Aston Martin Vantage

The Essentials

  • Price from £84,995
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 21.9mpg
  • What is it? One of the classiest sports cars money can buy

Great

  • Everyone will give you a second glance
  • Huge boot for a car so sporty
  • Loads of opportunity to customise the car

Gripes

  • Vision out of the side of the car is poor at junctions
  • Suspension is overly firm
  • Lots of similar looking switches
  • Drive

    Like the sports car of your dreams. Puts the fun back into driving, with a big, throaty engine note as a soundtrack

  • Inside

    Imagine James Bond fiddling with his spy gadgets amongst the leather and walnut. It's the sort of car that makes your bloodstream move just a little faster

  • Safety

    There are no curtain airbags at all in the Vantage, which seems a bit off. The least they could do for that sort of money is to bag some fresh air up for you

  • Reliability

    It's said the Aston may not have the build quality of the Porsche 911, so perhaps you should snap one of those up too and while away the hours playing compare and contrast

  • Space

    It's only for two, but the boot size is decent and there's more 'parcel' space behind the seats

  • Standard and extras

    Standards include a six-CD multichanger, huge alloys just begging to be scrunched along the kerb and electronic seats

  • What's it like to drive?

    Press the ignition button and it glows from blue to red as you sweep off, engine growling ferociously. The heavy controls require a firm hand but once you've let the Vantage know who's boss you'll enjoy an agile and relatively comfortable drive. S versions are firm enough to unsettle your composure over rutted roads, however.

  • What's it like inside?

    There's plenty of adjustment to help you get comfortable but no position gives a sensible view out of the side of the car at junctions. Adding lots of options risks adding lots of fiddly small buttons to the dash. Hatchback styling makes the boot practical for a two-seater sports car, and two sets of golf clubs will fit inside. There's not a lot of storage space in the cabin, but a shelf behind the seats will hold a handbag or two. Plenty of luxury kit comes as standard but you can add pretty much any option you want.

  • How reliable is it?

    Aston Martin prides itself on hand-building cars in Britain and early reliability issues appear to have been tackled. Safety kit is on the mean side - front and side airbags are standard but curtain 'bags aren't available. Stability control is fitted to help keep you on the road.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Vantage is pitched as an everyday supercar rival to the Porsche 911. As befits the Aston's exclusivity it is more expensive to buy and run, while its resale values are on a par with the Porsche. For sheer posing appeal we'd pick the Vantage but for a really rewarding drive it's got to be the 911.