Aston Martin DB11 Review

2017 Aston Martin DB11
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At first glance, it can be difficult to figure out why anyone would spend nearly a quarter of a million dollars or more for an Aston Martin DB11. After all, there plenty of high-end sports coupes that do the same job for less money. But once you've experienced the DB11, you begin to understand the Aston Martin mystique. (Driving it is the best way to go, but just sitting in it will do.) With its hand-tooled interior and carefully tuned driving experience, the DB11 rises to a level to which mass-produced high-end cars from Porsche and Mercedes can only aspire. And it certainly doesn't hurt that the Aston Martin brand is inextricably tied to Britain's most famous fictional spy. It's easy to see why this is the car 007 would use to escape the baddies, dispatch them to a fiery end, and whisk away the Bond Girl.

The DB11 is the most advanced Aston Martin to come along in quite a while, with all-new electronics, largely sourced from Mercedes, and futuristic styling that is as close to a departure from tradition as Aston Martin is likely to get. Nevertheless, it retains the air of old-world craftsmanship and old-money class that sets Aston Martin apart from ordinary cars. If you can afford the price of entry, the Aston Martin DB11 is a ride like no other.

Current Aston Martin DB11
Aston Martin sells the DB11 in a single trim level, equipped in a way that justifies its astronomical price. The long list of standard features encompasses luxury, with beautifully patterned leather seats, a faux suede headliner and dual-zone climate control. On the technology checklist, you'll find a video-screen dash, a premium stereo system and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. In the performance realm, there's an adaptive suspension, twin-turbocharged engines and rear-wheel drive. The list of options is long and lavish, giving buyers the ability to customize the car to their tastes with different wheels, exterior trim, upgraded interior materials and better stereos, including one from Bang & Olufsen. Exclusivity is the key word: Should one DB11 owner happen to encounter another in the wild, the two cars won't be carbon copies of each other.

Hop inside the DB11 and it becomes immediately apparent what separates the Aston Martin from your garden-variety $150,000 German luxury coupe. No one does luxury and elegance like the British, and the DB11's interior, despite its modern fittings, gives you the distinct feel of old-world craftsmanship. Sit in a DB11 with the optional stitched-pattern seats or headliner, and you could spend hours just admiring the attention to detail.

That craftsmanship is best admired from the front seats: The back ones are merely decorative and are too small even for children. That's really the only flaw in the DB11's interior, though. Behind the layers of leather are electronics developed in conjunction with Mercedes, but Aston Martin owners are spared the more confusing elements of Benz's infotainment system. Instead, they're treated to an easy-to-use dashboard display with bright graphics. The center stack is remarkably restrained, with British elegance winning out over German complexity.

The Aston Martin DB11 offers two engine choices, a 503-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 and a 600-hp twin-turbo V12. Both drive the rear wheels through a rear-mounted eight-speed automatic transmission. Performance of the two is close — Aston Martin estimates a 0-62 mph 0-100 km/h) time of 4.0 seconds for the V8-powered car and 3.9 seconds for the V12. But the V12 is faster, with a top speed of 200 mph; the V8 can only do 187 mph. Both engines drive the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, and both deliver a heavenly soundtrack when revved. They will also settle down to a steady, quiet cruise in keeping with the DB11's mission as a grand tourer. Handling is sharp and responsive, as you'd expect, but the DB11 gives up some agility in trade for a supple and steady ride. Pushed hard, the DB11 will race through the curves, but it lacks the hard edge of the smaller Vantage model — a deliberate choice by Aston Martin's engineers.

Used Aston Martin DB11 Models
The DB11 was an all-new model introduced for 2017 as a replacement for the DB9 (reviewed separately), originally with V12 power. 2018 brought the debut of the V8 engine as well as the addition of blind-spot monitoring and a hands-free trunk release.

Read the most recent 2017 Aston Martin DB11 review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Aston Martin DB11 page.

For more on past Aston Martin DB11 models, view our Aston Martin DB11 history page.