The cabin of the Vantage works well, as we've come to expect from contemporary Aston Martins; the seats are comfortable for long journeys and thankfully drop low enough in the car, although their lateral support can’t match those in a Porsche 911 Carrera. Behind the seats there’s a useful carpeted storage area – big enough for a briefcase – complete with evocative aluminium roll-over bars.
The Vantage is a hatchback, and the 300-litre boot under the parcel shelf is well shaped as well as copious for the class. It was a shame our road test car was in a rather dull interior colour and trim combination as some of the optional finishes look very appealing.
As time has progressed since the Vantage’s launch, Aston has become more generous with the standard equipment levels. On the outside the Vantage V8 S comes with 19in alloy wheels, a limited slip differential, sports suspension, a carbonfibre front splitter and rear diffuser and rear parking sensors, while inside there is swathes of leather, Garmin satellite navigation, climate control and Bluetooth.
The Vantage V12 S gets much the same standard equipment and gains adaptive suspension, carbon ceramic brake discs, touches of Alcantara, LED ambient interior lighting, and 19in alloys shod in Pirelli P-Zero rubber instead of the Bridgestone Potenza on the V8 S.
Aston prides itself on offering ‘bespoke tailoring’ of vehicles and it remains easy for prospective owners to rapidly inflate the list prices of their orders.
The driver’s environment is a bit of a mixed bag. The leather wheel is slabby in design and not as contoured to hold as we’d like, but the gear lever is well designed, wile the alloy pedals look good and are well spaced for heel-and-toe changes. The stereo looks good, with its green lighting, but the sound is tinny and there’s poor bass reproduction; again, we suspect Aston wants you to tick the box for the (pricey) audio upgrade.