Aston Martin DB11 review – interior and tech

Aston might have moved over to a Mercedes-based infotainment systems, but it’s already three (!) generations out-of-date. Quality is varied, but materials are superb.

Evo rating
  • Lovely chassis balance; effortless performance; sumptuous materials
  • Not as rounded and competent as rivals; build quality lacking

Just as with graceful exterior design and endless James Bond references, Aston Martins are also defined by luxurious ‘hand-crafted’ interiors. The DB11 is no different. Swoop inside via the swan-hinged door (that is to say the door rises ever so slightly so to avoid kerbs) and you’re greeted first not with wow-factor tech or groundbreaking interior design, rather the smell of expensive leather. This is no bad thing. 

Nearly every surface across the dash, doors, seats, and even roof panel where specified, is leather trimmed and this instantly makes the Aston feel special. Of course while the material quality by-and-large is deeply impressive, the dark side of ‘hand-made’ comes to the fore where subliminal messages from the clangy doors or squeaks and rattles that can often reside in modern Astons. It doesn’t help that rivals from Bentley and Mercedes-Benz are often world-class when it comes to build quality, but it remains an uncomfortable feeling on cars costing as much as a whole flat in many parts of the country. 

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The interior’s design is a little lackluster too, missing the glamour and presence of the Bentley, while in terms of tech the DB11’s set-up is closing in on four-generations behind the latest Mercedes systems on which its based. The car also lacks the latest stand out tech like fancy head-up displays, adaptive headlights or crystal clear infotainment displays. 

But what the Aston offers in place of modern-accoutrements is that aforementioned hand-built feeling, and indeed the choice to be able to specify your car exactly as you want to. Many early press-car examples of DB11 and Vantage were specified to show off the sheer level of personalisation options available, climaxing perhaps in the DB11 V8 we first drove back in 2018 which paired a metallic white exterior with a deep purple leather finish contrasted with violent pink stitching. 

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