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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
i100
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

    £50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

    Systems Developer Technical Lead

    £65000 - £70000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

    Energy Engineer

    £25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy En...

    Techincal Accountant-Insurance-Bank-£550/day

    £475 - £550 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Technical Accountant-Insuran...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment