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2025 Aston Martin Vantage First Drive: More Power, Better Tech, Loads of Charm

The new Vantage is more expensive than before, but worth every penny

2025 Aston Martin Vantage driving
  • The Vantage gets a number of significant updates for 2025.
  • More power, improved tech and a revised interior are among the highlights.
  • The V12 is gone, but we're not really missing it.

Aston Martin today is hardly the same company it was when the current Vantage was introduced in 2018. New owners have infused cash into the company, and a successful Formula 1 team has introduced the company to a new audience while reigniting some of the passion for the brand within the automaker itself. The current Aston Martin Vantage launched in 2018 with a lot of promise but a lack of polish, with a few issues holding it back from being a real star. These flaws meant it was fun to drive but not great to live with.

The Vantage, while not all-new, is thoroughly updated for 2025. It's still the same long, low and wide coupe it was previously, now with a bit more verve and tech that's not from a two-generation-old Mercedes. The refreshed Vantage follows the introduction of the larger, more touring-oriented Aston Martin DB12 and benefits from some of that car's updates. The DB12 showed that Aston Martin indicated the company was headed in the right direction. A trip to Spain to drive the new V8 Vantage only cements those feelings further.

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2025 Aston Martin Vantage

More than horsepower

Changes aren't always a good thing. Look at recent BMW styling for example. Thankfully, the Vantage's changes are genuine improvements rather than updates for the sake of updates. The 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 — sourced from Mercedes-AMG but tuned by Aston Martin — makes a whopping 656 horsepower, 153 more hp than last year's V8. Torque output is up to 590 lb-ft. A V12 Vantage seems unlikely for the moment, but Aston's performance figures (0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds) suggest the updated V8 Vantage should have no trouble keeping up with the competition. The V8's increased output comes courtesy of new camshafts, larger turbochargers and improved cooling.

2025 Aston Martin Vantage V8 engine

There's no manual transmission either, with the updated V8 paired solely with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The transmission is mounted in the rear of the car, helping the Vantage achieve a touted 50:50 weight distribution. The rear tires — Michelin Pilot Sport 5S tires size 275/35ZR21 up front and 325/30ZR21 at the rear — handle all of the power. Unlike rivals from Porsche and Lamborghini, there's no option for all-wheel drive.

2025 Aston Martin Vantage wheel

Other mechanical changes for 2025 include a shorter final-drive ratio for quicker engine response, a repositioned front crossmember, and a stiffer (albeit lighter) front cross brace atop the engine. The suspension geometry has been changed and updated with new adaptive dampers, helping both performance and ride quality.

The exterior design has been tweaked but should be recognizable to anyone familiar with Aston Martin's design language over the past decade or so. The grille is still quite large, but a new design makes it look less slack-jawed than before. The redesigned fascia is part of the reason the new Vantage has better cooling than last year's model. New, larger headlights and a redesigned splitter are also part of the update. The clamshell hood has been dropped, too, cleaning up the design of the fenders.

2025 Aston Martin Vantage parked

Inside, the Vantage's dashboard has been redesigned and fitted with a new and much-improved infotainment system. The design itself is both better-looking and more cleverly laid out than before. The old Mercedes-supplied infotainment was last-generation tech when it was introduced in 2019 and has only gotten worse by comparison over the years. This new system was introduced in the Aston Martin DB12 and is a step forward in every way. The touchscreen is more responsive and features a higher-resolution display, and the menus and settings have been reworked to make it easier to navigate or adjust features on the fly. All of the controls for the climate and drive mode are easy to see. Some might prefer the old Vantage's shift buttons, but we think the new car's more traditional shifter is less cumbersome to use.

2025 Aston Martin Vantage rear

Saturday in Seville

The roads around Seville range from fine to brilliant, with some particularly beautiful stretches of pristine, winding pavement with good sightlines and zero traffic. The Vantage shines on roads like this. There's more power than you could reasonably use on the street, but it's not so overpowered that you have to drive at a half pace to avoid attracting the attention of the local policía. The Vantage is a mighty car with more than enough power to get to arrest-worthy speeds after just a few seconds on the gas.

The old Vantage was nothing to sneeze at. While the limited-edition V12 Vantage still makes a touch more power than the new V8 Vantage, real-world performance is a net wash. The V12 had a smooth exhaust note, but there's a fierceness to the V8's exhaust note that fits well with this car. It's a sports car, not a grand tourer. There's a low rumble at idle and a warm howl at full throttle, with plenty of burbles and turbo whooshes in between. The sound suggests an engine with a significantly bigger displacement V8 than a measly 4.0 liters. If you've never listened to one of Aston Martin's race cars, know that they tend to be among the loudest on track. The new Vantage channels that energy.

2025 Aston Martin Vantage dashboard

While Aston Martin has positioned the DB12 as a grand tourer, the Vantage continues to fall firmly in the sports car bucket. The ride is firm but comfortable; you won't be complaining about your back after a long drive, but you'll still feel most bumps and imperfections in the pavement. The revised suspension does a solid job of soaking up bumps and never feels overly stiff, even in the firmest setting.

The Vantage stands out in cities and villages, both of which are filled with the typical European mix of hatchbacks, MPVs and scooters. But the looks it gets are rarely sour. It stands out without being brash, at least at city speeds. Just keep the revs low.

2025 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Safety Car

Safety Car in this lap

On Circuito Monteblanco, we had an opportunity to really put the new Vantage to the test. It started with a few scouting laps behind the Vantage F1 Safety Car. The track features some minor elevation change, a few nice sweepers and a 1-km straight into a tight right-hander that tested the brakes. After the scout laps, we were let loose on a wet and unfamiliar track. "Try Wet mode" was a suggestion but not a command, as was the use of the adjustable traction control system. Setting 1 was fully on and 9 fully off, with various levels of engagement in between. There's no mechanical differential, either, though Aston Martin's electronic differential is so smart and seamless at distributing power to the right wheel at the right time that you won't miss a mechanical unit.

This version of Michelin's Pilot Sport 5S tire was designed specifically for the Vantage. They do a solid job both on the street and on the track. This isn't the most aggressive or stickiest set of rubber you'll find on a production car these days, but the tires held up well after a day on the track. You can get the rear to kick out with some aggressive use of the throttle, but the Vantage feels stable and cool in a corner. The steering is quick to react and far from sloppy, but it lacks the fine feedback you get in something like a Porsche 911 or Lamborghini Huracán. The steering feels tight on-center but doesn't translate as much front-end feel as we might wish for.

2025 Aston Martin Vantage driving, rear three-quarter

Given enough space on a track, the Vantage tops out at 202 mph, a theoretical velocity on all but a few stretches of pavement around the world. Just know that the Vantage never really feels slow, but it doesn't feel twitchy or nervous either. The turbochargers spool quickly, and the transmission is geared short enough that you're never out of boost outside of a dead stop. The transmission is quick, too. And while it's not quite as snappy as a dual-clutch transmission, this ZF-supplied automatic is close and makes up for it with smooth performance at city speeds. The paddles are responsive, though the computer is smart enough in Sport and Track modes that it usually puts the car in the right gear anyway.

2025 Aston Martin Vantage driving on track

A bump in power, a bump in price

The 2025 V8 Vantage starts at $191,000, about $40,000 more than the pre-refresh model. The new car is a significant upgrade over the prior Vantage, though the new price does put it into slightly different territory when it comes to competitors. The V8 Vantage sits in prime Porsche 911 territory, where similar money can get you a GT3 or a Turbo, depending on what you want from your sports car. It's not quite as sharp as a 911, but it's a different sort of sports car. It looks and feels a bit more premium both inside and out, partly due to scarcity and partly due to just being a nice car to look at and sit in.

There are a handful of options available for the Vantage. Beyond a seemingly endless number of available colors for the paint and upholstery, various 21-inch wheel designs and different materials for the interior trim, the Vantage is available with two options fitted to the cars we drove on track: lightweight carbon-fiber seats and carbon-ceramic brakes. The carbon buckets did a great job of keeping us planted on track, but the standard seats are more comfortable and provide more adjustment. It's a similar situation with the optional carbon-ceramic brakes. The standard steel brakes are more than enough for the street, though the carbon brakes held up well on track.

2025 Aston Martin Vantage front interior

Edmunds says

The V8 Vantage is a marked improvement over its predecessor. It's quicker, better-looking and packs an interior that feels worth the price of admission. Aston Martin is commanding significantly more for the new Vantage than the old one, but it feels worthy of the premium. The company enhanced what was working and fixed a lot of what wasn't. The V8 Vantage isn't the world's best-driving sports car, but it's great fun in its own right and no longer just a car to drive because all of your neighbors have 911s.