The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is the model to watch for the average car driver. Mainly because at a starting price of $120,850, it is the only model the company offers that is anywhere remotely near the average driver’s price range. But the other main reason is that, even though its V12-powered brother the DB9 is the company’s flagship model, the Vantage is tons of fun at half the DB9′s price.
The Vantage is being put up against the Porsche 911, and it really holds its own against the far more established German vehicle. The Vantage’s 4.7-liter V8 puts out 420 horsepower and 347 lb-ft of torque, a very healthy boost over the 4.3-liter V8 that powered the Vantage when it was first introduced in 2005, which had 380 horses and 302 lb-ft of torque. The application of that power to the road has also been made better thanks to refined transmissions, in either manual or automatic Sportshift.
Take advantage of the available Sport Pack, and you’ll upgrade the Vantage’s suspension with stiffer springs at the front and rear, upgraded shocks, and light weight 19-inch alloy wheels. 0-to-60 mph takes a mere 4 seconds, which puts it in the same speed category as the DB9.
The styling of the Vantage, as with all recent Aston Martins, is stunning. The lines are well drawn by the body and everything just looks right. You won’t find another car in this segment that looks as good as the Vantage. Sorry, Porsche. The 911 is a great car mechanically, but it’s not even in the same league as the Vantage when it comes to looks. The interior is nicely refined, but there is a problem: the seats. They are wretchedly uncomfortable for long rides, so the Porsche does have the upper hand in that respect. Also, while the interior looks nice, it hasn’t got the refinement gained from years of building the model, like the 911 has. You think of what the interior will be in the models five years down the road instead of what it is now.
Long story short, the Vantage will probably make up some ground against other cars in this segment just because it is new to the block and breathtakingly gorgeous. The engine is snappy and performance is good. One can’t help but wonder, though, how great this car will be in a few years, rather than how good it is now.