Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

Let’s cut to the chase and talk about the Aston Martin Rapide’s single biggest bone of contention: the relatively tight proportions of the rear seats. The fact is that if you are over six feet tall and the person driving is of a similar height, you will struggle to get comfortable in the back of the Rapide – despite the seats themselves being beautifully sculpted and trimmed in ultra-high-quality leather. 

Not even the ability to individually control the air conditioning system from side to side will make up for the lack of knee room if you are over six feet tall – and that could well be a defining issue for some owners.

Tall transmission tunnel means two kids can’t both get into the rear cabin from the kerbside

If you are shorter you will find the rear seats comfortably snug but still far from luxurious, which is a pity because the rest of the interior is absolutely outstanding. Build quality is, if anything, better than ever – while the combination of a very high standard specification and genuinely beautiful design touches mean the Rapide’s cabin is a hugely appealing place in which to find yourself.

In the end, the space compromise is one that will affect some buyers more than it will others – and it extends to the boot, which is an awkward shape and has a capacity of just 317 litres with the rear seats up (although this can be extended to 886 litres if you are prepared to fold the seats down). 

If there’s one other criticism it is that Aston’s standard dash layout, which features in the Rapide, puts form ahead of function. The jewel-like dials are beautiful to look at, but difficult to read.

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But from a quality perspective the Rapide’s cabin has an awful lot going for it, especially beside the likes of the bigger but nowhere near as appealing Porsche Panamera.