Classics World reviews the 2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage…
Introduced as the entry model into the Aston Martin line up; the modern Vantage was launched in 2006 with the 4.3-litre V8 as seen on this.
It was brought in as a 911 revival, but realistically never quite lived up to the challenge. Nevertheless, the Vantage offers brilliant motoring and at affordable price today. The 380bhp on tap is more than enough for blasting around back roads and chassis is stiff enough to provide precise handling characteristics, although soft enough not to break your spine.
This particular example for sale with Wallis & Son, despite having covered 61,000 miles, has been well looked after, with important mechanicals such as the clutch and brakes recently being replaced as part of the service schedule.
Upon starting up the Vantage, you’re met with an angry V8 snarl while it goes through its cold start cycle. Revs sit at around 2500rpm so the rumble is loud before dropping to a lower idle. You automatically feel like you’re in something special, which quite often is lacking in some performance cars. The starter button is in the centre on the dashboard embossed “Aston Martin Start”, almost adding to the excitement of the experience.
Driving Aston Martin’s is an experience. There’s something about the badge that carries with it class and the cabin reflects that. It’s a beautiful place to sit, plenty of adjustments on the seats means you can either sit high up and tower over the steering wheel, or feel like you’re driving a race car by placing the seat in its lowest setting and increasing the incline on the bottom of the seat so your legs are elevated slightly. This, for me, was the preferred setting, but on longer journeys you may want to increase the height.
The engine is a peach on this V8. It revs to almost 7,000rpm and screams while doing so. The valves open up on the exhaust around 3000rpm which adds to the occasion, but below this, exhaust noise is surprisingly quiet, which is helped by the sound proofing in the cabin; it is still a car to take across Europe, for example, after all.
You wouldn’t know this car has covered 61,000 miles; the clutch is smooth having been replaced 2000 miles ago, brake pedal feel is solid, again thanks to having been replaced 2000 miles ago, and the throttle response is very sharp. The engine revs freely with no niggles or hesitation and the tyres bite well, even with traction control off. It’s clearly a car that’s been looked after and the history book proves this with its servicing stamps.
Interior and exterior
The V8 Vantage is pleasing on the eye, there’s no two ways about it, so it’s difficult to spot blemishes from the off as your eyes dance around the various changes and that curvaceous rear end. The Chiltern Green metallic paint sparkles in the sunshine and few scratches could be seen; perhaps the odd swirl mark from numerous washes is visible, but a machine polish could easily put that straight.
The quality extends inside, too, with the interior looking in great shape. It is a modern car, and feels that way. Pop-up sat-nav screen operates as it should and the various electronics inside that control heated seats and climate control also work.
The seat themselves are again in good quality. The leather isn’t scratched in any way and usual bolster creases are non-existent here.
Aston Martin Vantage’s have been slowly dropping in price over the last five years and have now reached a point in the market that makes it an affordable option for many. This example is clean, well looked after and offers everything the entry level sports car driver would want. A snarling V8, bags of performance and a curb appeal like no other. At £32k, this example sits roughly in the middle of V8 prices, but given it’s a manual, carries with it further appeal.