Exotic car; Built in England
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door coupe
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $NA – $NA*


2008 Aston Martin DB9 Front


2008 Aston Martin DB9 Rear


2008 Aston Martin DB9 Interior


2008 Aston Martin DB9 Front-2

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Interior materials
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Audio and climate controls
  • Fuel economy

It might seem a bit absurd to compare the value of vehicles that were priced above $200,000 when new, but some examples reward their well-heeled owners better than others. In this class, we’ve found Bentley’s Continental series of coupes and convertibles offer better performance, more solid body structures, and more attractive prices–at least when new. That said, the Bentley cabin lacks this Aston’s clubby charm, and few cars match the DB9’s intoxicating engine note and exhaust rumble.

Overview

Long known as a builder of English luxury grand touring automobiles and sports cars, Aston Martin may be most famous for supplying James Bond’s (played by Sean Connery) DB5 in the 1964 movie Goldfinger. Postwar Aston Martin history dates back to late 1948, when the low-production DB1 first appeared; and to spring 1950, when the DB2 debuted. By the 21st century, Aston Martin was under the stewardship of Ford Motor Company.

Introduced during 2004 as a 2005 model, mounted atop a bonded aluminum space frame, the DB9 continued the “DB” prefix that had been revived for the DB7, which disappeared after 2003. At 108 inches, the DB9’s wheelbase was 4 inches longer than that of the DB7. Production took place at a new factory in Gaydon, England. Styling of the V12-powered DB9 coupe, which had appeared at the Frankfurt Motor Show in fall 2003, included what some called swan-wing doors. Considered a 2+2 coupe, the DB9 seated four (at least theoretically). A DB9 Volante convertible soon joined the original coupe, also with a tiny back seat. Volante convertibles included rollover bars that were designed to deploy during an impending tipover. Shipped from Germany, the DB9’s V12 engine developed 450 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Buyers could choose a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automated-manual, which had no clutch pedal and could be set to shift like an automatic. The automated-manual unit included steering-wheel paddles for manually-selected gearchanges. Aston Martin claimed 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.9 seconds. Safety features included antilock braking, traction control, and front side airbags. Safety features had been developed with the assistance of Volvo. Sticker price for the DB9 coupe in the U.S. started at $155,000.

Yearly Updates

2006 DB9
Changes were few for the DB9 coupe and convertible in their second season. Styling of the V12-powered DB9 was similar to that of Aston Martin’s new-for-2006 entry-level V8 Vantage, but DB9s were 13 inches longer and had the tiny back seat that the Vantage lacked.
2007 DB9
Little changed for the 2007 model year, and into the beginning of the 2008 season.
2008 DB9
During 2008, the DB9 got a power boost as a midyear upgrade. The mid-2008 DB9’s 6.0-liter V12 gained 20 horsepower, for a total of 470. Other available features included a navigation system, satellite radio, and front/rear obstacle detection. Also added as part of the midyear update were a revised center console and restyled 19-inch wheels (both the standard and optional versions). Competitors to the DB9 included the Bentley Continental GT/GTC (also built in England), the Italian-made Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, and the also-Italian Lamborghini Gallardo.
2009 DB9
Few changes were evident for the 2009 model year. A new DB9 sold for $182,450 to $199,950. Rivals included the Porsche 911 and Audi R8, in addition to the models mentioned above.
2010 DB9
Changes again were few for the 2010 season, and prices rose only slightly.
2011 DB9
Styling was revised for 2011, and two new trim levels were added. Aston Martin DB9s also gained an adaptive suspension. The new Luxury and Sport models added special body colors, wheels, and trim to the base DB9. Coupes and convertibles could be fitted with a Bang and Olufsen sound system. The list of possible competitors included Jaguar’s XK Series and the Maserati GranTurismo.
2012 DB9
Aston Martin dropped the six-speed manual transmission after 2011. Otherwise, little changed for 2012, as a next-generation DB9 was expected in 2013. All DB9s had navigation, heated leather seats, xenon headlights, and adaptive shock-absorber control. Options include the Bang and Olufsen sound system, synthetic-suede steering-wheel covering, and colored brake calipers. Another DB9 competitor was now available: the Ferrari 599. Aston Martin announced a “new” DB9 for 2013, with a 570-horsepower engine.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

For its first three seasons, the DB9 had a 6.0-liter V12 engine that developed 450 horsepower. Starting in mid-2008, Aston Martin’s 6.0-liter V12 engine gained 20 horsepower, for a total of 470. Two six-speed transmission choices have been offered: a conventional manual gearbox, and Aston Martin’s automated-manual transmission, which lacked a clutch pedal and could shift like an automatic.

dohc V12
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 6.0/362
Engine HP 450-470
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 420-443
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
11/17
13/20

Road Test

Although acceleration in a Volante convertible with the automatic transmission is not neck-snapping from a stop, the soft-top DB9 gathers speed quickly and has an abundance of reserve power for passing and merging. The DB9 coupe has not been road-tested.

Consumer Guide has not yet tested fuel economy with a DB9, but the EPA estimates speak for themselves. With manual shift, a DB9 gets an estimate of just 11 mpg in city driving and 17 mpg on the highway. The automated-manual transmission raises that estimate to a still-thirsty 13-mpg city/20-mpg highway. All Aston Martin vehicles require premium-grade gasoline.

Ride quality is a disappointment: surprisingly firm, allowing even modest road imperfections to filter into the cabin. Additionally frustrating is the convertible’s less-than-rigid body structure, which contributes to copious flexing over railroad tracks and other large road imperfections.

The DB9 Volante is too heavy to ever feel truly agile. Nevertheless, its responsive, accurate steering and well-controlled body lean contribute to an overall feel of sportiness. Strong, solid-feeling brakes provide reassuringly short stops.

A DB9 convertible is never really quiet–nor is it meant to be. The V12 engine and baritone exhaust note combine to create a mechanical symphony that dominates the driving experience. With the top up, a fair amount of road noise enters the cabin, but highway cruising is just quiet enough to allow normal conversation.

Controls and materials qualify as traditionally British–in the worst possible way. Though the primary gauges are large and reasonably well-marked, minor controls are oddly placed and never quite work as expected. Leather and bright metal accents dominate the cabin, which exudes a clubby, upscale ambiance. Frankly, car interiors don’t get much nicer than this one from Britain.

Despite the DB9’s substantial mass, the cabin itself feels surprisingly narrow. Credit for that phenomenon goes to the large center console, which consumes much of the space. Entry and exit maneuvers are complicated by the low seating position and, with the convertible top up, low roof height. Only in theory are passengers welcome in the back seat, which is really just storage for grocery bags and other small parcels. Legroom is virtually nonexistent. An agile single occupant could possibly slip inside and occupy the rear, positioned sideways, but that would be acceptable only in an emergency.

By using soft luggage, two folks might have trunk space for a weekend getaway. Cabin storage is similarly limited, consisting of a shallow center-console bin and a modest-size glovebox.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2010 Aston Martin DB9 Volante convertible

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 9
90%
Fuel Economy - 1
10%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 8
80%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 1
10%
Cargo Room - 2
20%

Other

Value - 2
20%

Total: 41

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.1 185.4 74 50
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
NA 21.1 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
NA NA NA NA
2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.1 185.4 74 50
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
NA 21.1 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
NA NA NA NA
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Recall History

2008 Aston Martin DB9
Description: Front bottom suspension arm cam bolt could crack along its shank, allowing lower control arm to move; such movement would influence the driver’s control of steering, increasing the risk of a crash.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.