KBB Editors' Overview
By Keith Buglewicz - Updated Date: 4/24/2014
The 2014 Aston Martin Vantage offers the most affordable way into the Aston Martin brand. Of course, it still costs more than $120,000, so "affordable" is relative here. Regardless, the 2014 Vantage offers a striking design that's the equal of its larger, more expensive siblings, and it has the performance to back it up. The Vantage offers either a potent V8 engine, or a newly enhanced V12. Couple that with excellent handling and a stiff aluminum structure, and there's no doubt you have a supercar on your hands. While it's true that competitors like the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 offer more acceleration and performance for your dollar, there's virtually nothing that offers the visual punch and emotional involvement of the Aston Martin Vantage.
You'll Like This Car If...
If ever there was such a thing as a "budget exotic," the Aston Martin Vantage is it. Aston's low sales volumes, plus its sparse dealer network, guarantees exclusivity. The Vantage Roadster could very well be the ultimate open-air driving experience, regardless of price.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The V12 Vantage S is definitely quick/fast, but it's still outrun by cars like the 2014 Audi R8 V10, or the Porsche 911 Turbo. It's also expensive, and the new Jaguar F-Type is a compelling, and significantly less expensive, alternative.
What's New for 2014
The biggest news for the 2014 Aston Martin Vantage is the new V12 Vantage S model. With a more powerful V12 engine, this is the fastest Aston you can buy. The 7-speed single-clutch automatic transmission gets revisions, and new 3-stage adjustable shocks help drivers fine-tune handling between three different modes.
The 2014 Aston Martin Vantage is billed as a daily driver performance car, not an all-out track-attack car. But this is still an emotional car first, with little room for day-to-day practicality. The Vantage isn't just about numbers – the V8 models are outrun by any number of cars. But run the Vantage through its gears and you'll be hooked on its baritone exhaust note. It's also the most agile Aston Martin by far, with excellent turn-in, cornering ability, and high-speed stability, the last of which is especially important since the new V12 S is capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph. Yet despite this, the Vantage is remarkably comfortable around town, for an exotic. While the 6-speed manual transmission is very good, the 7-speed single-clutch automatic falls far behind competitors with dual-clutch systems. Aston Martin should devote some of its limited resources to developing a new transmission.
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While the standard Vantage would seem to be exclusive enough, you can actually select from a wide variety of color, material and trim combinations from Aston Martin's "Q" customization service to match your own style. Hey, it's only money, right?
The 2014 Aston Martin Vantage retains hydraulic steering assist, albeit with an upgraded system. This is good news for enthusiasts, who generally prefer the more natural feel of hydraulic assist to the electric assist that's becoming increasingly widespread.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…