£201,070 - £214,075 Price range
2 - 4 Seats
21 - 22 MPG
Short of the million-pound Aston Martin One-77, this is as good as it gets from the British luxury brand. The Vanquish name adorns the rear of the latest in a long line of luxury GTs from the marque – with styling cues and advanced construction techniques pinched from that ultra-expensive supercar.
Updates introduced for the 2014 model have looked to address issues raised by testers in the past – namely the old-hat gearbox and handling that lacked a little sparkle. It’s getting some pretty good reviews, too – and you can find out exactly what the experts think below.
The new interior, inspired by the One-77, goes down well. Most of it does, at least – “memorable for all the wrong reasons is the squared-off steering wheel from the One-77″ says one tester, though thankfully this is an option. It’s “better trimmed than the DBS” though (the car the Vanquish replaces), even if “the spidery dials remain hard to read”.
While quality is high overall, there are still a few parts-bin pieces on show – one tester notes the “steering-wheel switches and column stalks are recognisably ex-Jaguar”. Space has improved though, with a narrower centre console and re-sculpted door cards. It’s all well screwed together, too.
You can order the Vanquish as either the standard 2+0 or a 2+2 with two small seats in the back, which cost an extra £3k. There is also a cabriolet version, which in Aston Martin tradition is known as the Volante. Equipped with a fabric roof which folds away in 14 seconds, the Volante is debatably even more elegant than the coupe version on which it is based.
Most popular: 568hp Standard
Opinions are generally positive on the way the Vanquish drives. In fact, that would be doing it a disservice – people love it.
In the most recent round of updates, little tweaks to the suspension resulted in marked improvements. One tester now believes that “Its steering is the most lucid in its class and its chassis probably now the best balanced”
It’s a comfortable car, too – “the ride quality is one of the best things about the Vanquish”. On challenging roads the Vanquish still proves easy to pilot, and one tester says the car is “potent and feels special, but also very intuitive”. Traction is also commended.
Under the long bonnet of the Vanquish is a 5.9-litre V12, and it sounds fantastic. According to one tester, “The rich, multi-layered V12 exhaust note is glorious”. Used by Aston Martin in various guises in both previous and current models, the V12 produces 568hp here, and thanks to that noise, the desire to explore every one of the horsepower on offer is overwhelming.
Updates to the 2014 model year car addressed one of the major flaws of the car: the gearbox. The new eight-speed automatic is not only smoother and more efficient than the old one, but improves performance, too. Top speed has risen by 18mph, so the Vanquish now breaks the 200mph barrier, and the 0-60 time has dropped under four seconds, to 3.8.
Comparisons to the Ferrari F12 are inevitable, as the Italian GT is the Aston’s closest rival. The Ferrari is quicker, sounds just as wonderful, but isn’t quite as relaxed. The Vanquish is “useably fast in the way the Ferrari F12 is fearsome” according to one, while another reckons the car “feels fast, if not quite as explosive as the pricier F12”.
The Vanquish is expensive, and at this level in the market value is a difficult concept to put your finger on.
If there’s one aspect of the Vanquish that isn’t good value, it’s the huge list of expensive options, despite the high list price. One tester notes how the Vanquish is “a £191,000 car”, yet a reversing camera costs a cool £995 and a spare glass key £495. Such things may seem trivial, but it smacks of Aston taking advantage of its customers.
Most testers like the Vanquish, but one says it “lacks that indefinable star quality”. That may sound odd for a car of such stature, but up against rivals like the incredible Ferrari F12 it’s less surprising.
Whilst many testers consider the Ferrari to edge the Aston in terms of ability, it is still undeniably a hugely accomplished car, and if you’re after a large, beautiful British GT, nobody does it better.