The Verdict: Aston Martin Vanquish

Beauty and the beast proves an irrestible package

SPECIFICATIONS

Price: £164,000;
Engine: 6.0 litre, V12, 460bhp;
Performance: 190mph, 0-60 in 5.3 secs, 16.9mpg;
CO2: 396g/km;
Worth considering: N/a.

Because of what I do for a living, and I am not ashamed to admit it in public, I often get asked what my dream car is.

You might imagine that, by now, having written about cars for a good few years and spending as much time as I do looking at cars, thinking about cars and driving cars, that question might have begun to grate.

Far from it. In fact, I still struggle to refine my lust list down to a garage of 20, let alone one, and so I usually end up giving a lecture on the pros and cons of most of the sports and saloon cars of the past 50 years, with predictably glassy-eyed, middle-distance stares as a result. Oh, I'm a party animal, me. Top of every guest list.

Luckily, Aston Martin have come to my rescue and given me a succinct response for future use: My present dream car is the Vanquish. Why? Simple: no other car combines beauty, presence, quality, class, performance, comfort, breeding and usability in such an irresistible package. Like Ms Littlewood, right, I could imagine I might tire of commuting in a Ferrari, but the Aston is a more friendly daily drive.

If you are considering buying a Vanquish, a member of your staff has most probably also arranged test drives in the Ferrari Maranello, Lamborghini Murcielago, the new Bentley Continental GT and the forthcoming Mercedes McLaren SLR.Of these, the Mercedes will undoubtedly trounce the Aston in performance, the Lamborghini will turn more heads in Casino Square and the Bentley will save you £50,000. But I suspect none will offer the lasting satisfaction of Vanquish ownership.

Mr Larsen's quibbles about inconsistent interior design are valid. If TVR can tailor unique knobs and stalks for cars that cost a third of the Vanquish price, why does Aston need to cadge plebeian bits from Fords and Volvos? I hear future Astons will be changed. About time.

But no other car sounds this magnificent; few others reward familiarisation so fulsomely, and no other car has such a sexy name. I am prepared to auction my teeth to the highest bidder. Which just leaves a shortfall of £163,995.

Jane Littlewood, 35, sales operations director, from Wilmslow, Manchester

Usual car Mercedes CLK Cabriolet

"I thought it would be a real boys' car but I loved it, and now I've driven it I would say it would definitely appeal to women. It has a soft style, almost feminine-looking. After I got the hang of the gearshift it was easier than a manual. If you owned it, journeys would be about enjoying the car rather than going places. I would rather have this than a Ferrari. You could use this as an everyday car. When you see how much dedication and effort has gone in to building this I would say it is worth the money, although it is a lot of cash. There is such passion in this car."

Christopher Blake, 51, company director, from Sindham, Bedfordshire

Usual car Audi S4

"The performance is staggering; just a quick squirt of the throttle takes you well over the speed limit. The ride quality is extremely good for a car with this road-holding. It feels so sure-footed and the brakes inspire such confidence but there would be times when I would prefer to have a manual change. But you would have to be the kind of person who has spent £10m on your house to be able to justify the price. Think of the wonderful cars you could buy for £100,000 less. In reality, I would probably have a 911 and pocket the £70,000 extra. This is more of a compromise. It is also disappointing to see the Ford bits inside."

Sebastian Sejer Larsen, 25, graphic designer from Cambridge

Usual car Citroen DS

"I felt comfortable and in control. You could use this every day, which you can't say of a lot of sports cars. The sound and feel when it hits 5,000rpm is unbelievable. It is like Clark Kent in the phone booth, you feel your clothes transforming into one of Bond's Brioni suits. The acceleration is breathtaking, although the pedal seemed bouncy. The semi-automatic transmission is smooth and takes less getting used to than you would think. The mid-section of the dashboard is way too obtrusive. Some of the materials seem cheap; it is all a bit inconsistent. But outside, it is one of the most beautiful sports cars since the late Sixties, without being retro."

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

    Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

    £10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

    £17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

    Ashdown Group: Automated Tester / Test Analyst - .Net / SQL - Cheshire

    £32000 per annum + pension, healthcare & 23 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A gro...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot