Aston Martin DB9

The Essentials

  • Price from £125,050
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 17.2mpg
  • What is it? Uber-glam sports car

Great

  • Looks a million dollars
  • Fabulous performance at any speed
  • You'll be sitting in the lap of luxury in the DB9

Gripes

  • You need to be more of a lion tamer than a driver
  • Rear seats are purely decorative
  • Not as refined or comfortable on the road as we'd like
  • Drive

    Exhilarating if you're going in a straight line, a handful if not, with heavy steering

  • Inside

    Smart, but not six-figure smart. Comfortable seats and a good view out

  • Safety

    Top notch Volvo-guided passenger safety and an in-built tracker system

  • Reliability

    Aston Martin has been doing this long enough to turn out a great engine

  • Space

    Rear seats are tiny, so best used for the overspill from the small boot

  • Standard and extras

    Standard specification, if you can call it that, is luxurious. But you're not getting it for free

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Aston Martin DB9 is a bit of a wild animal, and not always in a good way. On smooth, curving A-roads it's fine, but meet any bumpy surfaces and it's a pain in the proverbial. The heavy steering will keep your arms toned, too. Traction control kicks in at the earliest sign of fun, which slightly defeats the object of driving a sports car. However, the sound and performance of the engine alone is almost enough to make you buy the car. We'd stick with the manual gearbox as the auto struggles to keep up when you're pressing on.

  • What's it like inside?

    Initial appearances are great, but closer inspection reveals materials which don't look worthy of a car with a six-figure price tag while the fit and finish could also be better. For a sports car, the driver's view is really good and the seats are supremely comfortable. Some of the control switches are small and fiddly. Although it's technically a two-plus-two, there's really only room for a couple of (lucky) small children in the back; better still use the space to supplement the tiny boot.

  • How reliable is it?

    The engine and the auto gearbox in the Aston Martin DB9 have a proven track record so shouldn't give you many problems. However, it's difficult to tell how well the cabin will stand up to everyday use given the rather cheap-looking materials used, and the questionable craftsmanship. Volvo helped develop the car so safety kit is good, with front and side airbags and stability control fitted.

  • Should I buy one?

    Unless you're expecting a huge city bonus this year, or have a footballer's salary, you might have to dip into your Swiss account to pay for the DB9. Average fuel economy of 17.2mpg means running costs will be sky-high, too, while a small tank means you'll need to refuel every 200 miles. If the bank manager comes knocking, at least you can expect a healthy return from selling on your precious.