Aston Martin DB9 Volante

The Essentials

  • Price from £134,240
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 19.4mpg
  • What is it? Gorgeous convertible sports car with a thrilling sounding engine.

Great

  • It looks and sounds fabulous
  • Cabin is luxuriously appointed
  • Fold the roof and everyone can see the lucky driver

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

    Dropping the roof lets you hear that glorious engine in all its glory

  • 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

    Plenty here, but cheaper rivals offer even more

  • What's it like to drive?

    The DB9 Volante's engine is hugely powerful and makes a great noise. On smooth, curving A-roads you can enjoy the stunning performance, but meet any bumpy surfaces and it's uncomfortable, albeit not as bumpy as the Coupe. 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. Those inside are well protected from the wind, too.

  • 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 Volante. Average fuel economy of less than 20mpg 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.