Aston Martin Vanquish coupe
Aston Martin Vanquish coupe
- Stunning design
- Simpler interior controls
- Hi-tech materials
- High price
- Fuel consumption
- V12 starting to feel old-fashioned
At a glance
"As you would expect, the Aston Martin Vanquish is expensive to buy and expensive to run, but its V12 engine is thrilling and the car looks stunning."
The Aston Martin Vanquish is a replacement for the DBS, and sits at the top of Aston's range (not counting limited run models like the One-77 and V12 Zagato). The layout is typical Aston – there's a huge V12 engine at the front driving the rear wheels and the low-slung bodywork has similar proportions to the DBS. The body panels are all carbon-fibre though – a first for Aston – and a recent refresh of the car means the engine now produces 568bhp and is around 11 per cent more efficient. The interior features a user-friendly infotainment interface and hi-tech touch-sensitive buttons. For those millionaires interested in style, sophistication and ferocious pace, the Vanquish is a natural choice.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The costs don’t stop - it requires a small fortune to run
While other manufacturers are turning to smaller turbocharged engines to deliver more performance and reduce fuel consumption in one swoop, Aston Martin has stuck with what it knows. The benefits of a 6.0-litre V12 engine are clear – it sounds fantastic and the effortlessly smooth power delivery is unrivalled, but fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of around 22.1mpg and 298g/km are pretty poor, even if a new engine management system means the figures are better than they used to be. A new, smoother gearbox means 31mpg should now be achievable on a motorway cruise.
A tank of unleaded for the Vanquish will set you back roughly £110. A three-year unlimited mileage warranty is included as standard, although a number of extended warranty packages are also available. Buyers should be aware though that repairing the carbon-fibre bodywork will be extremely expensive, and servicing costs will be well above the norm, too.
Interior & comfort
Firm and bumpy ride balanced by power and luxury
The suspension has three distinct settings – Normal, Sport and Track - so you can change the character of the car from a comfy cruiser to a rock-hard racer at the touch of a button. Even in its softest setting though, you tend to get bounced around the interior like a pinball on bumpy roads. However, the huge amounts of power and luxurious interior mean that the Vanquish is the perfect car for a long cross-continent trip – as long as you can stomach the fuel bills.
Practicality & boot space
More interior space and a bigger boot than the DBS
Let's face it, you don’t buy a car like this with practicality in mind, but the Vanquish has definitely improved compared to its predecessor. The dashboard has moved forward by 20mm, to create more space for front passengers, and there's a 368-litre boot – that's 60 per cent bigger than the DBS and enough for two sets of golf clubs. The rear seats are extremely cramped and only really for children (even then only for short trips), but if you’d rather have more luggage space, Aston will remove the rear seats as a no-cost option.
Reliability & safety
Predecessor was well built, but any repairs will be costly
Aston Martin doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability, but its latest models are far better than in years gone by. Each Vanquish takes around 250 to 300 hours to build by hand, so you can be sure the quality is high. There were no major recalls for the DBS, so no major mechanical problems are anticipated for the Vanquish.
Engines, drive & performance
An unforgettable experience
Power from the 6.0-litre V12 now stands at 568bhp, so 0-62mph takes 3.8 seconds, with a top speed of 201mph. The steering reacts faster to your movements than before and the engine sits slightly lower, so the handling is more stable.
A new eight-speed gearbox means shifts are much smoother and quicker, improving the Vanquish both as a sports car and as a cruiser. A revised suspension that's firmer than before improves the handling, while changes to the brakes means they’re more rewarding to use.
A launch control mode allows you to make the most of the performance by controlling wheel spin and letting you blast away from a standstill with maximum acceleration. Push the sport button on the steering wheel and it sharpens throttle response and opens a set of valves in the exhaust, which lets you hear the V12 engine in all its glory.
Price, value for money & options
Strictly for the wealthy, but you do get a lot for your money
When you consider that final special editions of the DBS, like the DBS Carbon, cost £186,582, the Vanquish's £189,995 price tag doesn’t seem so unreasonable. Especially when you find out that the body is constructed entirely from expensive carbon-fibre, there's more technology and gadgets packed into the interior, and it's faster than ever before.
Standard equipment is generous too, and includes things such as a 1,000W Bang & Olufsen stereo, sat-nav and a fully leather-lined interior. A host of optional extras, such as different 20-inch alloys, bits of extra carbon-fibre trim and a rear-parking camera are also offered. The latest model update has seen lightweight forged alloy wheels and Diavalo Red paint added to the options list. As you would expect, optional extras are not cheap.
What the others say
"Forget the fact that the Vanquish uses a similar recipe to the DBS it replaces – treated as a standalone product, this is a sensational car. The essential Aston DNA is there, with a thunderous V12 and a sumptuous cabin. Adjustable suspension makes it both accomplished cruiser and full-on supercar. Just like the iPhone 5 is only marginally better than the iPhone 4, the Vanquish is only slightly better than the DBS. But you still want one."
"The new Vanquish is the best current-generation Aston, but its ride could be more controlled and, given that the Vanquish is intended to be the most sporting 'large' Aston, its performance could do with a touch more drama and explosiveness. That might sound churlish given the car's huge pace and abundant power, but a Ferrari F12 performs with an even greater sense of occasion. Even so, we wouldn't blame you for choosing a Vanquish. It's a fast, fabulous-looking and beautifully-made GT car."
"This is supposed to be the pinnacle of Aston road cars and while it's certainly more capable and efficient than its predecessor and lovely to behold, the decision to equip it with an automatic transmission is strange. It also lacks that indefinable star quality, so while it's a likeable and useable car, the new Vanquish cries out for a sprinkle more vim."