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Aston Martin Vantage (2005-2017) Buying Guide

Aston Martin Vantage (2005-2017)
Aston Martin Vantage (2005-2017)Aston Martin Vantage (2005-2017)Aston Martin Vantage (2005-2017)Aston Martin Vantage (2005-2017)Aston Martin Vantage (2005-2017)Aston Martin Vantage (2005-2017)Aston Martin Vantage (2005-2017)Aston Martin Vantage (2005-2017)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

The term 'entry-level' has certain connotations, but when the tag is attached to an Aston Martin it's never going to mean a poverty-spec budget special. So when the Vantage V8 was introduced in 2005 as Aston's cheapest car, expectations were high. With its 4.3-litre V8 and manual or 'Sportshift' semi-auto gearbox (each with six gears), the Vantage had the sound and performance to match the looks. Even the earliest 380bhp 4.3-litre cars can crack 175mph and despatch 0-62mph in just five seconds; the later 4.7-litre models are even faster, while the V12 models are insanely fast. Throw in a spine-tingling soundtrack, fabulous performance and jaw-dropping looks and there's plenty to love with this baby Aston.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Driving experience
High running costs
Early Sportshift transmission
Some dated tech
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Key Dates 
2005The Vantage V8 arrives in coupe form with a 4.3-litre V8.
2006A roadster goes on sale; it's mechanically identical to the coupe.
2007The 400bhp 4.3-litre N400 special edition goes on sale.
2008A facelift brings a 4.7-litre V8 with more power and torque, better economy and stiffer suspension, while the Sportshift gearbox's software is revised to give slicker ratio changes.
2009The 510bhp V12 Vantage goes on sale.
2010The limited-run 420bhp 4.7-litre N420 appears.
2011The Vantage S arrives with a 430bhp 4.7-litre V8.
2012A seven-speed auto replaces the previous six-speeder; brake and suspension revisions are introduced at the same time.
2014The limited edition 430bhp N430 debuts.
  • The 4.7-litre engine has more mid-range torque than the 4.3, but the latter can represent excellent value. The early Sportshift transmission disappoints though.
  • Only buy a Vantage with a full service history with proof of regular expenditure with a reputable marque specialist.
  • The optional Sport Pack features stiffened suspension which makes the ride a lot harsher.
  • Corrosion isn't an issue but crash damage may well be. The paint also marks easily so check for damage.
  • Leaking shock absorbers aren't unusual, but with the car on a ramp it's easy to see if there's a problem.
  • The oil pressure relief valve can play up; listen for a whirring sound when the engine is running but cold.
  • The alternator drive belt can squeak when cold, but a revised design of idler pulley is available.
  • Some cars have had their exhaust bypass valve adjusted for a richer sound at lower engine speeds - but you might find it's uncomfortably noisy.
  • Gearboxes are strong, but on early manual cars, first and second can be awkward to select. Clutches last up to 40,000 miles.
  • The paint can bubble at the base of their A-pillars and the brightwork can become discoloured, especially the grille, which can go milky.
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