New Aston Martin DB12 Volante review: British V8 drop-top driven

April 15, 2024 by

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Rated 4.5/5 from 56,762 reviews

The Aston Martin DB12 Volante is beautiful, comfortable and more sporty than you’d expect a big convertible cruiser to be, but it’s not particularly practical

What’s good?

  • Extremely comfortable for long drives
  • Brilliant fun in corners
  • Exquisite interior on the whole

What’s not so good?

  • A few cheap bits inside, though
  • Not very practical
  • Digital dials display is fiddly to use

Wowscore: 8/10

Watch: Aston Martin DB12 Volante review

Is the Aston Martin DB12 Volante a good car?

The Aston Martin DB12 Volante is a big, luxurious convertible designed to demolish motorway miles in extreme comfort. However, it’s also incredibly good fun and capable in the corners.

It’s the evolution of the similarly gorgeous DB11, so it’s a bit like Big Ben, because although it’s recently been updated with more modern features, it still looks almost identical to before.

If you’re considering a circa-£200,000 luxury convertible, then there are a few options to consider alongside the DB12 Volante, such as the Bentley Continental GT Convertible, Ferrari Roma Spider and Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet.

All of those cars are stunning in their own way, but the Aston Martin has an elegance few can match. It might look similar to the DB11 – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – but it’s a bit wider and there are some new alloy wheel designs. You also lose the clamshell bonnet to make it easier to repair, and there are new LED headlights.

Inside it’s just as lovely, with even the standard leather upholstery feeling soft and ultra-posh. Perhaps the only disappointment is that there are some parts, such as the air vents and indicator stalks, that feel quite cheap considering the astronomical price tag.

The old Mercedes infotainment system has been replaced by a crisper, more up-to-date system that’s pretty small by modern standards but works well enough, though the digital dials suffer a bit with glare and the steering wheel buttons are fiddly to use.

Storage isn’t great either, particularly the shallow door bins that won’t take a large bottle. The boot is a bit cramped too, especially when you have the roof down as this eats into what space you do have. Most adults will find the rear seats uncomfortable for anything more than a short trip to the shops, too.

That’s about where the complaints end though, because once you’re out on the road the Aston Martin DB12 Volante is an absolute joy to drive everywhere. There’s very little compromise to be had, because there’s decent visibility for manoeuvring around town – with the roof down, at least – and it’s really comfortable for long distance motorway cruising. On top of this, it’s great fun on a twisty road, with loads of grip meaning you can accelerate hard out of corners without the tyres spinning up.

That’s all the more impressive when you consider that the DB12 Volante has a 680hp twin-turbo V8 engine sending the power to the rear wheels only. The official 0-60mph time is 3.6 seconds, and we matched that exactly during testing – though we might need to wait until we’re on the runway to test the 202mph top speed…

Overall, the Aston Martin DB12 Volante is a GT car that’s just as good for road tripping to the Alps as it is on the winding mountain roads once you arrive. It’s just a shame it’s not a little bit more practical.