Aston Martin DBS Volante convertible (2008-2012)
"Ultimately the DBS is one of the most desirable open-top cars in the world"
- Ultimate Aston convertible
- Fantastic to drive
- Incredible brakes
- Very expensive
- Lots of switchgear from Jaguar and Volvo
- Jerky downshifts
Regarded as the firm's ultimate convertible, the Aston Martin DBS costs almost £10,000 more than the coupe. But like the hard-top, the Volante (Aston's name for cabriolet) encompasses all things British. The exterior exudes, subtlety and sophistication, and under the bonnet is the same powerful 520bhp 6.0-litre V12, which propels the DBS Volante from 0-60mph in just over four seconds, exactly the same as the coupe. The automatic gearbox is a little bit rough on the downshifts, but handling is just as precise as in the coupe and ultimately the DBS is one of the most desirable open-top cars in the world.
MPG, running costs & CO2
With fuel economy figures in the low teens and insurance costs just about as high as they get, the DBS is a seriously expensive car to run. But if you can afford the purchase price, these things are unlikely to trouble you too much.
Engines, drive & performance
The DBS sounds incredible above 3,000rpm as its big V12 engine gets into its stride. Thanks to the use of carbon fibre body panels, the DBS is faster than the DB9, and the carbon ceramic brakes help the DBS stop in an instant. Firm suspension and a low ride height means that handling and grip is exceptional, although rivals offer a sharper driving experience.
Interior & comfort
Slightly softer than the coupe version, the convertible still has exceptional handling and grip, but can struggle on bumpy surfaces. Inside, there is plenty of room, and the luxurious Volante is every bit as comfortable as most GTs over long distances.
Practicality & boot space
For a strict two-seater, the DBS is actually quite practical. Interior space is better than average, and despite the best efforts of the folding canvas roof, there is still a small amount of usable boot space. There's not enough room for a spare wheel though.
Reliability & safety
Constructed at Aston Martin's state-of-the-art production plant in Gaydon, Warwickshire, the DBS is the most reliable Aston in recent years. It uses the same V12 engine as the DB9, Virage and V12 Vantage, so it's a tried and tested unit.
Price, value for money & options
At £170,000, the DBS convertible costs £10,000 more than the already expensive DBS Coupe. Balancing power with comfort and refinement, it is a brilliant all-round performer. The DBS also holds onto its value remarkably well for such a high-priced car.