Aston Martin Vantage review – can it match the Audi R8 and Porsche 911? - Aston Martin Vantage ride and handling

Fast and fun Vantage is very different to its predecessor, but fun, and faster than ever

Evo rating
Price
from £120,900
  • Strong performance, decent ride and engaging chassis
  • Feels big, messy cabin switchgear

Ride and handling

If you've followed our Vantage reviews from the start you'll know we had some big reservations over the early cars. The good news is that each Vantage we've driven since has been a vastly better effort, and a genuine alternative to 911s and R8s. While it couldn't be considered perfect, its ability to pair entertaining dynamics with long-legged cruising ability feels, quite appropriately, very Aston Martin.

Those imperfections? Well, for starters it feels big. At 2153mm it’s around 200mm wider than a Porsche 911 Turbo, a fact that is exacerbated by the Vantage’s low-slung driving position, high-set dashboard and slimline windscreen, all of which combine to create a feeling of claustrophobia. The first few miles brings the intermittent ‘thud-thud’ of cats eyes as you acclimatize to the Aston’s size.

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The ride quality isn't perfect either, with a a slightly stiff-legged low speed gait, and an occasional feeling at higher speeds that the suspension has quite a lot to deal with when asked not just to keep the car's weight in check, but also handle particularly taxing bumps and compressions.

The rest is all good news. Firstly, that ride settles down in all other scenarios, and is particularly calming on the motorway, where it's among the more relaxed of its peers. The suspension does, to its credit, also endow the Vantage with good body control through corners, and stiffer modes can ramp this up where required. Ultimately it's still not as composed as say, the aforementioned 911 or R8, but the car's movements are always predictable. Traction is a marked improvement on earlier cars, the rear axle now taking the turbocharged V8's power in its stride (though you can't take too many liberties with 505lb ft to play with).

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The steering is also a highlight, being both meatily weighted and naturally geared. It’s not exactly dripping with feedback, but there’s strong front-end bite from the wide front axle, which means you can attack corners with real gusto. With near 50/50 weight distribution and quick steering, the Aston’s line through a bend can be altered at will with a prod of the accelerator pedal – there’s real entertainment to be had here. It feels like a proper sports car, and an engaging one at that.

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