A Beautiful View: The Aston Martin V8 Vantage Review
What’s the lowdown with the Aston Martin V8 Vantage?
The motoring world was captivated by the Aston Martin V8 Vantage from the moment the finished product was finally unveiled at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. The latest revisions to the model do nothing to diminish the appeal of what is the ‘sporty baby’ of the Aston Martin range. If you’re looking for car lease deals on a model in the same league as the Audi R8 and Porsche 911, with heritage, a distinctive personality and a fantastic driving experience, the Aston Martin V8 is definitely worth close attention.
The Look and Feel
This is a well proportioned and instantly recognisable Aston Martin body – and one which is over a foot shorter than the DB9. It is not the case that the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is merely the ‘baby brother’ of the DB9 though. It’s definitely got a personality of its own. The Vantage features large wheel arch bulges for that extra feeling of muscularity – which is something rather different to the ‘GT’ character of the DB9.
What is true though is that once you get to the interior of the Aston Martin V8, there are plenty of similarities to the DB9 – and all the better for it. Full leather is now standard across the range. So far as space is concerned, rather than making a halfhearted effort to shoehorn in a couple of rear seats, Aston Martin has instead decided not to have them at all. The net effect of this is that although the V8 Vantage is low-slung (60mm lower than the DB9 for example), there’s plenty of room for even a very tall driver and passenger. It also means there’s some useful storage space behind the seats. What’s more, (this being a hatchback after all) there’s also a 300-litre boot, which is generous for a car in this class.
Performance and Drive
Let’s face it; if you’re in the market for car leasing deals on a vehicle in this class, it’s definitely the drive that counts. Fortunately there are few complaints when it comes to the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
With the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, there’s been something of a power-up on the part of Aston Martin. In particular, the original 4.3-litre V8 has been replaced by a 4.7-litre version. The net effect is a 15 per cent increase in torque – along with an increase in power output from 380 bhp to 420 bhp. This translates to the ability to reach a top speed of 180 mph and a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds. The figures for this car put it in the same territory as the Porsche Carrera S.
Changes have also been made with performance in mind. Motorists who have had car leasing deals on previous incarnations will appreciate that the new versions are considerably more responsive. Both the standard stick-shift and Sportshift transmission gearboxes are easier to use. The Sportshift set up features a dual transmission system: Sports and Comfort. In ‘Sports’ mode you get a pleasingly aggressive series of changes for a totally dynamic feel. ‘Comfort’ (as you’d expect) gives you a somewhat sleeker driving experience.
Responsiveness when driving at lower speeds has been improved too. This is down to some changes to the suspension and chassis setup. With the centre of gravity positioned behind the line of the front axle, the cornering experience is as good as anything you’re likely to find in this class.
Drivers rarely take out car lease deals on Aston Martins with economy at the top of their agenda. Nevertheless, Aston Martin has managed to pull off increasing the size of the engine from a 4.3-litre to a 4.7-litre at the same time as achieving an improvement in CO2 emissions by over 13 per cent. On the standard manual model, you get 20.4 mpg on the combined cycle, 27.3 mpg in the open – but just 14.2 mpg in urban conditions. There’s a slight improvement with the Sportshift model, but it’s still the case that you’ll be filling up that 80-litre fuel tank on a pretty regular basis.
The Final Word…
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage has got the looks and the performance to match. The V8 Vantage also comes with that all-important ‘Aston Martin’ badge of course. If you’re looking for a distinctive aura – and something somewhat different in character to the likes of the Porsche 911, this car is a serious option.