As anyone in the market for a used performance or luxury car will know, it’s all too easy to default to the conventional options.
Brands such as Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are all likely to appear at or near the top of many buyers’ lists. If you’ve a more substantial budget, then no doubt you’ll be considering something more exotic from manufacturers such as Ferrari, Maserati or Lamborghini.
A used Aston Martin, however, could just as easily make a viable option. Many Astons also offer a more exclusive, refined and desirable image than some of the more exuberant or overly prevalent rivals.
You can be certain that any Aston will endeavour to deliver comfort, performance and a genuine thoroughbred feel. So just what kind of used Aston Martin can you expect to take pride of place in your driveway?
£20k: Aston Martin Virage Coupe (1989-2000)
The Aston Martin Virage was unveiled at the British motor show, held at the Birmingham NEC, in October 1988, a mere two and a half years after its conception.
With Aston not having produced an all-new car in two decades by this point, the Virage — which succeeded the long-lived V8 featured Aston Martin V8 below — needed to be a completely new car. As such, the model received a new body, chassis, cabin, suspension and braking system along with a heavily revised engine.
With a two-tonne kerb weight, dimensions to trouble a regular-size parking space, and a punchy 330bhp 5.4-litre V8, the Virage was a dyed-in-the-wool British muscle car.
Besides being capable of 0-60mph in 6.8sec, the Virage was also comfortable and refined.
Originally the Virage cost £125,000, but now you can pick one up for as little as £20,000. A car at that price will be far from concours condition, but it should be usable and have around 60,000 miles on the clock.
Besides the usual checks, look carefully for any evidence of corrosion or crash damage. Elsewhere, it’s important to check the condition of the Virage’s 32-valve V8.
£35k: Aston Martin V8 Vantage (2005-present)
The V8 Vantage, which was launched in 2005, has played the biggest part in the revival of the Aston Martin brand over the past decade.
Early models came with a 4.3-litre V8 that produced 376bhp and 302lb ft, allowing the Vantage to sprint from 0-62mph in 5.0sec and on to a top speed of 175mph.
Regardless of which variant you choose, the Vantage has a lot going for it. Its build quality is good, it’s a manageable size, it withstands daily use without issue and it’s a capable performer that’s rewarding to drive.
There are only a few downsides. Some may find the steering a little numb, while the ride quality can occasionally be on the poor side.
An early 4.3-litre car, from around 2006, should set you back approximately £35,000, with mileages in this price bracket ranging from 30,000 to 50,000. Full Aston Martin service history is desirable, but services from reputable specialists are acceptable.