Review

Aston Martin V12 Vantage coupe

Price  £138,000

Aston Martin V12 Vantage coupe

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Stunning looks
  • Blistering performance
  • Endless personalisation possibilities
Cons
  • Outdated sat nav
  • Fairly firm suspension
  • Supercar-level running costs

At a glance

The greenest
Coupe 3dr £138,000
The cheapest
Coupe 3dr £138,000
The fastest
Coupe 3dr £138,000
Top of the range
Coupe 3dr £138,000

"The V12 Vantage is one of the most exciting Aston Martins ever made."

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage puts the British firm's biggest engine into its smallest sports car and the result is spectacular. Aggressive-looking front and rear bumpers, different wheels and carbon-fibre air vents give it a meaner look than the standard V8 Vantage, while the hand-built V12 engine promises stunning performance.

The V12 Vantage handles well, but is physically demanding to drive, requiring firm inputs to the steering wheel, pedals and gearlever. Like the V8 model, the V12 isn’t quite as precise as a Porsche 911 GT3, but it makes up for that with the kind of exclusivity and British-built charm the German car just can’t match.

MPG, running costs & CO2

1.5 / 5

V12 engines are rarely cheap to run

A car as exclusive and fast as this will never be cheap to run, so brace yourself for high fuel, repair and servicing costs. A 10,000-mile service will cost around £800, while fuel economy of 17mpg means regular stops at the pumps. CO2 emissions are high enough to put the car in the top tax bracket for an annual bill of £505. The good news is that Aston Martins are always in demand on the used market and so hold their value well – particularly the highly desirable V12 Vantage.

Engines, drive & performance

4 / 5

A truly unique experience

Powered by the 6.0-litre V12 engine that debuted in the DBS, the Aston V12 Vantage is a proper driver’s car, doing 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds and hitting a top speed of 190mph. Power delivery is smooth with slick gearchanges and the steering is weighty, but the suspension is firm. The carbon-ceramic brakes offer exceptional stopping power. A Sport button located in front of the gearlever sharpens throttle response and makes the exhausts even louder.

Interior & comfort

3 / 5

Competent over long distances

Sports cars always have to compromise when it comes to comfort and the V12 Vantage feels firm on poor surfaces, but it's surprisingly settled over longer distances compared to rivals. As with all Astons, just sitting in the luxurious interior is an experience, with an Alcantara-clad steering wheel and supportive seats providing a comfortable experience on longer trips.

Practicality & boot space

2.5 / 5

You can order your own customised luggage

This Aston is strictly for two people, but there's a useful storage area behind the seats. A hatchback rear door means the 300-litre boot is easily accessible and there's enough space for a couple of reasonably sized suitcases. You can even order a set of fully customised luggage from the factory. Although the interior is uncluttered and beautifully laid-out, the Volvo-derived sat nav proves unreliable and tricky to use, spoiling an otherwise flawless cabin design.

Reliability & safety

2.5 / 5

The V12 Vantage is hand-made

Like its main rival the Porsche 911, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage is exceptionally well built and benefits from being driven regularly. It's hand-made at Aston Martin’s Gaydon factory in Warwickshire and only the outdated Volvo-derived sat-nav disappoints. A set of tyres should last for around 20,000 miles and a clutch should last for 40,000 miles without needing to be replaced. For such a high-performance machine, the V12 Vantage offers a reliable ownership experience.

Price, value for money & options

1 / 5

Incredibly expensive

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage has a list price closing on £150,000. There's lots of luxury kit as standard, including hand-stitched leather upholstery, a racy Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, hand-finished carbon-fibre and aluminium trim and a premium stereo with MP3 and iPod connectivity. For those with deeper pockets, the car can be personalised even further at the Gaydon head office, with lighweight bucket seats and individually tailored paint options available.

What the others say

5 / 5
based on 2 reviews
5 / 5
"Part of the V12's flexibility comes from its relatively short gearing (third is only just good for 100mph), which also means you can legally enjoy the engine's full vocal range through all of first and second. And if you buy a V12 then be sure to get someone to drive it past you occasionally while you stand at the side of the road, as the sound from the outside really is the stuff of dreams."
5 / 5
"The best of all modern Aston Martins and could become one of the world's greatest sports cars. Hugely powerful, it makes absolutely no pretensions to having low CO2 emissions, a frugal thirst for fuel or being the bargain of the week. It is unashamedly a glorious, totally high-spirited thoroughbred – and the most accelerative road car ever produced by Aston Martin."
Last updated 
24 Oct 2013
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