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Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

It is an odd effect of Aston Martin interiors that you can simultaneously be taken by the appearance and sensations brought by the high-class leather, glass buttons and general luxury, and also be disappointed by the plastic indicator stalks and the cheap feel of some switchgear.

Every Aston Martin currently in production has been criticised for parts of its interior finish, and the Virage is no exception.

The gearbox reverts to manual mode whenever the car is started, requiring a push of the ‘D’ button to activate the auto setting

Elements of it have been improved drastically, most notably the new high-definition sat-nav system, which has been co-developed with Garmin. But beyond this, the Virage’s interior is remarkably similar to those of the rest of the Aston range.

It’s the same central unit in which a glass key is placed to start the car, the same big, square air vents and the same not-quite-good-enough rotating dials and unintuitive wheel-mounted buttons.

The gripes don’t end there. Oddly, the Volante must be had as a 2+2 - the coupé can be had with either seats or a parcel shelf in the rear of the cabin.

Because of the more restrictive roof on the Volante, the rear seats are unusable for anything with legs and a head. Still, they make for useful luggage space, which you’ll need.

In either bodystyle, the boot is good enough for light use but it is hardly spacious. The Volante gives 32 litres to the coupe's 184 litres, and you’ll have to lose the collapsible wind deflector that takes up most of the room when stored in the boot.

Aston Martin Virage 2011-2012 news

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The driving position is also hit and miss. Despite the 10-way adjustable seats, it’s difficult to get a comfortable position, and the very solid (if nicely supportive) seats are not the best we’ve seen in top-end GTs.

Even with all these niggling frustrations, the Virage cabin is aesthetically lovely and in keeping with the sumptuous, over-indulgent nature of the car. There’s no doubt it could be better, but for most buyers the interior will only emphasise the Virage’s aspirational quality.