2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Convertible Review

The Vanquish goes out in style with this year's more powerful S version.
author
by Carlos Lago
Edmunds Editor

Ferrari and Lamborghinis offer the ultimate in European performance while Bentley and Rolls-Royce do the same with luxury. Aston Martin positions itself in the middle of these two approaches with its 2018 Vanquish S. Its V12 engine delivers 580 horsepower and a stirring soundtrack, and its interior shows off Aston's artistry in combining leather, metal and wood.

This year is likely the last hurrah for the Vanquish, a car that represents the pinnacle of Aston Martin's lineup, at least from a pricing perspective. Interestingly, its new DB11 stablemate costs less and carries the many benefits of a fresh design, from a more powerful turbocharged engine to an updated interior with modern technology features. Still, purists might consider the snarl from the Vanquish's non-turbocharged V12 superior, and some might say the Vanquish looks better, too. For a car whose value rests largely in its presence, both aural and visual, that's enough for many to choose the Vanquish S.



what's new

Now bearing the S designation, the Vanquish receives a set of incremental performance improvements in what's likely its last year of production. Compared to last year's Vanquish, the S has 12 more horsepower and revised suspension tuning for a more compliant ride quality.

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Even though the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S comes in only one trim, there are numerous ways to personalize yours. Ours? The convertible Volante is attractive, but the coupe has the kind of look that makes your knees wobble. We'd also get the optional features that you'd think would otherwise come standard on a car of this caliber, such as seat ventilation and the auto-dimming rearview mirror. Otherwise, it's all about getting the custom colors and trim materials that you want.

trim levels & features

Like most of the other 12-cylinder vehicles produced in extremely limited numbers and offered at high cost, the Vanquish S comes in one near fully loaded trim. It is also available as a coupe or soft-top convertible, called the Volante. The majority of options provide buyers the ability to tailor the look and feel of the Vanquish S to their tastes.

Whether you choose the coupe or convertible, the Vanquish S employs a 5.9-liter V12 (580 horsepower, 465 pound-feet of torque) and an eight-speed automatic transmission. A manual transmission is not available. Standard equipment includes 20-inch wheels, launch control, a limited-slip differential, carbon-ceramic brakes, an adaptive suspension, xenon headlights, LED running lights, power-folding mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, power-adjustable front seats with heating, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, navigation, a 6.5-inch display screen, Apple CarPlay, and a 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system with satellite radio.

Convertible models come with rear seats that are optional on the coupe. Other options include front-seat ventilation, a squared-off steering wheel derived from the limited-edition One-77, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, lightweight carbon-fiber seats, and a wind deflector for the convertible.

The rest of the options provide buyers a wide variety of aesthetic choices regarding wheels, brake caliper color, and interior leather and trim options. Aston Martin's personalization program, called Q, allows for even further customization of colors and trims. So if there's a color combination, style of stitching, or material you'd love to have, chances are Aston Martin can make it happen in the Vanquish S.

driving

The 2018 Vanquish S could get by on looks and sound alone, but it also drives well. Not an objectively small car, it feels compact on narrow canyon roads. Acceleration sounds and feels excellent, though it is slower than its rivals.

interior

The Vanquish S prioritizes design over functionality with immaculate hand-sewn leather and often cumbersome controls. It'll take time to get used to operating the parking brake, which rests next to the driver door like in a Corvette from the late '80s. Touch-sensitive controls can be uncooperative.

utility

The Vanquish S has a small, shallow trunk, virtually no interior storage and subpar cupholders. The same is true for the other cars in the V12 touring car segment, so pack light. There are no lower LATCH anchors for a car seat, but it's easy to reach the upper tether on the rear shelf.

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.