What are the 50 best new cars you can buy today?
That's the question we tasked our expert team of road testers with answering. Yesterday, we revealed the cars that placed from 50th to 6th in our countdown. So it's time to reveal the final five...
Any car maker that can keep a vehicle concept as wonderful and anachronistic as the front-engined, 12-cylinder, 2+2, Great British, grand touring coupé alive and well in this topsy-turvy 21st century deserves particular praise. But one that can update it, as Aston Martin has with the DB11 – building on almost every important strength that Astons have traded on for decades, before adding new ones and making the resulting car feel both brand new and warmly familiar – has done more than make a car. It has preserved a species.
The really marvellous thing about the DB11 is that it exists at all, frankly. Aston Martin’s business has burned through the fortunes of plenty of wealthy enthusiasts over its century of history and under new boss Andy Palmer it still has to prove that it can consistently turn a profit and pay back its creditors. But the punt was taken regardless: a sharp intake of breath was made and the skill and expertise of a close-knit company in the English Midlands was backed.
The DB11 is what has been produced. And it’s superb, not to mention a ‘proper’ Aston Martin. It is rich and seductive in the way that its V12 sounds, and yet newly vigorous in the urgency of its pace. It is more supple-riding, comfortable and long-legged than any DB car in history, and yet also capable of setting a benchmark lap around MIRA’s Dunlop circuit that’s a closer match for that of a Porsche 911 Turbo S than a Bentley Continental GT3-R. And it is so much better appointed and better equipped than the cars built under Ford’s ownership of Aston Martin that the comparison is stark, to say the least. The DB11 is easily the greatest single step forwards that its maker has yet taken.
In a handful of ways, the car shows room for improvement, which is why it has just made our top five rather than dominating it. But you can be sure that Aston Martin will have the time to make those improvements, what with the model lifespan of a typical DB car being about twice that of a 911. And so when Autocar does its ‘50 best cars of 2027’, don’t be surprised if this automotive blueblood is still in it.