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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The case for the V8 Vantage

Editor's Note: Earlier this year, in my review of the Aston Martin DBX, I casually disrespected the previous-generation Vantage, calling it "uncomfortably similar to a Jaguar." One of our readers is a Vantage owner and he called me to account for that statement-quite rightly, I would add.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/the-case-for-the-v8-vantage/
36 REPLIES 36
jwiley
Hagerty Employee

The V8 Vantage was also on the Bull Market list for 2021
https://www.hagerty.com/media/magazine-features/bull-market-2021/
JSievers
Instructor

A classically beautiful RWD grand tourer. If I didn't already have an Italian exotic in this category the Vantage would be number one on my list of cars to buy.
F360Spider
Detailer

A friend of mine has one of these, a beauty in a pearl white with tan interior. These are lovely cars but even for a Ferrari owner, they are impractical. Too few produced, too many complex systems and very few service places to take it when it stops working. My friend had his in a garage and hadn't driven it in a while because it was waiting for some magical part to show up. It's still in the garage two years later and still waiting for the magic to happen. He keeps it spotless though and it is quite beautiful. I'll keep to the more common cars, like a Ferrari 360 Spider and leave these unicorns to those with much bigger cajones than I have.
Iso_Grifo
Instructor

I looked up the production figures and according to a reference from Vantage magazine, they made a little over 16,000 Vantage V8's during their production run. I looked up Ferrari 360 production and they made approx. 17,653 of all types. So not that big of a difference. And hardly a unicorn. Also, there's a lot of parts bin going on with the Aston, that you don't have with the Ferrari. You do have me wondering what this unobtainable part is that your friend is waiting for?
Maestro1
Technician

Todd, the piece is well done. I think each car has its place in our hemisphere; there's no doubt that the Aston Martin is stunning as are Jaguars.
Stay well.
Iso_Grifo
Instructor

I remember walking into an Aston Martin showroom a few years back and there was a DB7, a DBS, and a V8 Vantage. I took a good look at them from every angle and came away with the impression that the V8 Vantage was the best looking of the three. With lots of manual transmissions out there then and now, it really seemed like a real driver's car that's reasonably sized and practical. Very pre-991 911. Good write up.
Rick2
Instructor

I went to the car show in Grand Rapids, MI in 2005 and there was a beautiful blue V8 Vantage there. It was my dream car for a long time, and still is. It is just a little out of my toy price range.
Minka-the-cat
Pit Crew

I remember a YouTube video with one of Aston Martin’s engineers and Sabine Schmitz tearing through the ‘Ring. He was driving and obviously no stranger to the place as he hung that V8 Vantage out to dry. It had the most glorious sound under the whip and it was Sabine approved!

Those were the days……
Tinkerah
Engineer

Your comment has the "charming and heartfelt language" I expected in the write up but didn't find.
Talonpilot
New Driver

I have a beautiful 2008 Black Vantage Roadster. I have found this car to be very well built and has been incredible reliable. I believe this is a timeless beauty and I am quite please that Hagerty is showing it in the positive light in which it deserves.
bkmcgraw62
Intermediate Driver

The Vantage is definitely a nice ride but you can't avoid the fact it is also very British. If you landed on Earth as an alien and were shown this car along with Jags, MGs, Bentleys, Rolls and other UK offerings you would instantly conclude these all came from the same pedigree. You know the same pedigree as large ugly bulldogs, warm beer and greasy "chips". Like most things British I can't help but yawn.
robbieboy
New Driver

i'm on my 5th consecutive vantage over the last 15 years, after a run of porsches, r8, jaguars, one (unreliable) ferrari, morgan +8, lotuses, etc so have some experience of these cars.

clearly, you're experience of these cars (and brits in general) is limited to what you've read in sad mags.

current vantage : v12s amr - nothing out there comes close . . . . . .   

 

SJ
Technician

Actually it kind of reminds me of a newer Mustang, in a good way. V8 or V12, both are the best engines ever made for an automobile.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

The V8 vantage is easily the best looking. It isn't filled with vents all over the hood to ruin the lines or too front heavy to ruin the handling. It feels the nicest of the AM models of the day and sounds great. However like mentioned the repair costs could keep some people away as they are not cheap to fix, but they never were in the first place. Easily the best thing to come out of the Ford ownership days.

MATTMERICA
Technician

Nothing like an unbiased report lol
I understand there are fans of this car, but let's get something straight - Jag DID make a better product at the same time this car was made, and the reliability issues for aston are legendary. The car was under powered for the money, the interior is no where near class-leading for the money, and quite honestly, it has the bloated look of many of the wide shouldered suits and baggy pants looks of the late-90s. My favorite aston is the DB5 in the Casino Royale film, hands down.
Steve1945
New Driver

I purchased my 2007 in 2019 with 8900 miles on it, it now has 11200 miles, black/black 6spd. It is the most enjoyable car to drive and look at and my first choice for tours or long distance events. I also have 2 corvettes, 2 911s, a new mustang gt and a mercedes. If I could keep only one, it would definitely be the V8 Vantage
Oldsmobile1988
Intermediate Driver

These automobiles are works of art!
I'm lucky enough to own one 2008 roadster in in Toro red. Saddle interior Red stitching. The workmanship is amazing, attention to detail for sure! I am excited to see this car show up as appreciating.
One of my favorites to drive!
Mogowner
Detailer

I want one, as soon as I've built my larger garage/workshop. The other toys will have to move over a bit, but I certainly want one--what a pretty car.
Gene_M
Detailer

I want one!
Motorpsycho
Intermediate Driver

I M surprised how close the Vantage is in performance, finish and production numbers to my Maserati 138 Spyder, yet Maserati prices, even with the 6 speed manual remain fairly flat.

Hopefully the grace and oerformance of tgese modern classics will win over enough followers to push the needle to a higher price.
hyperv6
Racer

Great car to buy used due to depreciation. 

If you can afford the maintenance. 

StevenF
New Driver

I own a 2012 Vantage S
The Look, Ride and Sound are all great.
The interior material is crap. Dashboard has cracked in multiple places, Leather on dash and plastic substrate are paper thin and have peeled. Leather on drivers seat has lost its shape. The trunk interior is made of cardboard. The rear lights don't seal properly and retain water. A problem on many models. The plastic cover on the front headlights has discolored.
You think Aston could do better considering what they charge,,
robbieboy
New Driver

steven,

i'm on my 5th consecutive vantage over the last 15 years. my penultimate daily driver was a 2012 vantage S i ran for 32,000 mls. i don't recognise any of your 7 listed faults. you're one unlucky chap !

current vantage : 2017 V12S AMR - nothing out there comes close . . . . . .   they'll bury me in it.

Leeskiing
New Driver

Right on all counts….plus.

door struts are not strong enough after a while.

rear bumper,front bumper, side valances and front wings( yes front wings) are plastic and often come from factory in different colours!

wing mirrors are Volvo ( even says they are on them) and the paint on the arms falls off them easily.

internal sill covers are purple.(why)

poor paint prep on many so near the mirrors, door bottoms and door pulls bubble.

sat nav is a joke.

tracker drains your battery.

remote and alarm are straight Volvo.

pits not really hand made it’s more hand assembled from the Ford bits bin.

but I love it. 2008 v8v

 

Speedraser
Pit Crew

Glad you love it. But...

The door struts are hydraulic. Just like every other hydraulic strut, they
become not strong enough over time. This is a complaint???

The bumpers, sills, and front wings/fenders (and the hatch) are composite
(bumpers are a different composite from the others). I've looked closely at
very many Vantages (and DB9s) over the 15+ years they've been around, and
not once have I seen factory paint not match on those panels.

The wing mirrors are Volvo. They're painted by Aston. Never have I heard of
the factory paint falling off. The mirror mounts are not Volvo -- they're
Aston, and they're metal. Sometimes the paint does fall off them. Easy to
fix.

The interior sill covers don't look purple to me, but to each his own.

Some cars have had paint bubbling issues in the places you
mention, apparently from poor paint prep. It seems to be much more common
in the damp UK weather than in the US. Clearly, it shouldn't happen
regardless. Not easy to fix.

Sat nav: To each his own, but I truly don't care, especially now that these
are not new cars.

Trickle charger...

4.3L cars have a leather-covered Volvo fob. 4.7L cars have the beautifully
made metal/glass "key." Volvo alarms work just fine.

No, they weren't made with an English wheel. Hand-assembled is fine by me,
especially for a modern car. But it is NOT built from Ford bits -- that
kind of comment does the car a HUGE disservice, and is why people say it's
"really just a Ford" or similar. Yes, there are Ford parts, and other
Ford-owned (at the time) companies' parts (Volvo, Jaguar), but they're the
ancillary things, like electrical systems and behind-the-scenes HVAC,
mirrors, etc. That's a good thing -- they're good parts, well-proven and
reliable. And they don't make an Aston Martin an Aston Martin. Almost
everything you see and touch are bespoke, and beautifully done. Of course,
the structure/platform and engines are all Aston.

And I stand by my comments about the interior. Mine is 12 years old now,
and is indistinguishable from new.
tahend
Detailer

I bet he was sipping Sherry when he wrote to complain.
Jimincalif
Intermediate Driver

Like they say "ask the man who owns one". I am the proud owner of a 2009 Aston Martin V8 Vantage in midnight blue with Caspian blue interior. Prior to purchasing the Aston Martin I owner a 2006 Jaguar XKR. There is no comparison in performance and handling. The Jaguar was beautiful, but that was about all. The Jaguar was scary at high speed, the front end lifted and the steering touchy. Much more thought and technology has gone into the Aston Martin, which makes it fun and a pleasure to drive. As far as styling I find it far better and more classic than the newer F series Jaguar. Then too there is the prestige you feel by having the chance to own an Aston Martin. It had been my dream car, since I rode in a DB4 when it was new.
Speedraser
Pit Crew

It’s nice to hear from several fellow owners who have had great experiences with these wonderful cars. I wrote the article, and I hope you enjoyed it. I’ve had my 2009 V8 Vantage from new. It’s the car in the pictures. A few comments on the comments…

 

First, if anyone thinks I was putting Jaguars down, that was NOT the intent. I love Jaguars and I’ve owned several from the ‘50s through the ‘00s. Astons and Jags are different, though, which was the point I was trying to make because many people think they’re the same, or nearly so.

 

Reliability: My experience has been superb, as has the vast majority of owners I know. As with any car, there are exceptions. I’ve done about 14k miles in mine – it’s a weekend/fun car, not a daily, and I don’t have enough time. Here’s the list of problems my car has had: When it was 2 years old, the radio’s AM band quit, so the radio was replaced under warranty. That’s the entire list.

 

Mattmerica: I’m an owner, so I’m “biased” in that respect. Are you unbiased? You state that Jaguar “DID made a better product.” That’s an opinion, not a fact. Again, I love Jags and have owned several (including from this era). They’re great, but “better”? I don’t think so, partly because “better” means different things to different people. Your reliability comment is outdated and inaccurate for this generation Aston Martin. Jaguar’s reputation for (un)reliability is certainly legendary – and equally outdated.

 

StevenF: I think the interior materials are truly gorgeous. The leather is very soft, and yes, it does require care to keep it looking so good. Basically all cars with leather dashes have leather-shrinking issues. Just take a look at any number of Ferraris, for example. I’m guessing your car has lived in a hot climate if its interior has suffered that badly. I’m in the NY area, so it gets quite hot (and humid) in the summer, and also quite cold in the winter. I treat the leather with preservative periodically, and I use a sunshade for the windshield. The interior of my ’09 – that’s my car in the pictures – looks absolutely brand new.

 

Jimincalif: I love the Packard reference!

Speedraser
Pit Crew

Mattmerica, one more thing. About being "underpowered for the money": An Aston Martin is about SO MUCH MORE than just the numbers. If it's performance-per-dollar you're after, no exotic is the way to go. A Porsche will give you more go/$. Of course, the same applies again -- a Corvette or a Nissan GT-R gives you more performance/$ than a Porsche. And so on.

Apparently you like neither the Aston's interior or exterior. To each his own. I'm with you about the DB5, although I personally think the DB4 is even more beautiful.
964c4
Detailer

Good luck getting parts or service. It would seem that the manufacturer has all but abandoned any support for their early products.
Speedraser
Pit Crew

Is your comment based on experience or rumor? If it’s rumor, nothing more need be said. If it’s experience, then yours is very different from mine. Of course, there will be parts that are harder to find than an Accord’s, but I’ve never had an issue. Nor has any owner I know. Obviously, there are areas with no Aston dealer within a reasonable distance, but there are many good independent shops that can service (and get parts for) them. I’ve seen no evidence suggesting that the factory has suddenly decided to abandon these cars. If you have, what is it?
StevenF
New Driver

I have a 2012 Vantage S
The car looks, drives, and sounds tremendous.
The interior is crap.
The plastic dash has cracked in numerous places, The leather and plastic substrate on the dash is paper thin and has peeled. The leather on the drivers seat has loosened. The trunk liner is made of cardboard. The tail lights aren't sealed properly and get water inside on this and other models. The plastic lenses on the front lights have discolored.
You think they could have done much better considering the price.
robbieboy
New Driver

i see you've posted this identical moan previously - having trouble getting your views across ?

Billthecat707
Instructor

Simply beautiful vehicles. I've attended a local Cars & Coffee that has dozens of Ferrari's, Mclaren's , Porsche's, R8's, AMG's, Jag's, etc. The Aston are easily the best looking.
SeaTacTom
New Driver

Yesterday....Holloween....I was the successful bidder on a 2007 Aston-Martin Vantage on Bring-a-Trailer. Having owned several "performance" cars, stepping up to an Aston-Martin was the next logical step in my evolution. A special thanks to SPEEDRASER as he made the link to this article available during the final hectic minutes of the auction. Frankly I was looking at both the Vantage and a DB9 (V-12). Many positive comments on both, but the Vantage I was bidding on came with the V-8. As I obtain, and drive, the car I'm sure that I'll experience the "joy of ownership" (and the cost of maintenance) that many have shared.
Ashman_e
Pit Crew

As the owner of a 2009 V8V, I can reiterate that parts are absolutely more expensive than your average Mustang or whatever, but not crazy for an exotic. Many actually have Jag or Ford equivalents, so that can help to keep costs down. The reliability has been great, and the driving experience has been nothing short of awesome. The naysayers here, either don't own one, and therefore have no first-hand experience (their loss), or their experience has been the polar opposite of mine. This is the one car I plan to keep until I can't drive anymore. I can't believe how undervalued they are. Great writeup, Todd!