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."

Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
  • Get to the point
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

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

    £20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

    Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

    War with Isis

    Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
    Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

    A spring in your step?

    Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

    Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
    Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

    Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

    For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
    Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

    Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

    As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
    The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

    UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

    Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

    Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
    Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

    Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

    If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
    10 best compact cameras

    A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

    If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
    Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

    Paul Scholes column

    Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
    Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
    Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?