Used car buying guide: Aston Martin Vantage

If you can’t afford the £120,000, or purchase a example of the all-new Aston Martin Vantage V8 4.0 slated for release later this year, you may want to consider its ancestor, usually available from around £30,000 for a 2006-reg manual with 50,000 miles and full Aston service history.

See the Aston Martin Vantage for sale at PistonHeads

It is tempting, especially since the previous-gen V8 Vantage looks sensational and has the reputation of being one of the best built Astons yet. Okay, you say, this is not saying much, but its engine is rock-solid, and, with the exception of occasional paint bubbling, the body is holding up well.

Moreover, in general, the cars seem to have been well looked after and not to run to well over 70 000 km. There are many multiple owner examples (usually five guards), but as a dealer once said to me, it is five of the honeymoon periods where no expense has been spared to keep the new wife (or husband).

The V8 Vantage coupe has been launched in 2005 with a revving all-alloy 4.3-litre V8 producing 380bhp and 302lb ft, driving the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or Speedshift six-speed semi-automatic. Suspension aluminium double wishbones front and rear anti-roll bars. The body is aluminum and, as standard, the interior is trimmed in leather and the fascia alloy, while the seatsare 10-way power adjustment. Original Options included a sat-nav that was bad at the time. The Roadster followed in 2007, and the price of these now start at around £35,000.

There were mutterings about the car’s relative lack of torque at low rpm, but Aston is already working on a more powerful engine, it was released in 2008. The 4.7 V8, which has replaced the 4.3, produces 420 hp, but, above all, 347lb ft at low rpm. Thus equipped, a Vantage 4.7 covers 0-62mph in 4.7 sec, two-tenths faster than the 4.3, but it is in the middle of the range that the power increase is most strongly felt. The 4.7 is cleaner than the 4.3 but the road tax starts at £400 compared to the 4.3 £165. Other changes include a new centre console and new 19in alloy wheels.

The price for the 4.7 start at around £42,000 (we spied a 2009-reg, one owner 4.7 coupe with 35k miles and full Aston history for £42,480) but £50,000-plus is the most soft 2010-reg cars and the young people resident.

During this time, in 2008, envious 4.3 the owners have had the chance to upgrade their Vantage with a new intake system and ecu software, which have increased the power to 400bhp and torque to 310lb ft. The 4.7-popular Sports Pack option, including Bilstein shock absorbers and lightweight alloys, was also available. It is good to keep an eye on these.

Obviously, with his extra muscle, a 4.7 would be nice to have, but a cherished 4.3 is the best value. It is also a poignant beauty. If you do not have to take a look back at every time you walk away, you don’t deserve.

How to get it in your garage:

An expert – STUART GOLDSMITH, SENIOR ENGINEER, RIKKI CANN

“The Vantage’s V8 engine is strong and reliable, but it does not like to be taken for granted. Make sure that the car has been properly maintained. This does not mean that the work must have been carried out by main dealers. The network specialist of the service is just as good if not better since they work on a wide variety of cars. Check out the good tires have been mounted and are in good condition. Air-conditioning and heating controls need to be working properly because they can be very expensive to put right. When they are properly maintained to the standard that you expect of an Aston Martin V8 Vantage can be surprisingly affordable.”

Buyer beware…

ENGINE The alternator belt may sound cold, but a modification of the pulley of the treaty. Over-revving the cold can damage the engine. Verify that the exhaust bypass valve has not been tampered with. Oil strainers on the 4.3 should be removed and cleaned in the service.

TRANSMISSION – Wait for the first and second gear selection to be sticky when it is cold. The clutch lasts up to 40 000 km with care and is around £3000 to replace.

The WHEELS, BRAKES AND SUSPENSION – Check tires for alignment. Use worn discs and pads as a bargaining ploy. Low mileage cars may have a leaking shock absorbers and broken springs. Bolts to realign the geometry of grasp and can be expensive to replace. Rear hub lower bush housings crack.

BODY – Check the penetration of water in the trunk caused by an obstruction of the drainage holes. Any rust is likely to be a bodged crash repair. Look for paint defects at the base of the pillars and around the parking sensors. Check for a loose and fading of the grid. The oxidation of aluminium can be a problem on the first car and affects rear-view mirror rods, rear door and inside door handles. The paint on the vertical bars behind the grille can flake off.

INSIDE – The sat-nav can be slow, and the plastic gears that open the screen is prone to breakage. Check the leather for wear and cracks. Dash-tops suffer from withdrawal.

Also useful to know:

You can buy an extended warranty from Aston Martin at a price. We have been quoted £2192 for the period of 12 months in a Premium cover and £1498 for More. The car must be inspected by a dealer Aston for £600. Then, you must wait 90 days before the date of the guarantee is applied, after which the car must be inspected again, for £300.

How much to spend:

£29,000 – £34,995 – A gap of 4.3 coupe manual (certain cars) launch 2008/57-reg, many with full Aston service history.

£29,000 – £34,995 – A gap of 4.3 coupe manual (certain cars) launch 2008/57-reg, many with full Aston service history.

£35,000 – £39,995 – Sub-40k mile 4.3 coupe manual, plus a pinch of Roadsters.

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

£45,000-£49,995 – The best 4.3 Roadster of the car, but the quality of the 4.7 s Roadsters and coupes are now available in number.

£50,000-£69,995 – make your choice of 2010-15-reg 4.7 s.

The one that we found:

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

There are a lot of nice-sounding Benefits to this money, but this private-sale car is distinguished for its full Aston service history and new clutch, discs and pads. In Addition, you can tell a lot about a car from its owner.

John Evans

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