Aston Martin Vanquish Review

Aston Martin Vanquish Review

The Aston Martin Vanquish is the legendary British marque's latest top-of-the-line sports car, supplanting the discontinued DBS. With more V12 power under the hood, more athleticism in the chassis, and a smattering of styling cues from the exotic One-77 supercar, the stunning Vanquish makes a strong play for that extra $300,000 you've got lying around.

Of course, there's a lot of fine machinery available for that kind of money, and in some respects, the Aston Martin Vanquish may not quite measure up. You can still get more speed elsewhere, for example, and some of the controls and the outdated infotainment system look a bit incongruous in a car that costs as much as a house. But at the end of the day, the Vanquish delivers world-class handling set to a scintillating V12 soundtrack, and it turns heads like a Lamborghini without straying from its refined British roots. To the right shopper, $300,000 -- or potentially much less for a used specimen -- will seem a perfectly reasonable price for all of that.

Current Aston Martin Vanquish Specs
The Aston Martin Vanquish exotic sports car is offered as a coupe with either a small two-person backseat or what Aston calls "flexible rear environment storage."

Standard equipment includes 20-inch alloy wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes, leather upholstery, a synthetic suede headliner, heated power seats with memory functions, Bluetooth with streaming audio, a Bang & Olufsen audio system, a USB port, iPod/iPhone integration and an infotainment system that features a 6.5-inch pop-up display. In typical Aston fashion, there are extensive customization options, among them a distinctively shaped One-77 steering wheel that's available in numerous colors (we humbly recommend "Spicy Red").

Although the Vanquish's familiar shape and 5.9-liter V12 engine suggest a merely evolutionary step forward from other Astons like the DBS, there are real changes to talk about here. The iconic V12 boasts 565 horsepower, a healthy 55-hp bump from DBS duty, and 457 pound-feet of torque. And while the Vanquish's aluminum structure is largely shared with other Astons, it's been revised to bring the big V12 three-quarters of an inch closer to the ground, yielding superior driving dynamics. As for those curvaceous body panels, they're now made of carbon fiber, which helps explain why the Vanquish is about 150 pounds lighter than the DBS.

So how does it all shake out, you ask? Try zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, per Edmunds testing. On the one hand, that's not exactly impressive by current standards -- even 565 horses can't work miracles with a car that still weighs nearly 2 tons. But on the other hand, we love the naturally aspirated V12's responsive character, not to mention the epic noises it makes at full throttle. If there's one piece we could do without, it's the mandatory six-speed automatic transmission, which feels a step slow compared to the automated manuals in rival high-end sports cars.

Putting aside its track-day heroics, the Aston Martin Vanquish is also easy to drive in real-world conditions, making good on Aston's "Ultimate Grand Tourer" tagline with its unruffled high-speed composure, relatively compliant suspension tuning and rich leather-lined cabin. Unfortunately, the cabin is marred by substandard switchgear and an outdated navigation and infotainment system that can't hold a candle to Germany's latest. Nonetheless, nifty touches like glass PRND buttons for the transmission reinforce the sense that you're driving something special. Throw in the brand's usual gorgeous styling, and you've got one of the most desirable sports cars in the world, notable flaws notwithstanding.

Used Aston Martin Vanquish Models
The Aston Martin Vanquish is all-new for 2014. Note that the Vanquish name was previously used by the V12 Vanquish of James Bond Die Another Day fame, which is reviewed separately.

Aston Martin Vanquish years