Aston Martin Vanquish review : A British alternative to a Ferrari

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(+)

  • Stunning looks
  • Glorious engine
  • Excellent interior

(-)

  • Big options list
  • Expensive
  • The Ferrari F12 exists

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.

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/$4.5k. 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.

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.

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”.

Conclusion

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.

(carwow.co.uk)

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