Compared with the Murciélago it replaces, the Lamborghini Aventador is as a supercomputer to an abacus, and were verdicts determined on such grounds alone, the Aventador would earn the full five stars.

In fact, it doesn’t even get near this ultimate accolade. In certain rare conditions where the roads are wide, open, quiet and immaculately surfaced, we can see a driver deriving as much enjoyment from an Aventador as he might from any other supercar – perhaps even more. But introduce even a few of the limitations of the real world and its composure starts to crack and crumble.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
Improve the stereo. We know you’re meant to listen to the sonorous V12 engine, but there’s no excuse for tinny sound

Two issues in particular are its undoing. By the standard of modern paddle-shift transmissions, the gearbox is poor even in its optimal configuration and simply unpleasant in any other. More damning still is the ride, which means that while there are some roads in the UK where the car can be enjoyed, the journey there and back is likely to be so uncomfortable that you might not even bother.

There are aspects of the Lamborghini Aventador we truly love; its looks and engine, for instance, are unquestionably landmarks of design and engineering. But not even they can lift the sense of disappointment that surrounds the rest of this car.

While it is undoubtedly lighter, quicker, stronger and stiffer than its predecessor, it is as a device to grab you by the heart and never let go that is the first duty of all V12 Italian supercars. And while here the Lamborghini Aventador takes an equally massive leap, this time it is in the wrong direction. Which is why we would suggest that if you must follow your heart to look towards the Aventador Superveloce or the Aventador S.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    24 January 2018
    Distinctive Range Rover Evoque rival has a charm of its own and a surprising amount of ‘big Volvo’ laid-back luxury feel. Few in the class are more worthy of a premium
  • Audi RS4 Avant
    First Drive
    22 January 2018
    We get our hands on the barnstorming Audi RS4 Avant in the UK to see if this fast family estate can take the fight to the Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate
  • BMW X3
    Car review
    19 January 2018
    The stakes have never been higher for BMW’s mid-sized SUV, now the X3 in its third generation. So can it deliver?
  • Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    19 January 2018
    Better looks, better value, better range, stronger performance and a quiet and relaxing drive make the Nissan Leaf a leading EV contender again
  • Volkswagen Up GTI
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Funky, light, enjoyable and even reasonably priced, the Volkswagen Up GTI is a car to be appreciated on its own compelling terms