The V8 Vantage is not only arguably the best built Aston ever, but perhaps one of the best built cars of any sort. It shrugs off being driven regularly and will stand up to frequent trackday use without complaint. A higher-mileage car could potentially prove a better proposition than an ultra-low-mileage example that has suffered from lack of use.
Aston dealers have been given great praise for their care and service, taking owners very seriously, which is quite refreshing.
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No matter what we say here, when you go to look at a car for sale your heart will tell you to buy it, not your head. It won’t be easy, but try to stay focused and check all the basics plus the key points that follow. Of course, as with any car, ensure that the paperwork is in order.
• Engine The V8 frees up noticeably with miles and is at its best once past the 10K mark. Virtually bomb proof, higher mileages are fine. Sometimes the alternator belt can squeal from cold but there is a fix using a revised idler pulley. The only notable failures have been due to the engine being revved to the limiter when cold.
A popular tweak is to fix the exhaust bypass valve open to give a richer engine note at lower speeds.
• Transmission Again, very strong. It’s not unusual for first and second gear to be difficulit to select on the manual ’box when it’s cold. A revised oil spec can help, but its usually best to just take it easy until things have warmed up a bit.
Abused clutches can require early replacement. If treated properly they should last for 40K miles, but if ridden they may only last 10K. A replacement costs £1700 at an independent garage, £2300 at a main dealer.
So far no major problems have been reported with the semi-automatic ‘Sportshift’ gearbox.
• Suspension and tyres Cars are generally too young to show any wear here yet, but ex-hire cars may have had their alignment knocked out of true. Check the tyres for the telltale signs of uneven wear.
A set of tyres could last you as long as 20K miles, depending on your driving style.
• Body The mix of composites and ally mean that rot is not a big issue. The body can be separated from the whole suspension/engine/gearbox assembly for really big jobs, while minor collision damage can be repaired without too much trouble.
Some cars have experienced light bubbling of the paint around the base of the A-pillars and the door handles. This should have been fixed under warranty, though. The front grille can loose its finish and go milky, too, although again this is a warranty job.
The 2007 year model had upgraded seats and LEDs in the door handles, which are both nice to have.
• Brakes They can squeal irritatingly at low speeds, but there is a fix for this so ensure it has been done. As with any high-performance car its worth budgeting for a new set of discs and pads just for peace of mind.
|Engine||V8, 4281cc (4735cc for 4.7)|
|Max power||380bhp @ 7000rpm (420bhp for 4.7)|
|Max torque||302lb ft @ 5000rpm (347lb ft @ 5750rpm for 4.7)|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual (Sportshift option), rear-wheel drive|
|Tyres||235/40 ZR19 front, 275/35 ZR19 rear|
|Power-to-weight||237bhp per ton (262 for 4.7)|
|0-60mph||5.2sec (for 4.3)|
|Top speed||175mph (claimed for 4.3)|
|Price new||£79,995 (2005)|