2018 Aston Martin DB11

2018 Aston Martin DB11 Review

With a 600-hp V12 and gorgeous styling, the DB11 is more sensory experience than mere locomotion.
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

No car represents power, style and understatement quite like this silver-screen classic. The 2018 Aston Martin DB11 continues the work of its predecessors with drop-dead style, intoxicating performance, and refined European cachet. Sure, there are other lust-worthy cars on the DB11's level (a Bentley Continental GT or McLaren, perhaps), but few make driving such a dashing experience.

The DB11 is a grand touring coupe that succeeds Aston's DB9. Today's DB11 doesn't look much different than the DB9, but underneath is a revised aluminum body structure. Modern upgrades are more apparent inside the cabin, with improved materials and electronics, and underhood is a turbocharged 12-cylinder engine.

For 2018, that sublime 12-cylinder is joined by a new 503-horsepower V8 engine option sourced from Mercedes-Benz's high-performance AMG division. Aston officials say a V8-equipped DB11 is more than 200 pounds lighter than a V12-powered coupe, and that the smaller-sized engine is better centered within the car's wheelbase. The result is a car that handles with a bit more speed and precision than the larger-engine grand touring car.

Aston calls the DB11 a "2+2," which in theory means you could seat two passengers in the back. In practice, you won't want to, at least no one you consider family or friend. These are very small rear seats. No matter. A stately English grand touring car such as the DB11 needs only one other seat for a companion, a seat swathed in fine leather, decorative stitching and surrounded by a cabin swollen with luxury comforts. Sound, speed and sheer presence — the DB11 is more sensory experience than mere locomotion.



What's new for 2018

For 2018, the Aston Martin DB11 expands its power offerings with a turbocharged V8 engine. A hands-free-opening trunk now comes standard, while blind-spot warning arrives as an optional feature. New carbon-fiber and wood trim accents are also available.

We recommend

We'd be plenty content with a DB11 off the shelf. It's got incomparable style, a richly detailed interior and enough tech to keep us satisfied. But what fun is off-the-rack when you can have made-to-measure? We'd definitely opt for ventilated seats to enjoy the DB11 on a hot day and might even spring for a higher grade of leather. We'd skip the midgrade Aston Martin sound system and vault directly to the Bang & Olufsen system, the better to maximize enjoyment of Wagner and Verdi on empty wooded backroads. Finally, we'd choose the new V8 engine option because it's lighter and promises more fun in the twists and turns.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Aston Martin DB11 comes in a single, well-equipped trim level offering a handful of stand-alone options. Luxury appointments such as soft leather seating and advanced tech come standard, and an extensive options list lets you tailor the DB11 to your personal tastes. At the heart of the beast is a choice of a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 (503 hp, 498 pound-feet of torque) or a turbocharged 5.2-liter V12 engine (600 hp, 516 lb-ft) and an eight-speed automatic transmission that drives the rear wheels.

Standard features include 20-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, LED headlights and taillights, a power-opening trunk, power-adjustable heated front seats, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, a faux suede headliner, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 360-degree parking camera, and front and rear parking sensors.

Technology features include a digital instrument and gauges display, an 8-inch infotainment display with a rotary control dial, Bluetooth, satellite radio, iPhone integration, a USB input, a premium Aston Martin audio system, and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.

Of course, plenty of customization awaits. DB11 buyers can opt for upgraded leather, carpet, interior color and decorative stitching, as well as ventilated seats, an upgraded Aston Martin or a top-level Bang & Olufsen sound, and exterior enhancements such as a gloss-black body kit, several different 20-inch wheel designs, colored brake calipers, and cosmetic roof and hood treatments.



Driving

The DB11 delivers graceful acceleration when driven sensibly and rewards more spirited effort with satisfying engine noises. Sport mode livens up engine response and adjustable suspension sharpens handling. But the car's mass is felt near its limits; this is a touring car, not lithe sport coupe.

Comfort

The front seats are firm and hold you in place when cornering, and they're still suitable for long-distance touring. The rear seats are a nice gesture but are more suited to luggage overflow than humans. You'll hear plenty of engine and exhaust, along with lingering wind and road noise.

Interior

The DB11 is a vast improvement on DB9 predecessor, extending to its rich leather upholstery, wood trim and design. Gone are shared parts from lesser automakers, replaced with Mercedes-sourced electronics and switchgear. Using controls embedded in the glossy dash panel is distracting but better.

Utility

The rear transaxle reduces valuable trunk space, but there's enough room for a few weekend bags. Small-item storage is minimal. Most of your handheld things will go in the clamshell-opening center console.

Technology

Standard tech includes navigation with 8-inch display, a virtual instrument panel, and an infotainment dial-and-trace controller borrowed from Mercedes. No advanced safety aids standard, but blind-spot warning and self-parking system are optional. Available Bang & Olufsen audio is worth the money.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.