ownership, also brought a vital update to the DB’s infotainment system.
- Base: $214,820
- Launch Edition: $233,170
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Aston Martin DB11 may be mostly new but, as we said upon first drive, it's a throwback to the grand touring DB “gentleman’s sports cars” of the 1960s and ‘70s. Power from the 600-hp V-12 comes on strong right off idle without a hint of turbo lag. Blitzing to 60 mph takes 3.6 seconds, and the quarter-mile passes in 11.7 at 125 mph. In the softest of the three suspension settings the DB11’s dampers allow deep strokes, and the car squats theatrically under hard acceleration. The firmest setting tempers these body actions only incrementally. The car’s big brakes are appropriately firm for such a large, powerful GT, and steering weight and feel are properly organic, even if the steering isn’t quite as sharp as we’d like. The V-12 emits an appropriately pleasing growl, but at 70 mph, the DB11 makes 70 decibels of mostly tire noise, a figure in line with economy cars. And at wide-open throttle, 86 decibels of purr make themselves known in the cabin.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
A high level of bespoke personalization is available for the DB11, which comes standard with such features as heated and ventilated seats and dual-zone climate control. Buyers may choose from Caithness or Balmoral leather upholstery, personalized door-sill plaques, embroidered headrests, Celestial seat perforation, Nexus seat quilting, and Brogue detailing. Interior trim is available with light ash grey pearl, satin tan lace wood, dark ash open pore wood, and satin or high-gloss carbon-fiber. There are four different colors available for the seatbelts. Nicely appointed as the rear seats are, the space back there is appropriate for short journeys only.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Standard tech features for the DB11 include navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and a 400-watt audio system with nine speakers and satellite radio. The new-for-2017 update to the Mercedes-Benz COMAND system includes an 8.0-inch TFT screen controlled by a touchpad in the center console.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.