Mon. Nov 19th, 2018
2018 Aston Martin Vantage

2018 Aston Martin Vantage Drivers’ Notes Review

The Vantage continues Aston Martin’s evolution as a modern sports- and supercar maker. This machine feels special. It’s gorgeous and translates Aston’s design language effectively. It sounds intoxicating. I blasted around Detroit’s sleepy suburbs one chilly night and felt a bit like James Bond. The AMG-sourced V8 is well-calibrated and works smoothly with the eight-speed automatic. Pulling the paddles is obviously fun.

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Synder — The V8 Vantage holds a special place in my heart, and my heart was beating faster just looking at it in our parking lot. It’s a gorgeous car, and it stands up to close inspection. I love the detail, the colors, the look of the materials and how they accentuate the car’s design. That attention to detail is even more pronounced inside the car, where there’s something interesting going on everywhere you look, including the headliner.

There were just a couple things that stood out to me as imperfect. On the infotainment interface on the center tunnel, the control wheel is tucked away, which helps keep you from accidentally bumping it, but makes it a little awkward to use. The other thing was that the whole driver seat moved around underneath me. I’m sure Aston saved some weight with these seats, but this didn’t feel very securely attached to the floor.

I forgot about both of those things as I found my way out of traffic and onto some curvy roads. This thing builds and carries a ton of speed with ease. And as good as it looks in its natural state of motion, this car was turning heads — and cellphones — when prowling through the parking lot.

The main problem is that, at least on public roads, nothing about it feels particularly special or characterful. The twin-turbo V8 makes some pretty amazing crackles in track mode, but otherwise sounds a little muted and raspy. It also doesn’t deliver explosive acceleration like you would find in a Z06 or Hellcat.