"Understated" isn't often used to describe high-voltage sports cars, but if any exotic coupe could bear the mantle, it would be the Vanquish from Aston Martin. Excluding essentially one-off offerings such as the One-77 and Vulcan, all Astons share a singular design language that is beautiful, elegant and, yes, understated. Rather than the sharp angles of the Lamborghini Aventador or aerodynamically obsessed Ferrari F12, the 2017 Vanquish simply offers clean lines, the familiar Aston grille and a well-integrated rear spoiler. The understated theme carries into the cabin, where top-shelf leathers coat every conceivable surface and the craftsmanship is unparalleled. Under the hood, though, is a non-turbocharged V12 engine that revs high and has that classic soundtrack charm that so many other turbocharged sports cars have lost.
True, the Vanquish is also rather dated. Cargo space is limited, even by segment standards, the infotainment system is more 2007 than 2017, and the Vanquish can't match the latest pavement-warping performance of its peers. But if you love the classic look of an Aston Martin and want to enjoy one of the last classic V12s, this is your car.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is what happens when a manufacturer takes a gorgeous but underpowered sports car and shoves a tire-smoking, fuel-gulping V12 under the hood. It's the stuff of dreams for car enthusiasts, Pirelli accountants and ExxonMobil executives. Available in a single trim configuration, the V12 Vantage S boasts a wonderfully detailed cabin, heart-pounding performance and a customization program that allows you to tailor it to your exact specification. The options list is mostly limited to cosmetic enhancements, but some functional upgrades are available.
At the heart of the V12 Vantage S is a 5.9-liter V12 (563 horsepower, 457 pound-feet of torque). This rear-wheel-drive coupe or convertible is available with a seven-speed manual or a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. Standard features include 19-inch wheels, a driver-selectable three-mode adaptive suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, a limited-slip differential, a carbon-fiber front splitter and rear diffuser, xenon headlights, LED taillights, power-folding heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and keyless entry. Inside you'll find a full leather-trimmed interior, cruise control, automatic climate control, power-adjustable heated front seats, memory functions for both front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel wrapped in simulated suede, column-mounted shift paddles, Bluetooth, a navigation system, satellite radio, a USB port and Apple CarPlay functionality.
A large proportion of the Vantage's customization options are appearance-related. In addition to a wide array of exterior colors to choose from (affecting everything from the body to the grille surround), you can also select carbon-fiber mirror caps and side vent strakes for a custom look. Buyers can also specify the colors for interior leather upholstery, stitching and carpeting. Further options are available through the "Q by Aston Martin" bespoke program.
Extras include the Sport Plus package, which increases engine output to 568 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque and adds unique gray wheels and simulated suede accents in the cabin. A few stand-alone options are available, including front parking sensors, a raised or low-profile center armrest, carbon-fiber paddle shifters, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an upgraded audio system. There are also a number of dealer-added accessories, such as custom luggage, a parcel shelf, carpeted mats, and both indoor and outdoor car covers.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish (5.9L V12; 8-speed automatic).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Aston Martin Vanquish has received some revisions, including a completely revised infotainment interface in 2017. Our findings remain applicable to this year's Vanquish, however.
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.
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