There’s no Aston Martin you don’t lust after, but there’s only one Aston Martin most of us could hope to afford. What do you need to know before you buy a Aston Martin Vantage? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.
All Aston Martins look amazing because almost all Aston Martins look basically the same. Long deck. Short rear. Wide-mouth grille. Poise. It’s a good look and for the last few years Aston Martin has basically stuck with it.
Even though Aston Martins are technically mass produced and the Vantage goes way back to the time when Ford owned the British automaker, each one is hand made and feels like a bespoke Savile Row suit made especially for the owner.
The Vantage is technically at the introductory end of Aston Martin’s offerings, but because they offer so many Vantages the engine and spec you get can you send you to very different places.
While all of the cars are a variation on the same theme of front-engined, RWD British tough guy, how tough is a matter of which version you want. The base V8 Vantage is sort of like Michael Caine in Alfie, more a lover than a fighter. The V12 S is Italian Job Michael Caine, as clever as it is quick. And the GT/N430? As we put it on an earlier drive:
The Vantage GT is a British Corvette—albeit, not the current knife-edged Stingray. No, this is like Michael Caine in Get Carter: not much for finesse, but it gets shit done. Big, heavy controls. Short, stubby, slightly rubbery shifter. A clutch that feels like SWAT kicking a door down. Steering best described as “meaty.” Think of what a Corvette must’ve felt like, back in the Seventies, to the tweed-cap MG-driving set.
These cars are older models that have gone through numerous updates over the last decade, which in this case is a good thing. Older cars have a certain feel that modern sports cars have often lost, but not these Astons.
Part of that feel comes from the giant motor in the V12 model, which is still very much in the front of the car. If you’re buying a V12 Vantage S it’s because you don’t want the sacrifices or image that comes with buying a mid-engined supercar. Bravo to you.
Unfortunately, you’re stuck with an automatic sequential transmission.
Aston Martin has gotten their money’s worth out of this platform, as the Vantage has been in production since the 2006 model year. That car launched as a V8 Vantage Coupe with a front-mid mounted 380 horsepower 4.3-liter V8 and a rear-mounted 6-speed manual. Since then, Aston launched a roadster with an optional 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
In 2009, the V8 upped its displacement to 4.7-liters and power numbers went up to 420 horsepower. In 2010 we got the 6.0-liter 510 horsepower V12. The following year came the V8 Vantage S, a retuned version of the Vantage with a 7-speed automatic and the same 4.7-liter V8, but with a little more power at 430 versus 420.
Then Aston threw the 7-speed in the regular V8 Vantage, and in 2014 the V12 Vantage S replaced the V12 Vantage with a reworked engine that made 565 horsepower, or 55 horsepower more than the previous V12.
This year, the 2015 Vantage can also be had as a V12 roadster or, more notably, in Vantage GT trim. The Vantage GT is the least expensive Vantage you can buy, starting at less than $100,000. We drove the “cheap” Vantage, which comes standard with a 6-speed manual, the 430 horsepower V8 from the S, and similar suspension tuning to the S model as well. It’s not the fanciest Vantage, but after driving it, we can say: it’s an awesome car for the money.
Forget turbocharging and supercharging, sometimes there’s nothing like the linear power delivery of a naturally aspirated engine. Aston Martin agrees, which is why they’ve forgone the snail-shaped air compressor in favor of sheer displacement.
Yup, you’ve got two choices if you’re buying a Vantage: Do you buy the 4.7-liter V8, which puts out 420 to 430 horses, so you can row your own gears with the 6-speed manual, or do you go for all-out power. That six-liter V12 will rocket your Vantage to over 200 mph, and even if the 7-speed automated manual is doing the shifting for you, it’s 200 miles per hour! That’s a lot of miles per hour.
2015 Aston Martin Vantage Engine Options
Engine Max Horsepower (hp) Max Torque (lb-ft) 4.7L V8 420 @ 7300 rpm
430 @ 7300 rpm (V8 S)
347 @ 5000 rpm
361 @ 5000 rpm (V8 S)
6.0L V12 565 @ 6750 rpm 457 @ 5750 rpm
Fuel economy numbers are not good. You’ll struggle to hit 20 mpg on the highway in any model. And city fuel economy? Fahgettaboudit, Tony.
But just look at the Vantage. It’s totally worth it.
2015 Aston Martin Vantage Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Hwy/Comb)
4.7L V8 6.0L V12 Fuel Economy- Manual 13/19/15 NA Fuel Economy- Automatic 14/21/16 12/18/14
There are a bunch of Vantages for your choosing, ranging from the $99,900 Vantage GT to the $200,000 V12 Vantage S Roadster. Yes, that’s a span of nearly 100 large between two vehicles built on the same platform.
The V8 Vantage and its variants get 15-inch slotted steel rotors up front up front and 13-inchers in the rear. Those front discs are clamped down by six piston calipers while the rears make do with four pistons. V12s get 15.7-inch carbon ceramic discs in the front and 14.1-inch pizzas in the back. Like the V8 Vantage, those rotors are clamped by six and four piston calipers front and rear, respectively.
Suspension is double wishbone front and rear. The V8s come standard with regular monotube dampers, while the 12-cylinders get adaptive damping. Steering is hydraulic power assisted rack and pinion with 2.6 turns lock-to-lock.
You’ve got three main trim levels to choose from: V8, V8 S, and V12 S, all of which come in coupe or roadster form, though the roadster will cost you about 15 large over the coupe.
- V8: Starts at $123,695. Notable standard features: 420 horsepower 4.7-liter V8, 6-speed manual transmission, HID and halogen projector-beam headlamps, active exhaust, limited slip differential, 19” alloy wheels, 245mm front and 285mm rear Bridgestone Potenza RE050 tires, power full-grain leather seating, heated mirrors, automatic temperature control, 160W audio system, navigation. Notable options: Seven-speed automatic transmission ($5,300), various wheels, various caliper colors, various fascia trims, various interior trim options, heated seats, 700W premium audio system, 1000W Bang & Olufson sound system, memory seats, rearview camera, Bluetooth.
- V8 Vantage S: Starts at $130,700. Notable options over V8: 430 horsepower 4.7-liter V8, carbon fiber aerodynamics package, unique interior trim, unique 19” wheels, sport-tuned suspension. Notable options: Same as V8.
- GT: Starts at $99,900. V8 Vantage S with manual gearbox and fewer color and trim options. Notable standard features over V8 Vantage S: unique seats and interior, unique exterior trim. Notable options: Seven-Speed automatic ($5,300).
- V12 Vantage S: Starts at $182,395. Notable standard features over V8 Vantage S: 565 horse 6.0-liter V12, seven-speed automated manual transmission, unique 19” alloy wheels, 255 mm wide front and 295 mm wide rear Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, adaptive dampers, carbon ceramic brakes, leather and Alcantara interior, memory seats and mirrors, unique grille and exterior trim. Notable options: Heated seats, rear parking camera, various wheels, various caliper colors, various fascia trims, various interior trim options, heated seats, 700W premium audio system, 1000W Bang & Olufson sound system, rearview camera.
The Aston Martin Vantage GT, at $99,900 is the one to buy. You still get beautiful styling, a gorgeous interior, big brakes, a well-engineered double-wishbone suspension all the way around, and perhaps most importantly: a stick shift that makes you feel one with this loud, beautiful machine.
MSRP: $99,900-$200,000 Top Speed: 205 MPH [V12 Coupe]
Acceleration: 3.7s to 60 [V12 coupe]
MPG: 14 city / 21 hwy / 16 combined [V8, Automatic]
Engines: 4.7-liter V8, 6.0-liter V12
Max Horsepower/Torque: 565 hp/457 lb-ft
Curb Weight: ~3,549-3,847 IIHS Safety Rating: NA
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 7-speed automated manual
Drivetrain Layout: Front-Mid Engine, RWD
Photo credit: Aston Martin