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 Vantage Front


2008 Aston Martin Vantage Rear


2008 Aston Martin Vantage Interior


2008 Aston Martin Vantage Profile


2008 Aston Martin Vantage Front-2


Aston Martin Vantage Front-3

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Interior materials
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Navigation-system controls
  • Control layout
  • Ride

Aston Martin’s “entry-level” coupe is also its best choice. Plenty of power, great handling, and a sumptuous interior are Vantage hallmarks. New-car base prices have been reasonable (as exotics go), but numerous, expensive options quickly sent prices skyward. Secondhand, don’t expect ay bargains. We would especially avoid the available Sports Pack, as it takes quite a toll on the car’s ride. Those who think a Bentley Continental GT is too mundane and an Audi R8 or Lamborghini Gallardo is too ostentatious might find the Aston Martin Vantage an ideal choice.

Overview

Launched during 2005 as a 2006 model, Aston Martin’s new V8 Vantage coupe served as the British sports car maker’s “entry-level” model. Styling stemmed from a concept car seen at the 2003 North American International Auto Show, in Detroit. Beneath the bonnet sat a 4.3-liter V8, borrowed from Jaguar and issuing 380 horsepower. Some 13 inches shorter than the company’s DB9, Aston Martin’s new entry-level car initially came only in two-seat coupe form, with a six-speed manual gearbox. Safety features included antilock braking, traction control, and side airbags. Curtain side airbags were not offered; the included side airbags were designed to provide head and torso protection.

Vantage models were strictly two-seaters, whereas Aston Martin’s longer DB9 models were available with a small back seat. Originally, “Vantage” had been the label for cars with a hotter-than-standard engine. Now, it was simply a model range. Aston Martin stated that the Vantage’s platform would be used for all future models from the company.

Yearly Updates

2007 Vantage
For 2007, a convertible (roadster) joined the initial V8 Vantage coupe, with rollover protection bars installed. A new alternative to the standard six-speed manual transmission was a Sportshift six-speed automated-manual transmission, which had no clutch pedal and could be set to shift like an automatic. That transmission included steering-wheel paddles for manual shifting.
2008 Vantage
Midway through the 2008 model year, the V8 Vantage lineup was upgraded to a larger engine with more power. Replacing the formerly standard 4.3-liter V8 with 380 horsepower was a 4.7-liter version with 420 horsepower. Also added with the midyear update were a revised center console, a sport suspension option, and restyled standard and optional 19-inch wheels. Available features included satellite radio, a navigation system, and front and rear obstacle detection.
2009 Vantage
Few changes were evident for the 2009 model year, following the mid-season update in 2008.
2010 Vantage
Once again, the V8 Vantage was largely unchanged. An optional Sports Pack included specific wheels and a performance suspension.
2011 Vantage
The Vantage lineup gained several new models for 2011. Aston Martin’s entry-level car still came as the V8 Vantage in two-seat coupe and convertible body styles. New V8 models for 2011 were the N420 with more standard equipment, and the S with more horsepower and a sport suspension. Also new was the high-performance V12 Vantage, which came only as a coupe. The V12 Vantage also was offered as the specially-trimmed V12 Carbon Black model. The V8 Vantage base and N420 had a 420-horsepower, 4.7-liter engine mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automated-manual transmission. The V8 Vantage S teamed a 430-horsepower, 4.7-liter V8 with a seven-speed automated-manual transmission. The V8 Vantage handled 0-62 mph acceleration in 4.9 seconds. Top speed was 180 mph for the base and N420, and 189 for the S. The V12 Vantage got a 510-horsepower, 5.9-liter engine with a mandatory six-speed manual gearbox. The V12 did 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds and had a top speed of 190 mph. Convertibles had rollover bars that were designed to deploy in an impending tip. Unique to the V12 Vantage was a Sport button that altered throttle response and exhaust tuning to suit performance driving. Other available features included lightweight carbon-fiber seats, a navigation system, and front- and rear-obstacle detection. Optional on the Base V8 and S was a Sports Pack, which included specific wheels and a performance suspension.
2012 Vantage
Base model got quicker steering and bigger brakes for 2012, along with styling tweaks previously found on the more expensive V8 S model. The base V8’s optional six-speed automated-manual transmission was replaced by a seven-speed version. All cars had standard leather upholstery, xenon headlights, and 19-inch alloy wheels. An available Sports Pack included a firmer sport suspension and lightweight alloy wheels. Available features included a Bang & Olufsen sound system and a trunk-mounted umbrella. During 2012, Aston Martin announced the unveiling of a limited-edition V12 Vantage roadster.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

After starting out with a 380-horsepower, 4.3-liter V8 engine, Aston Martin switched to a 4.7-liter V8 rated 420 horsepower, during the 2008 model year. Either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automated-manual transmission might be installed. For 2011, Aston Martin made a 5.9-liter V12 engine available, generating 510 horsepower and offered only with manual shift. At the same time, a new V8 Vantage S held a 430-horsepower V8 and seven-speed automated-manual transmission. For 2012, a seven-speed automated-manual transmission replaced the former six-speed unit as an option.

dohc V12
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.9/362
Engine HP 310
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 420
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

11/17

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.3/261
Engine HP 380
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 302
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
12/17
13/20
dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.7/289
Engine HP 420-430
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 346-361
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
7-speed automatic
12/19
14/20
14/21
15.8

The EPA changed its method of estimating fuel economy in 2008. Therefore, figures for pre-2008 models are not directly comparable to those of later years.

Road Test

A Vantage base coupe with the 4.7-liter V8 and manual transmission accelerates as well as you would expect from a 420-horsepower supercar. Throttle response is outstanding in any situation, with either V8 or V12 power. The manual transmission has positive shift action and is a joy to use (especially with the V12), but a heavy clutch can cause frustration in urban driving.

In Consumer Guide testing, a manual-transmission V8 Vantage averaged 15.8 mpg in city/highway driving. All models require premium-grade gas and were subject to a federal gas-guzzler tax.

The optional Sports Pack includes revised suspension tuning that imparts a very stiff ride. Nearly every road imperfection makes its way into the cabin, though discomfort stops just short of all-out brutality. The V12 model launched for 2011 has similar suspension settings. However, in regular trim, each model’s ride is well-controlled and rarely jarring. Because of low ride height, care must be taken when crossing potholes and railroad tracks.

At speed, the Vantage carves corners with ease. Body lean in fast corners is virtually nonexistent. Large brakes deliver controlled stops with firm pedal feel. The only knock against this car’s handling is that the steering is quite heavy at low speeds. It’s appropriately weighted on the highway and in fast cornering.

The engine is a little gruff at idle. It really comes alive above 3,000 rpm, producing an exotic sound. The V12 is smooth at all speeds and really sings above 4,000 rpm. Wind rush is well controlled, but road and tire noise are prominent.

Like its DB9 and DBS siblings, the Vantage’s control scheme is a bit of a mess. Audio and climate functions are fairly straightforward, but there is often a long delay from the time a button is pushed to when the systems respond. The navigation system uses a fiddly dashboard knob and surrounding buttons, making it very difficult to program. Otherwise, the interior is stunning. High-quality leather and synthetic-suede surfaces are put together with hand-crafted contrast stitching. Genuine metal trim adds a sporty touch, complementing the classy cabin.

Seats are firm, yet all-day comfortable. Most adults should have plenty of legroom. Headroom is rather tight, as expected in a coupe. A tall dashtop compromises forward visibility, and the roof line hurts the view to the rear–though it’s better than in some fastback coupes. Vantage models have no rear seating.

The coupe’s cargo bay will accommodate a weekend’s worth of soft luggage, but not much more. There’s also a small parcel shelf behind the seats. Other interior storage is meager, including a small glovebox, center console, and door pockets.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2010 Aston Martin V8 Vantage coupe with Sport Pack (manual)

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 - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 3
30%
Steering/Handling - 9
90%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - -
-0%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 53

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
102.5 172.5 73.5 49.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
5.0 21.1 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
NA NA
2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
102.5 172.5 73.5 49.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
10.6 21.1 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
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

2010-12 V12 Vantage Coupe
Description: Low tire pressure warning light does not illuminate until front tires are 25% below recommended cold tire pressure.

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.