A V8 Vantage is a honed, luxurious but analogue-style sports car with old-school appeal — and you can get one with full Aston history for £30k
3 January 2018

If you can’t afford the £120,000 or so required to buy an example of the all-new Aston Martin Vantage V8 4.0 slated for release later this year, perhaps you’d like to consider its forebear, typically available from around £30,000 for a 2006-reg manual one with 50,000 miles and full Aston service history.

See Aston Martin Vantage for sale on PistonHeads

It’s tempting, especially since this previous-gen V8 Vantage looks sensational and has a reputation for being one of the best-built Astons yet. Okay, you say, that’s not saying much but its engine is rock solid and, apart from occasional paint bubbling, the bodies are holding up well.

What’s more, generally speaking, the cars seem to have been well looked after and not run much beyond 70,000 miles. There are lots of multiple-owner examples (typically five previous keepers) but, as a Porsche dealer once told me, that’s five honeymoon periods when no expense has been spared to keep the new bride (or groom) just so.

The V8 Vantage coupé was launched in 2005 with a free-revving all-alloy 4.3-litre V8 producing 380bhp and 302lb ft, driving the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox or Speedshift six-speed semi-automatic. Suspension is by double aluminium wishbones with front and rear anti-roll bars. The body is aluminium and, as standard, the interior is trimmed in leather and the fascia in alloy, while the seatsare 10-way electrically adjustable. Original options included a sat-nav that was bad even then. The Roadster followed in 2007 and prices for these now start at around £35,000.

There were mutterings about the car’s relative shortage of torque at lower revs but Aston was already working on a more powerful engine, which it released in 2008. The 4.7 V8, which replaced the 4.3, produces 420bhp but, crucially, 347lb ft at lower revs. So equipped, a Vantage 4.7 covers 0-62mph in 4.7sec, two- tenths faster than the 4.3, but it’s in the mid-range that the hike in power is most keenly felt. The 4.7 is cleaner than the 4.3 but road tax starts at £400 compared with the 4.3’s £165. Other changes included a new centre console and new 19in alloy wheels.

Prices for the 4.7 start at around £42,000 (we spied a 2009-reg one-owner 4.7 coupé with 35k miles and full Aston history for £42,480) but £50,000-plus is where the sweetest 2010-reg cars and younger reside.

Meanwhile, also in 2008, envious 4.3 owners were offered the chance to upgrade their Vantage with a new induction system and ECU software that boosted power to 400bhp and torque to 310lb ft. The 4.7’s popular Sports Pack option, comprising Bilstein dampers and lighter alloys, was also made available. It’s worth keeping an eye out for these.

Obviously, with its extra muscle, a 4.7 would be nice to have but a cherished 4.3 is better value. It’s just as achingly beautiful too. If you don’t throw it a backward glance every time you walk away, you don’t deserve one.

How to get one in your garage:

An expert’s view - STUART GOLDSMITH, SENIOR ENGINEER, RIKKI CANN

“The Vantage’s V8 engine is strong and reliable but it doesn’t like being taken for granted. Make sure the car has been properly serviced. That doesn’t mean the work must only have been carried out by main dealers. The specialist service network is just as good if not better since they work on a much greater variety of cars. Check the correct tyres have been fitted and all are in good condition. Air-con and heater controls need to be working correctly as they can be very expensive to put right. When properly maintained at the standard you’d expect of an Aston Martin, a V8 Vantage can be surprisingly affordable to own.”

Buyer beware…

ENGINE - The alternator belt may squeak from cold but a modified pulley cures it. Over-revving from cold can damage the engine. Check the exhaust bypass valve hasn’t been tampered with. Oil strainers on the 4.3 need to be removed and cleaned at service. 

TRANSMISSION - Expect first and second gear selection to be sticky when cold. The clutch lasts up to 40,000 miles with care and is about £3000 to replace.

WHEELS, BRAKES AND SUSPENSION - Check the tyres for alignment. Use worn discs and pads as a haggling ploy. Low-mileage cars can have leaking shocks and broken springs. Bolts to realign the geometry seize and can be costly to replace. Rear hub’s lower bush housings crack.

BODY - Check for water ingress in the boot caused by blocked drain holes. Any rust is likely to be a bodged crash repair. Look for paint defects at the base of A-pillars and around parking sensors. Check for a loose and discoloured grille. Oxidising aluminium can be a problem on early cars and affects wing mirror stems, door bottoms and inside door handles. Paint on the vertical bars behind the radiator grille can flake off.

INTERIOR - The sat-nav can be slow and the plastic gears that open the screen are prone to breaking up. Check leather for wear and splits. Dash-tops suffer shrinkage.

Also worth knowing:

You can buy an extended warranty from Aston Martin – at a price. We were quoted £2192 for 12 months’ Premium cover and £1498 for Plus. The car has to be inspected by an Aston dealer for £600. Then you must wait 90 days before cover is applied, after which the car must be inspected again, for £300.

How much to spend:

£29,000-£34,995 - A spread of 4.3 coupé manuals (some autos) from launch to 2008/57-reg, many with full Aston service history.

£29,000-£34,995 - A spread of 4.3 coupe manuals (some autos) from launch to 2008/57-reg, many with full Aston service history.

£35,000-£39,995 - Sub-40k-mile 4.3 coupe manuals, plus a sprinkling of Roadsters. 

£40,000-£44,995 - More coupé and Roadster autos. Small choice of 2008-10-reg 4.7s from £42k.

£45,000-£49,995 - The best 4.3 Roadster autos but quality 4.7s Roadsters and coupés are now available in numbers.

£50,000-£69,995 - Take your pick of 2010-15-reg 4.7s.

One we found: 

Aston Martin Vantage 4.3, 2006/06, 51k miles, £33,000

There are lots of nice-sounding Vantages at this money but this private-sale car stood out for its full Aston service history and its new clutch, discs and pads. Plus you can tell a lot about a car from its owner.

John Evans

Read more 

Aston Martin Vanquish review 

Aston Martin Vantage review 

Aston Martin Lagonda review 

Our Verdict

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The Aston Martin Vantage has an abundance of soul, and decent ability with it

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Comments
7

3 January 2018

That works out at nearly £3,000 for the first year, you'd have to have a pretty major engine or gearbox fault to make it worthwhile.

£42,000 still seems a fair chunk of money for an 8 year old car that looks a bit dated and older than it actually is but then there's not that much competition, 911 to focused, Panamera to big and ugly (but cheap), A7 to common, any Merc to German, Jag bad rep,  Model S fine for me but not for everyone's taste and the early one's didn't have that higher build quality.

So Acutual if you can suffer deprication at around £4-5,000 a year and high'ish running costs then maybe it's not such a bad deal. 

 

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

3 January 2018

it's too, not to.   And I doubt you'd lose 5k per year of a 42k car. I've not seen many Vantages below 30k, at which point they seem to bottom out.

3 January 2018

Anyway I believe you would lose a minimum of 4k a year on £42k car, especially if bought from a dealer. At 30k of course the depreciation would slow down.

Your important note about the use of the word 'too' has been noted, look forward to your grammar checks on everyone else's posts in future.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

4 January 2018

The Vantage "looks a bit dated and older than it actually is"??? Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but wow. My opinion: It was and remains one of the best looking cars ever, and deserves its place at the top of many car designers' lists of great designs. I don't think it looks dated at all -- it's one of few timeless modern car designs. If it were introduced tomorrow, people would find it gorgeous, just as they did when it was introduced, and just as they still do today. Full disclosure: I've owned an '09 4.7 from new. It's been an absolute delight to own and drive, the build quality is superb and it has been completely reliable. For what one can buy them for now, the value for money is outstanding.

3 January 2018

So, starts at ONLY thirty thousand or so do they....?, well, that’s all well and good, but really, it’s not going to be cheap to own and run is it?, most of the “what to watch out for” aren’t cheap to fix, might I suggest you set aside as amount to cover unexpected and routine services etc....

Peter Cavellini.

3 January 2018

There was a few updates for 2007, noted by the stitching on the seats base.

 

Still a very good option especially considering how ugly the replacement is!   Unlesss Khan can fix it (that's how bad the new one is - that Khan might actually be able to improve it!   There's a first for everything....).

 

3 January 2018

"lots of multiple-owner examples (typically five previous keepers) but, as a Porsche dealer once told me, that’s five honeymoon periods when no expense has been spared to keep the new bride (or groom) just so." - To counter that argument with the same analogy: It's also five periods of honeymoon nights...

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