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."

Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
Sport
Vincenzo Nibali rides into Paris on the final stage of the 2014 Tour de France
Tour de FranceVincenzo Nibali is first Italian winner since Marco Pantani in 1998
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Sport
Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo (C) celebrates with Scuderia Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (L) and Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton
sport
Arts and Entertainment
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmComedy was dominated by the romcom at its most insufferable
Sport
Tour de France competitor Bartosz Huzarski’s legs have highlighted the gruelling nature of the race, after he posted a picture on Facebook showing extremely prominent veins stretching from his feet and all the way up his legs
Commonwealth Games
Life and Style
Elle Kaye demonstrates the art of taxidermy
food + drinkFood revolution taken a step further in new ‘edible taxidermy’ class
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
Halsall broke her personal best in the 50m butterfly
Commonwealth GamesEnglish swimmer is reborn after disastrous time at London 2012
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Voices
The Express offices in the 1930s when writers (such as Orwell) were paid around £2 weekly
voicesWebsites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
A cut above: Katy Guest at The Ginger Pig
food + drinkThe Ginger Pig's hands-on approach to primary cuts
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

    Data Analyst

    £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable software house is looking ...

    Application Support Analyst / Junior SQL Server DBA

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...

    Commercial Litigation

    Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION SO...

    BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried