2017 Aston Martin Rapide S

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S Review

The Rapide S isn't very practical, but its graceful design and sonorous V12 make up for a lot.
by Jonathan Elfalan
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Aston Martin has long been synonymous with beautiful car design, but it wasn't until the four-door Rapide came along that one could make the case for buying one for practical reasons. Mercedes-Benz may have popularized the current trend of the four-door "coupe" with its CLS model, but the Aston Martin Rapide S is perhaps the most convincing example. From some angles you may mistake it entirely for a two-door Aston.

The Rapide S' 552-horsepower V12 engine — shared with Aston Martin's Vanquish S — is more a nod to mechanical craftsmanship than an attempt to push the technological envelope with turbochargers and direct fuel injection. And as a grand touring car, the Rapide S is equally purposed for highway travel as it is for attacking more winding roads.

However, with cars such as the Porsche Panamera that do so well maximizing space and comfort while continuing to defy performance limits of cars with four doors, the Rapide S must rely more than ever on its appearance. The Rapide S' rear seat accommodations aren't nearly as generous as the current grand-touring competition, and those small, sleekly integrated rear doors and sloping roofline conspire to make getting in and out somewhat of a challenge.

Try to justify the Rapide S from a practical angle, and you'll quickly discover how much the deck is stacked against its favor. However, when it comes to cars like this, practicality isn't as important as emotion, and it's on this front that the 2017 Rapide S still makes a lot of sense.

What's new for 2017

A new infotainment system now features Apple CarPlay and includes a new integrated satellite navigation system that Aston Martin says offers significant improvements over the outgoing system.

We recommend

The Aston Martin Rapide S is the only model and trim available in the company's sedan portfolio. The interior specification process is akin to customizing your house, so individual tastes will differ. But the one feature we'd strongly recommend is the folding rear seats, which give you more cargo-carrying flexibility.

Trim levels & features

The 2017 Aston Martin Rapide S is a four-passenger, high-end luxury performance sedan with a hatchback-style trunk. It's available in one trim only and powered by a 6.0-liter V12 engine (552 horsepower, 465 pound-feet of torque) that sends power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed shiftable automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is not available.

As far as standard equipment goes, the Rapide S comes with 20-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, a limited-slip differential, xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, front and rear automatic climate control, power front seats, driver-seat memory functions, heated front and rear seats, a full leather interior, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, the latest AMi III infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, a navigation system, and a 13-speaker sound system with a CD player, USB and auxiliary audio jacks and satellite radio.

Notable options for the Rapide S include a range of different 20-inch wheels, three-mode adjustable adaptive damping system, different exterior and interior trim details, ventilated front and rear seats, a folding rear seat (Edmunds recommended), upgraded leather, an upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system, a twin-screen rear-seat entertainment system, a six-piece custom-fit luggage set that matches the interior leather, and many special paint and leather colors.

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.