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- Highs Stunning design, powerful engines, athletic handling.
- Lows Noisy on the highway, cabin falls short of luxury level, very little interior storage space.
- Verdict Gorgeous, powerful, and supremely athletic, the Vantage is an ideal entry-level Aston Martin, if there is such a thing.
Aston Martin is the quintessential low-volume builder of British grand touring sports cars, positioned roughly between Jaguar and Bentley and exemplified by the DB5 that became famous as James Bond’s ride in Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1966). For the 2006 model year, Aston launched the Vantage, a sports car aimed at buyers of well-equipped, upper-end Porsche 911s, though retaining the brand’s traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. The Vantage is a two-seater offered in coupe or convertible (“roadster”) body styles, with the choice of a V-8 or V-12 engine, the latter poached from the bigger Vanquish luxury supercar.
What's New for 2017?
The V-8 Vantage GT and Vantage S have been combined into a single trim model, the GTS, for 2017. The GTS is available in two different sub-trim levels. The Sport Edition features carbon-fiber and black trim, a black or gray interior rendered in leather and Alcantara, and standard sport suspension. The Luxury Edition comes without the full-on sport suspension, but with glossy black exterior trim, premium leather seats, and an upmarket Bang & Olufsen audio system. A new Sport Plus package, available on the V-12 Vantage, comes in a choice of five body colors with special exterior accents, new 10-spoke graphite-finish wheels, and black or gray interior with accent stripes and contrast stitching in an array of colors.
- V-8 Coupe: $137,820
- V-8 Roadster: $152,320
- V-12 Coupe: $189,281
- V-12 Roadster: $203,781
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Being smaller and lighter than the Vanquish from which it takes its 563-hp 6.0-liter engine, the V-12 Vantage is a quicker car, with a manufacturer’s estimated 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph. The Sport Shift III seven-speed automated manual we sampled in our first test drive was more suited for race tracks than for cross-country drives, because “shifts were almost shocking in their stiffness,” we said, though the V-12’s broad, strong torque curve made it easy to keep the transmission in third gear. The sports car claws its way through switchbacks with mighty grip. The 430-hp V-8 Vantage is equally adept at cornering, its mild understeer easily overcome with the throttle, and powerful, fade-free brakes and steering that offers the driver a “sense of connection with the front wheels approaching race-car tactile.”
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
Standard features for the Vantage include leather upholstery, Alcantara headliner and steering wheel, heated seats, and automatic climate control. As with other Aston Martin models, the Vantage range is available with customized and bespoke interior trim options. Whether you go for “sport” or “luxury,” you get a snug two-seat cabin, with supportive seats designed to keep you in-place on the racetrack, and a driver-oriented cockpit. Still, there's very little interior storage space, and the Vantage's luxury experience is somewhat diminished by poor noise isolation on the highway, as well as fit and finish that doesn't quite live up to the price.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Aston Martin has upgraded to its latest AMi infotainment system for system for 2017, which adds Apple CarPlay integration. Standard tech also includes navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, two USB ports, and a six-speaker, 700-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system.
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.