For decades, international men of mystery have faced one particularly vexing conundrum: Which one of the three potential paramours eyeing them across the baccarat table gets a ride home in the sexy two-seater parked outside. Thanks to the four-passenger Aston Martin Rapide, he no longer has to choose.
While many purists regularly express outrage that any model with more than two doors could possibly be labeled a sports car, the Rapide proves that an automobile's sporting potential has little to do with the number of doors. Based on the British luxury marque's sexy DB9 coupe, the four-door Rapide largely shares the downright gorgeous interior and athletic handling, which make it feel less like a luxury sedan and more like a true sports car that just happens to have an extra set of doors.
Current Aston Martin Rapide
The Aston Martin Rapide is a four-passenger sedan that's propelled by a 6.0-liter V12 that puts out 470 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
There are two trim levels available. The base Rapide is equipped with 20-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, automatic climate control, leather upholstery and heated front and rear seats. You also get Bluetooth, a Garmin-sourced navigation system and a premium Bang & Olufsen stereo with 15 speakers, satellite radio, an iPod/USB interface and an auxiliary audio input jack. Pony up for the top-of-the-line Luxe version and you'll get distinctive alloy wheels, custom paint and leather colors, front and rear ventilated seats, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a six-piece bespoke luggage set that matches the interior and genuine glass switchgear. Virtually all these features can be added to the base model.
As you'd expect from a car in this price range, the Aston Martin Rapide's interior is gorgeous, covered virtually everywhere you look with soft leather or genuine wood trim. The level of construction and some plastics just aren't up to the quality of Bentley, Mercedes-Benz or even Jaguar, however. The front seats offer good comfort and support, but in every dimension, backseat space is tight for a luxury sedan in this lofty price range. Other dings include speedometer numbers that are difficult to read and limited outward visibility.
If the Rapide has a strong suit, other than its head-turning good looks, it's the driving experience. True, some of its competitors may be a little quicker, but between the engine's throaty growl and a 0-60 time of around 5 seconds, we're not sure anybody could find much to complain about here. Same goes for the car's suspension tuning, which delivers a nice blend of sports car handling and luxury sedan comfort that's bound to leave you and your passengers stirred, not shaken.
Used Aston Martin Rapide Models
The Aston Martin was introduced for 2010. The Luxe model wasn't available in its first year. The 2010 and '11 models also had a Volvo-sourced navigation system that was very slow and finicky to operate.