Ad closing in a few seconds...
View all Aston Martin Vantage reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
Loading...

Long overdue replacement for Aston’s best-selling sports car

Aston Martin Vantage Coupe (18 on) - rated 4 out of 5
Enlarge 0 photos

PROS

  • Responsive, powerful, characterful V8
  • Agile rear-wheel drive chassis
  • Head-turning looks
  • Comfortable and sporty driving position

CONS

  • High price
  • Two-seater only
  • Cheap-looking touchscreen
  • Could be lighter

PROS

  • Responsive, powerful, characterful V8
  • Agile rear-wheel drive chassis
  • Head-turning looks
  • Comfortable and sporty driving position

CONS

  • High price
  • Two-seater only
  • Cheap-looking touchscreen
  • Could be lighter

Verdict

Aston Martin Vantage review: summary

The new Aston Martin Vantage Coupe has been a long time coming – the last model arrived in 2005 and production has only just ended. But the wait for its replacement is almost over: the British manufacturer’s best-selling sports car returns in the second quarter of 2018.

Parkers has had an early taste, driving a very late prototype on a snowy handling course in Northern Finland.

Aston Martin Vantage side profile

The Aston Martin Vantage will rival the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe and Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe. Both those sports cars are all-wheel drive, however, so closest in concept is the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe. The Mercedes is a rear-wheel-drive sports car with a front/mid-mounted engine – the motor is ahead of the driver, but pushed back behind the front axle for agile handling, just like the Vantage’s.

Aston Martin Vantage uses Mercedes-AMG V8 engine

Most intriguingly, the Vantage also uses the Mercedes-AMG GT’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine – indeed, Mercedes owns a small stake of Aston Martin. The engine produces 505hp and 685Nm of torque, enough for a claimed 3.6-second 0-62mph time and 195mph top speed. According to official figures, the Vantage returns 26.8mpg and emits 245g/km CO2 on the combined cycle.

Under its steel bodyshell, the Vantage rides on an evolution of the aluminium chassis first seen on Aston’s larger DB11 – the double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension hardware is identical, for instance – but Aston claims that overall the structure is 70% new. In total, the Vantage weighs an estimated 1,630kg – comparable to a 911 Turbo Coupe, though over 150kg heavier than a rear-wheel drive Porsche 911.

At 4,465mm long, the Vantage is 80mm longer than its predecessor, but it remains strictly a two-seater. There is, however, 350 litres of luggage space under the rear hatch, and there's space behind the seats too.

Good driving position and switchgear from Mercedes in the Aston Martin Vantage

The driving position is suitably racy, positioning the driver low down in the cockpit in seats that offer both good support for spirited driving and high levels of comfort on long motorway trips. Aston Martin’s collaboration with Mercedes extends to electronic systems – the rotary dial that controls infotainment functions is a reminder of the Mercedes hardware in the background – which means the sat-nav system is a big improvement over the previous Vantage.

We think the multimedia screen in the Aston Martin Vantage looks a little cheap

Mostly the interior appears well laid out, well-built (even this pre-production car), and offers a certain visual excitement, but not everything lives up to expectations – the infotainment screen looks cheap, for instance.

Remains great to drive and listen to

Any shortfalls are easily forgotten when you press the start button. Equipped with our test car’s sports exhaust, the engine wakes with a phlegmy roar, and burbles with menacing intent. It’s a great power unit, with strong response from low-down to make it an easy, relaxing car to drive at lower speed, especially with the eight-speed automatic gearbox – though a manual gearbox will be offered later.

Turbocharged engines can suffer from a spongy throttle pedal and turbo lag when you accelerate, but the Vantage is crisp and responsive, giving it the immediacy a sports car deserves – and drivers expect. Best of all, the V8 revs towards peak power with great enthusiasm and a suitably intoxicating soundtrack.

The exhausts on the Aston Martin Vantage sound fabulous

Driving on snow reveals only so much about the Vantage’s handling characteristics, but first impressions are positive. The electrically assisted steering feels relatively light and quick, if weighty and progressive enough to provide intuitive feel for the surface grip.

This makes the Aston feels incredibly responsive and agile. Pushed to extremes on a very slippery surface, the chassis also seems incredibly benign as the rear end slides out of line and then regains its composure – it feels both playful in its willingness to entertain and confidence inspiring in its composure.

Mostly, drivers will leave the stability systems on, but it’s reassuring that the chassis is so well balanced with them disabled. Equally impressive is how quickly the brakes slow the Vantage in such tricky conditions – we tested only the standard brakes, though a far more expensive carbon-ceramic upgrade will also be offered.

The Parkers VerdictThe Parkers Verdict

Early impressions suggest Aston has delivered with its Vantage replacement, but we’ll know for sure when we test the finished article and update our review soon.

Sports exhaust makes the Aston Martin Vantage sound great

  • Parkers ratings

Next steps