Aston Martin V12 Vantage coupe
- Stunning looks
- Blistering performance
- Endless personalisation possibilities
- Outdated sat nav
- Fairly firm suspension
- Supercar-level running costs
At a glance
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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.