Friday, October 30, 2009

Aston Martin Vantage -- the more realistic reach car

I have always loved the elegant lines of an Aston Martin, and like most of us testosterone driven human beings, we were introduced to the brand at an early age watching James Bond marathons.  For a period of time while Aston Martin and Jaguar were owned by the same company, their sport coupes looked very similar.

Fortunately, Aston Martin proceeded with completely new philosophy when they decided to remake the Vanquish.  This vehicle possessed the beautiful lines that all future Aston Martin coupes will be based off, from the DB9 to the Vantage.

Many compare the Vantage to the 911 Turbo or other sports cars and rate them based on performance.  For the price, the 380 horsepower (and now 420 horsepower) is very lackluster compared to their cheaper and comparable German siblings.  But I don't think that is the point of an Aston Martin.  Like the character James Bond, Aston Martins has an understated elegance that Porsche, BMW, and Audi cannot replicate.  There is character in the car, as well as beauty.  Almost everyone who sees the vehicle in person comments about its beauty and timeless design.  The design of Aston Martins will age well, and 20 years from now it will still be a stunning (although classic) automobile.  I don't believe I will ever take an Aston Martin I own to the track, and therefore my focus would not be how well it handles on the edge of performance, but really how well it handles on the highway and local roads. 

In short, the Aston Martin Vantage is a grand tourer, and will get you from point A to B in both elegance and style.

Unfortunately, even though most of the technology is based from Ford (and you'd think Ford would put some of their Ford F-250 pickup truck reliability into the vehicle) and Volvo, there is still a lot of reliability issues with the vehicle.  A quick search online resulted in all of these complaints

In terms of maintenance, I heard they are very similar to Porsche.  This will mean maintenance intervals of every 15,000 to 20,000 miles with the cost ranging from $600 for a regular oil change to over $1,000 for a major service.  

I recently checked with an auto broker friend and found the vehicle to now be wholesaling around $60K.  Hopefully, in the near future I will be able to purchase a white or silver one.  I would likely choose the coupe over the cabriolet to maintain the smooth curves the car was initially designed with (also just generally more practical).  

When it does come, I hope it won't end up like this car!  What a shame!


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