Although there have been several models produced in Aston Martin's 90-plus-year history, none have been as famous as those with "DB" tattooed to their tails. The Aston Martin DB9 coupe and Volante convertible is in fact the ninth model to be sold with these hallowed letters, and carries on a sterling automotive tradition.
Sold throughout the 1950s and '60s, and then resurrected in 1994, the DBs were and still are some of the most drop-dead gorgeous and performance-capable sports cars on the road. Being driven by a certain fictional British super spy certainly enhanced the car's fame and even helped keep the company afloat. As such, the Aston Martin DB9 simultaneously represents the brand's past and future, with sexy styling inspired by (but not copying) previous models and a high-tech aluminum platform that has underpinned every subsequent new Aston. If this success continues, hopefully we can look forward to new DBs for years to come.
Current Aston Martin DB9
The Aston Martin DB9 is offered in 2+2 coupe and convertible body styles. The drop-top version is known as the Volante, which for those who skipped Italian 101 means "flying." All DB9s are powered by a 6.0-liter V12 that produces 470 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is the only transmission available, and is located at the rear transaxle for better weight distribution.
The Aston Martin DB9 comes with a healthy options list and a vast selection of customizable color combinations. The Volante's soft top can be had in seven different colors, while leather is available in so many shades that even Prince could find one that's too garish. All DB9s come standard with 19-inch wheels, xenon headlamps, an abundance of leather interior trim, a Garmin-sourced navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and a premium audio system with six-CD changer, satellite radio and an iPod interface.
Not that it comes as a shock, but this 470-hp, V12-powered GT is a rather fun automobile. The bellowing exhaust and voluptuous low-end power can make this civilized tourer into a heathenish beast with just a touch of the throttle. The DB9 changes directions easily and responds to steering and brake inputs with an immediacy not always associated with big, grand touring coupes. Thanks to its new adaptive suspension, the DB9 delivers a better balance between ride and handling than older DB9s.
Although buying an exotic car with a price tag of more than $100,000 is often a matter of taste, it is hard to argue with the Aston Martin DB9. It may not be as visceral or thrilling as some more sporting entries, but when it comes to motoring down a long stretch of gently bending two-lane motorway, it's almost impossible to match.
Used Aston Martin DB9 Models
The Aston Martin DB9 was an all-new model for 2005. DB9s made between then and '08 feature less ergonomically friendly climate, stereo and navigation controls consisting of lower-quality switchgear (there was also an auxiliary audio jack rather than a dedicated iPod interface). This midlife change also saw revised suspension tuning for a better ride, quicker and smoother automatic transmission shifts and greater torsional rigidity for the Volante. Prior to 2009, the DB9's V12 produced 449 hp and 412 lb-ft of torque, while a manual transmission was available from 2007 through 2011.
Until 2011, when the current car's adjustable suspension was added, the coupe was available with a Sports Pack that provided firmer spring, shock and antiroll bar settings. For those with athletic aspirations, this is definitely a worthwhile option to search for.
Also noteworthy is the navigation system prior to 2012. Sourced from Volvo, it was slow and finicky to operate.