The Aston Martin’s engine doesn’t have age on its side, and the Nissan boasts a younger power plant. But it can’t rival the V8 Vantage when it comes to a hardcore soundtrack that makes Beethoven seem like an amateur. This car is a speed-freak, a power fiend – and a noise fiend.
You need to work the engine hard to get the best out of it. For enthusiasts, that’s just all part of the fun. However, work it too hard and you might break the speed limit, the space-time continuum – and you might lose your licence.
As always, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage comes with a manual transmission. For purists, that continues to be one of its USPs, and it separates it from the Nissan, which has no manual option and an on-board computer that further reduces your involvement. However, we can’t help but think it’s time that Aston Martin embraced the era of semi-automatics – especially now that they’re as good as they are.
Running costs? You’ll need deep pockets to buy the car in the first place – and they won’t be getting any shallower once it’s all paid for. The good news is that depreciation isn’t really an issue. Aston Martin is too desirable a brand for people not to want this car. But returns of a 20.5mpg economy are the best you can expect.
Meanwhile, you’ll be paying £505 a year in running costs.
Inside, the Vantage has always been notable for its exquisite switch-gear and breathtaking attention to detail. Moreover, its handcrafted cabins give it exclusivity.
However, its once seemingly timeless aesthetics are starting to look out-of-time. Rivals have caught it up when it comes to quality, and the cabin is now looking old. That’s a shame, but there are still touches of luxury here and there, such as the stitched leather on the dashboard and steering wheel.
Is it practical? There are better everyday cars of this type out there, but this is still a fairly usable car. It has two leather sports seats, an adjustable steering column, plenty of room to get comfortable, and it’s easy to park, thanks to its compact size.
The boot, meanwhile, measures a respectable 300-litres. If you need extra space, you can use the area behind your front seats.
Aston Martin – £95,000 – £165,000