12 Things You Need To Know Before Buying an Aston Martin V8 Vantage

For clarity, this feature focuses on the 4.3 and 4.7 model, sold between 2005 and 2018.

Guy Jenner - 30th August 2021

  1. It’s made for the driver : this is a beautifully analogue car that provides the perfect ingredients for a driving enthusiast – a stiff, well balanced chassis, steering full of feel (hydraulically driven), rear-wheel drive with a limited slip differential, dry-sump-naturally aspirated V8 engine, a superb exhaust note and a beautiful gearbox. It could also be argued that it didn’t fall from the ugly tree.
  2. They are really robust : V8 Vantage are capable of huge mileage and hold together well. They don’t like being left in a garage unused, they respond well to regular exercise. If things do wrong, it tends to be smaller things such as window regulators, oxygen sensors or minor electrical glitches. In summary, they are not a Toyota Prius but they can be a very reliable car if maintained and used regularly.
  3. You need to check bodywork carefully : these cars can be used all year round but we would recommend using ACF50 treatment to protect them. Our service team can help. It’s not expensive and works very well. Some cars are prone to paint reactions around the door handles, lower parts of the doors, on the wiper arms and a few other locations. It a straightforward fix at a body shop. The rear arches (big shoulders) and front bumpers are prone to stone chipping. Film protection helps keep the car looking beautiful.
  4. A Vantage has a surprisingly good fuel range : this is all thanks to an 80 litre fuel tank rather than incredible fuel consumption but it is very handy for touring. If you are driving hard across country, you may only see 280 miles from a tank (at 17mpg) but at a steady motorway cruise, you will see 24/25mpg and just over 400 miles.
  5. Vantage is strictly a two seater : unlike DB9 which also has tiny rear seats (2+2). The lack of any rear seating actually makes the front cabin bigger than the DB9, allowing it to accommodate someone who is 6 foot, 3 inches tall in comfort.
  6. Vantage has a really big boot: in addition to a big boot that will be perfect for a European road trip, there is also a useful shelf behind the front seats.
  7. Vantage has a tiny glovebox : The boot might be big but the glovebox is only big enough to fit errr….gloves. To be fair, this is where most owners leave the instruction manual.
  8. Navigation: this was an option on the older cars and then became standard. Regardless, there are very few that don’t have navigation. The general infotainment system is not a strong point but don’t let anyone tell you that it doesn’t work; it does. Cars from the 2012 got an updated Garmin nav which is very good. If you must have a more up to date in car system, Apple Car Play is available as a retro-fit. The very last cars got this as standard.
  9. Roadsters are great : the Vantage was originally designed as a Roadster first. I.e. all of the rigidity required was already there to take the roof off. Therefore, there is little flex or scuttle shake in the Roadster. In fact, the Coupe and Roadster have one of the stiffest chassis of all their contemporaries. The only downside to the Roadster is a smaller boot than the Coupe, but you get to hear more of that V8 roar
  10. Sportshift Gearboxes are terrible: another opinion you read time and again. Normally it is a little misinformed. It is really a case of understanding what you are buying. The Sportshift system is not an auto; it is a single clutch automated manual. It relies on you driving the car on the paddles, although there is an auto mode. It also requires you to lift the throttle a little when you change gear. If you drive it like this you get a neat, smooth shift and the process if good fun. If you drive it in “Auto” mode, it is not smooth and is sluggish to shift. The system also requires you to leave the car to idle for the first 20secs when upon starting, to allow the system to re-calibrate. Many forget to do this.In short, try the system with somebody who understands it before making a decision.
  11. The 4.3 is really slow: this is something we often read in forums. A sense of perspective is probably needed. It is a car with 380bhp (233bhp/tonne), capable of 175 mph.The 4.3 is a quick car but rewards the driver for revving it. What you really get with the 4.7 is more instant responsiveness and flexibility. The extra 40 bhp is certainly noticeable but it is light throttle loads where the difference is felt.
  12. They are not that expensive to run:this is all relative.An Aston Martin will always be more expensive to run than a BMW, Audi or similar. It likes a drink of unleaded but the servicing costs are probably not as expensive as you might think. If you look under the servicing section on this website, you will see our fixed price menu. There is the potential for the odd big bill but if you don’t have the appetite for the exposure, you can buy an extended warranty from us. Critically, what balances out the slightly higher running costs is that used values have been very stable for over 10 years. They are built in modest numbers and there is always demand.