Aston Martin DB9 coupe
- Classic looks
- Super fast but easy to drive
- The V12’s sound is addictive
- Thirsty with sky-high emissions
- Interior not as modern as rivals
- No manual gearbox
At a glance
“The Aston Martin DB9 oozes charisma and is a fast, utterly enjoyable car to drive.”
The Aston Martin DB9 coupe has looks to match any car on the road and, as a GT (Grand Turismo) it is just as capable of covering huge distances as it is at being fun to drive in the corners.
One of the best features of the Aston Martin is its V12 engine, which not only gives it jaw-dropping performance, but also sounds as good as anything else on the road. Settle down for a long distance cruise, though, and it will barely be audible to passengers.
While you’d be hard pushed to tell from the exterior design, the Aston Martin DB9 is starting to show its age inside. Nonetheless, it is still beautifully built and you get the kind of high-quality material that you would expect to get in a car that costs as much as the DB9 does.
Choosing an Aston Martin DB9 should be simple – all come with the same 6.0-litre engine and there are just two models to choose from, the standard car and the DB9 Carbon Edition, which gets a unique styling pack.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Not for the eco-conscious
When it comes to the running costs of a DB9 it's very much a case of ‘if you have to ask, you can’t afford it’. Fuel will be consumed at a colossal rate of 19.5mpg, while emissions of 333g/km put it safely in the top band of road tax (the band starts at 255g/km), so the DB9 will cost a considerable £500 per year. Having said that, the Aston's economy puts it on a par with other expensive large-engined GT cars such as the W12 Bentley Continental GT. Depreciation is another sore point for the Aston Martin and you can expect its value to drop like a stone over three years.
Interior & comfort
Luxury on a grand scale
The interior of the Aston Martin DB9 can rival anything for quality of finish and, depending on how much you want to spend, Aston Martin will use anything from wood, to aluminium or carbon fibre, and all Astons get a leather interior as standard. While the DB9's interior may be finished in nice materials, it is getting to look quite dated now, and it has barely changed since the car first went on sale in 2004.
Practicality & boot space
Competitive, not class-leading
The Aston Martin DB9 has plenty of space up front, and all models get electric seats that offer a huge range of adjustment. The rear seats are cramped and are only really suitable for children but many owners use them as somewhere to store extra luggage. The DB9's boot suffers because of the car's sweeping lines, and is just 227 litres in size as a result, or 187 litres if you go for the Volante convertible. The Mercedes SL, which has top-of-the-range models that rival the Aston Martin, is much more practical, in terms of boot space it offers 358 litres of load lugging capacity, but does not have the Aston's rear seats.
Reliability & safety
Better than ever before
A price to pay for the Aston Martin's hand-built status is that the car's reliability isn’t always as good as models that use more sophisticated and modern building techniques. However, the DB9 is more than ten-years old now and there's a good chance that most problems will have been ironed out. The DB9 may be built by hand, but under the body it shares parts such as the brakes, gearbox and electronics with more mainstream cars and, therefore, they should prove reliable.
Due to its exclusivity, the Aston Martin has never been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but it comes with multiple air bags and electronic stability control.
Engines, drive & performance
The DB9 is all about the driving experience
With a 6.0-litre V12 engine under the bonnet, the Aston Martin DB9 is very quick. It gets from 0-60mph in just 4.6 seconds and can go past 180mph. But the large engine also means the Aston is heavy and there are sports cars – such as the Porsche 911 – that will feel more agile when cornering. The Aston is still lots of fun to drive, though, and will be the better long-distance companion. Its suspension can also be adjusted for performance or comfort – with three different settings – the hardest of which allows you to push the DB9 on a race track if you wish. The car also benefits from powerful brakes that are a match for the engine's performance.
Price, value for money & options
Good against rivals, but lacking equipment
The Aston Martin is an expensive car, but if you’re looking for a fast V12 GT, then your alternatives are really limited to the Mercedes SL65, which is actually much more expensive and lacks the prestige of the Aston Martin badge. The Mercedes may well be more sophisticated than the Aston – and also quicker – but many will prefer the simpler approach that the British company has taken. The DB9 is also likely to hold onto its value much better than the Mercedes.
What the others say
"This new DB9 looks more modern, has a broader appeal and slots into the line-up neatly beneath the Vanquish. Despite a dated interior, there’s a genuine sense of occasion whether you’re in it or looking at it. As always, the updated engine makes a superb sound, while adjustable suspension and carbon brakes make this is a comfortable, capable Grand Tourer with an added bonus - the Aston range is now easier to understand."
"Some will complain this DB9 looks too similar to the old one, but that’s missing the point; the latest 911 looks similar to every other but is completely different to drive and it’s the same with the DB9, which has matured into a class act and is now quite possibly the best Aston on sale today."