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4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Aston’s range-topping GT gets the convertible treatment

Aston Martin DB11 Volante (18 on) - rated 4 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £160,510 - £160,510
Used price £90,460 - £118,910
Fuel economy
Not tested to latest standards
View pre-2017 economy specs
Road tax cost £465

PROS

  • Gorgeous looks
  • Great to drive
  • Characterful engine

CONS

  • Firm seats
  • Interior feels cheap in places
  • Less rear-seat/boot space than coupe
  • Some wind noise at speed

Written by Ben Barry on

Aston Martin DB11 Volante review summary

The Aston Martin DB11 Volante is the convertible version of the British manufacturer’s range-topping GT. It goes head-to-head with the Ferrari Portofino and upcoming Bentley Continental GT V8 convertible, while the Mercedes-AMG SL 63 ticks similar boxes for approximately 30% less cash.

Despite being offered only with a V8 engine – coupe buyers choose from either a V12 or V8 – the Volante is the most expensive DB11 on sale.

What's this new Aston Martin like? 

The DB11 Volante builds on everything that’s impressed us about the coupe, including its looks and driving dynamics – something that’s far from guaranteed with a convertible.

Aston Martin DB11 Volante

The eight-layer fabric roof is key to its stunning looks. With the roof up, its taut lines preserve the coupe’s attractive silhouette. And because a fabric hood is easier to fold away beneath the boot than the folding metal roofs favoured by some rivals, the bootline tapers away as elegantly as the coupe’s.

The roof electrically retracts in 14 seconds, raises in 16 seconds, and can operate during driving at up to 31mph, where some convertibles have to be stationary. Most impressive is just how silently the roof mechanism glides back and forth, which certainly underlines the feeling of luxury.

With the roof down, the DB11 Volante provides the thrill of open-air driving, while still protecting occupants from excessive bluster, even at quite high speed. It adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the already immersive DB11 experience.

Is the Aston Martin DB11 Volante practical?

There are compromises: providing space for the roof to fold away means there’s 23mm less legroom in the already small rear seats, and the boot is 64 litres smaller at 206 litres. Lower the roof and that volume shrinks again, because the luggage separator must be in place to ensure there’s sufficient space for the roof to stow.

Aston Martin DB11 Volante

The fabric roof also allows noticeably more noise to enter the cabin at motorway speeds than the coupe – while far from poor, the coupe is certainly more relaxing on a longer drive at higher speeds, and folding hardtop rivals do a better job of insulating the cabin.

The seats of both models could be more comfortable and supportive too, and the interior, though generally of high quality, is let down by cheap-looking details, including the central infotainment screen, something easily shaded by the revolving ‘Toblerone’ screen in a Bentley Continental.

Comparable to other convertibles, the Volante adds 110kg of structural bracing to maintain stiffness. Thankfully, the extra weight isn’t particularly noticeable, and the Volante feels similarly good to drive as the coupe, with none of the shake or wobble that afflicts some convertibles.

The suspension is relatively firm at low speeds, if far from uncomfortable, but the payback is a chassis that feels nimble, alert and supple at speed, and combines nicely with precise steering and strong brakes –though a brake pedal that’s soft then quickly responsive can make town driving a little jerky.

What's the DB11 Volante's engine like?

Developed by Mercedes, the Volante’s twin-turbocharged V8 engine produces a healthy 503bhp, enough to cover the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.1 seconds – only 0.1sec slower than the lighter coupe – while the 187mph top speed is identical. Combined fuel economy of 28.3mpg is impressive considering the performance available too.

But it’s the character and feel of this engine that’s most likeable, with a purposeful rumble that builds rousingly throughout the rev range, great mid-range flexibility and instant throttle response.

The eight-speed automatic gearbox generally suits the Volante, especially its smoothness at moderate speeds, but it could feel more incisive during spirited driving. Ultimately, though, the DB11 Volante is a great car to thread down a twisty road.


The Parkers VerdictThe Parkers Verdict

The compromises inherent in creating the Volante mean the coupe is the more rounded package, but you’ll probably forgive all that with the added enjoyment of dropping the roof. More importantly, the Volante’s blend of performance, style, refinement and driving dynamics makes it our pick in this market.

Aston Martin DB11 Volante

Other Aston Martin DB11 models: