The Aston Martin DB9 matches the emotion of a Ferrari but it adds practicality and offers an experience unmatched for versatility and all-round appeal
What is it?
The DB9 has been called in a mid-life set of revisions, the headlines being a reworked interior, slightly more power and revised suspension settings. You’ll have to squint to spot one, though – apart from a new 5-bar radiator grille (in place of the current 7-bar look) the design is unchanged.
What’s it like?
In line with the minimal changes, pretty much the same as before. With waiting lists still stretching into next year, Aston reckons the DB9’s appeal is obvious enough.
The most noticeable revision is the arrival of a new dashboard centre, taken from the DBS, with better quality trim than the slightly plasticy console of the original DB9. The ‘9 also gets the S’s push-to-start ‘key’, although in glass rather than its more expensive sibling’s sapphire finish. And yes, Aston is persisting in the describing the starting system by the slightly ridiculous moniker of “Emotional Control Unit”.
On the road the chassis revisions yield a slight, but discernable, improvement in ride quality and high-speed refinement. Dynamically, the standard Aston DB9 still feels more like a GT than a proper supercar-chaser, lacking the precision of a Porsche 911 Turbo or Ferrari F430.
As before, buyers will be able to specify the extra cost “Sport” pack to sharpen things up. The claimed extra 20bhp is harder to detect, although revised gearbox software speeds up the optional Touchtronic transmission’s reaction time in paddle-shift mode.
Should I buy one?
If you’ve got the cash and the inclination then the DB9 is still a supremely classy GT – but the increased price makes it look even more expensive compared to rivals like the Jaguar XKR.