Test Drive Report Vol. 3 | Aston Martin Vantage V8

Irresistible Charm

Browsing through the web, I cannot help but notice the prices of Aston Martin Vantage V8s are at an all-time low. Should you buy one now?

For many potential AM Vantage buyer, the mere sight and sound of this car will be enough to fire a desire that overwhelms any objective considerations. And this is before the “Aston Martin” badge is considered.

Step next to the sexy sheetmetal, push the door lever in and flip up the handle, pull open the slightly up-swinging door and finally sit myself into the plush interior of this beautiful machine…… the grin on my face says it all, the Vantage has the irresistible charm of any Aston Martin.

Startup the V8 engine and absolute aura satisfaction fills my ear. Engage first gear, release the high take-up point clutch (it really need some getting used to) and off we go. The V8 rumble filled the cabin and the echo from the stone walls created one of the best exhaust note orchestras I have ever heard. Looking at the tach and speedometer dials swinging in opposite direction as speed builds, this machine feels quite special.

Objectively, the AM Vantage V8 is definitely outgunned by major competitors, namely the Porsche 911, but the Aston offers emotional appeal like no rival. The V8 sounds amazing but it is definitely faster on paper than in real-life. The V8 is very capable indeed, but it’s still short of that final, magical polish that separates a good car from a great one.

Ergonomically, the Aston is also a bit weird, the seats are comfortable but doesn't hold your body well when cornering, the shifter is stiff and requires a strong push, the clutch take-up point is way too high, the center console is really high, making shifting even more difficult. In short, it offers performance just about strong enough to be acceptable, and its dynamic is sporty but tend to be more inline with the word Touring.

Where it really scores is with its look and its classy aura. If that’s enough to tempt out your checkbook, I wouldn’t argue.


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