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The Aston Martin DBS - Power, Beauty, Soul


Incredible looks, Top speed 195MPH

A little pricey

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:



Road Handling



Purchase Price£105 000+



Customer serviceExcellent


Fuel consumptionPoor

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The Aston Martin DBS – Power, Beauty, Soul

>> About <<:

Before anyone starts thinking im rich... Im not. Haha, sadly I rented one of these for a track day, and as some of you know, I got to test it how a car should be tested, just like Jeremy Clarkson does, tire smoking it around a racetrack. I rented it at Brands Hatch for the day, where I was able to test its performance legally, and safely. It never left the track, so I assure all readers; I wasn’t doing all of this in Sainsbury’s car park, or round the M25.

All I can say is that it was well worth it. The sheer exhilarating thrill you get from this machine is indescribable… But in this review, I’ll do my best to give you an insight into my experience with the car. I had to sell my old Denon TU-1500D to get the remainder of the cash to buy a ticket, and you know what? Im glad I did. It was such an experience, and as a track day fanatic, it was probably, the absolute best thing I have ever done in my entire life… And I’ve been about a bit!! I would gladly sell any of my precious gear to get the adrenaline rush from this again. Give it a go folks; I hope this review entices you to try it out.

I arrived at Brands Hatch and had the car for three hours, to do as I pleased. If you want to do this yourself, you need to book in advance, and pay before you turn up to secure your place. My track day cost £165 total, which to be honest, is cheap considering a free run day (which is what I usually do) costs £95 – and its wear and tear on your own car. The only thing is, free run events last all day. Sadly, this didn’t.

>> Interior <<:


Perhaps one of the most famous features in any Aston Martin is the “Engine Start” button, which in this model is located in the very centre of the dash panel, just above the radio. You need to insert the key, and turn it two clicks, then press it. The one I had was an automatic, and either side of the “Engine Start” button, was (and im not kidding) BUTTONS that are used to change gear. You have the choice of D (Drive) N (Neutral) R (Reverse) P (Park).


The radio has an RDS display, and there are 4 presets. I was quite shocked to find that it could only programme four stations, but then I realised that if you switch to the AM band, you have a total of 8. The sound system in this thing is great – I adjusted the bass so I had the subwoofers working for me, and it’s like no other car stereo I have ever heard! I would compare the stereo to some of the very top end Pioneer, and Denon brand Hi-fi’s that I’ve reviewed; it just has perfect, definitive pitch clarity coupled with throbbing bass that when turned up nice and loud, work together to have an astonishing output, and the sense that the car audio system has a mind of its own, shaping the noise to perfect every beat, and classical string.


The buttons at the bottom of the control panel are (in order, left to right) Air Conditioning, Internal airflow, Hazard Warning lights, and Traction Control. The buttons are smaller than the gearbox buttons, and make a plastic like crunching sound when pressed. A small orange light will come on when you activate one of the functions. I was not pleased by the heater dials though – They have a great feel to them, a very smooth turn with no quartz-lock to keep them in place, but they honestly look like they were taken from a Fiat Panda. They have three options for the fan: Low, Mid, Max, then for the heat they have a simple Hot ---- Cold dial. My Renault Clio has more sophisticated features than this unfortunately. Furthermore, you can select which vents you want to use, not by twisting some horrible “on/off” dial next to the vent, but by using the well-designed knob, which has multiple functions allowing you to choose to have your face ice-blasted, or your feet roasted, as you relax into the warm leather seat… It’s not a car: It’s a massage parlour. The indicator tick is the only flaw – it has a horrible knocking noise, and is rather loud. I would prefer to listen to the exquisite sound of the roaring engine.


The leather feel to this car is purely magnifiquè! Its so soft to touch, the leather is clearly very durable, and though, but it just has that smooth, silk touch to it, with an incredible smell, that wafts into your nostrils the moment you step into the car. Comfort is everything in the Aston. You have a fuzzy soft steering wheel to grip, and incredibly comfy bucket seats, which won’t make your backside ache after a while either. This is thanks to their electric sliding seat mechanism – you can move the seat back, forward, up, down, and even recline the whole thing so you can slide back into a more relaxed position, with minimal effort.


There is a surprising large amount of space in the boot – this isn’t one of those impractical sports cars, it has a huge carpeted boot, big enough for at least 7 large bags of shopping, and don’t forget you’ve always got the back seats. The door pockets are wide enough for a few of your favourite CD Albums, but don’t go putting your hot drinks in there. The glove box isn’t that big – it has a place to put your tissues, and even has a penholder, but you’ll be stuck for space if you want to stick you’re a-Z in there, or your service book… Where the gearbox should be, there is a large compartment for drinks, or your mobile phone, and behind that, there is an ashtray, with a cigarette lighter. (12V)

>> Exterior/Engine <<:

This car is simply, a piece of art. It fully expresses the beauty that is, man made machinery. The sleek, aerodynamically designed body is smooth to touch, and has a very profound design, and you can see that there has been a lot of effort put into this car, to make it essentially, manufacturing perfection. The headlamps are round, and gradually get wider, with bright halogen lights that when on full beam, are just downright dazzling.

The engine has a serious roar to it – it does not scream like a hairdryer fiesta, it growls like a raging bull. And im sorry if im getting all cliché here, but I believe, this is one of the shoutiest cars on the road today. But not all the time. When I was taking the car into the pits, I had to stick to a low speed for health and safety reasons – and the engine just seemed to stop shouting, and started to whisper. Its delicate noise was incredible – it shouts and gets angry when you are racing, and then when you want it to quieten down for a normal, smooth drive out in town, it can.

The doors don’t clunk shut, they softly click shut. They have a quiet sense about them; even the handles don’t make much noise, but also if you yank them pretty hard, they don’t squeak or make a horrible clicking sound. The whole exterior of this thing, just feels solid. That it is well built, and that it was built with care and pride. For example, in the engine bay, you will see the “Official Aston Martin Engine Component” logo, etched into everything – this just shows that Aston Martin do actually take pride in their work, and are extremely proud to show off their creation.

The body work does not have a plastic feel to it either – it does not indent when you push it, but equally to save weight, they haven’t made the shell too thick, or added horrible chunks of plastic to the wings to bulk it out for aero dynamical reasons. They have left all the power to the engine, and not ruined the body shape just to make it go that little bit faster. Aston martin say, and I quote “The body is made from Aluminium, magnesium alloy and carbon fibre composite body, to keep the weight down, but to retain a well built durable structure.”

Gear changes are faster than you can blink. You will need to hit near the redline RPM to get a gear change if you are just flooring it in the automatic. There is quite a bit of lag between you taking your foot off to stop accelerating, and the car realising that you have done so, then it changing gear. The good thing is, once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to keep accelerating in less than a second. Its incredibly good the gearbox in this thing. The only flaw that I experienced with it is that it has quite a high “bite point” – so ramming your foot down in anger isn’t going to help.

>> Performance <<:


Honestly, the sheer power this thing has is just biblical, 0-60 in 4.3 seconds, and it will keep going on to do a top speed of a whopping 195MPH. While I was driving, I managed a top speed of just 155MPH – Not because there wasn’t enough track to go faster, but purely because I didn’t have a spare pair of trousers with me… The sheer acceleration in this thing is immense, if you don’t put your head back when setting off; you are almost guaranteed to be thrown back against the headrest. The car will simply not tolerate you sitting forward. I learnt the hard way… Coming out of an apex at about 60MPH and accelerating to above 100 is just exhilarating – you have the fantastic g-forces that thrust your body from side to side, but also this massive burst of power that launches you backwards into your comfy bucket seat. When you are travelling along at about 140MPH, the car does not scream and violently lurch about to try to hold you back, it just copes. It gets on with it, and isn’t afraid of going faster. I remember driving around one of the hairpins at 35MPH, and the engine has a nice soft growling noise to it, where it isn’t afraid of being in 5th doing that speed. Seriously, no judder, no problems, whatsoever.


Trust me, you’ll want the traction control on in this thing. I left it on for most of the time I was driving, and I remember for the brief period I had it off, it just felt like I was driving on ice. This much power coupled with its sheer brute force amount of torque is just a recipe for disaster. I often found myself in the sand traps, as I had little control to correct the over steer. With the traction control on, it is extremely responsive, and it will really show you what it can do when it gets into the long “sweeper” corners. Fishtailing is very hard to do – I couldn’t kick the back end out without the whole chassis putting up a fight about it. I found that when you turn into a hairpin, you only need to twist the wheel about one turn, and this was at roughly 25MPH. On the kinks, it’s a bit different. You feel as if the car is ready to just skid off into a hideous messy power slide, but what you actually get is a lot of grip, and a massive amount of tyre friction. I managed 110MPH around the main straight Kink at brands hatch, and it wasn’t scary at all – in fact, it was extremely fun.


Coming down from about 150MPH to 60 in order to take the first bend coming off of the main straight is not scary in this. It is just a thrill. In fact – it’s as exciting doing the braking, as it is accelerating. The brakes on this car have some seriously good disks, which couple with ABS, allow you to brake late, without locking up or making a hash out of your attempt to clip the apex. Turning whilst braking is like being in a go-kart – foot hard on the brakes, whip the steering wheel round, and the car does the rest. There weren’t many other sports cars there that were going as fast as I was around the main sweepers, and when my instructor had to emergency stop for some Muppet on my practice lap, I was lurched forward, but the car stopped way before everyone else did, and this was all over in seconds coming down from about 50MPH to 0. I praise Aston for their brakes here; they have honestly done their absolute best to make slowing down as exhilarating as speeding up.


You may have comfy leather seats, but don’t be fooled. This thing has seriously hard suspension. The essence behind the madness here is that you may break your spine going
Pictures of Aston Martin DBS V12 Coupe
Aston Martin DBS V12 Coupe !!tDE81gBm0~$(KGrHqEOKkUEyM+zgniJBMw,j87leQ~~_12 -
Aston Martin DBS V12 Coupe
over a pothole, but I found that I could take corners much faster, without any dire consequences. It may be a bumpy ride, I admit, but when you are taking a high-speed corner, you’ll be very glad you have that suspension. It is not the most comfortable to drive at high speed, but at low speed, and when driving around corners, this thing makes you feel that little more relaxed. I noticed white knuckled drivers fishtailing past me on the hairpins, and in the Aston? I was fine. Sit back, relax, and the car will do the work for you. No bumps, and you’ll be fine. The bucket seats in this stop you from moving side to side in the corners, and they do their job exceptionally well – not only do they have large soft leather pillars down at stomach level, but they also cushion your head as you carefully glide into the high speed bends.

>> Value For Money/Depreciation/Build Quality <<

The sheer amount of effort that has gone into building these things is unbelievable. Every stitch in the leather has been carefully applied, and every panel has fantastic rigidity. The buttons feel like they are massive blocks of plastic, but at least they are attached to the dash well. While I was out in the car, I had absolutely no build quality problems, and bear in mind that I was thrashing this thing like no tomorrow – nothing broke or came of, inside or outside.

I have seen Aston Martin DBS Coupè’s that were in immaculate condition for HALF the price on eBay. For example, a 58 plate DBS with 30 000 miles on the clock in excellent condition, with tax, FSH, will set you back between £45 000 - £75 000. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to stop it. The moment you drive it out of the show room you have already lost thousands and thousands of pounds. Just beware if you are buying one brand new. If you are buying one brand new, you’ll need to fork out roughly between £110 000 and £140 000 (depending on the optional extra’s you would like, and what sort of trim you want) so you better have your wallet at the ready…


· Engine: 6.0 Litre 48-valve V12 (Top Speed: 195MPH)
· Transmission: 6-Speed Manual (optional 6-Speed Automatic)
· Drivetrain: RWD (Rear Wheel Drive)
· Curb Weight: 1,695 kg (3,740 lb)
· City Fuel Economy: 12 mpg-US (20 L/100 km; 14 mpg-imp)
· Highway Fuel Economy: 18 mpg-US (13 L/100 km; 22 mpg-imp)
· Horsepower: 510 hp (380 kW; 517 PS) at 6500 rpm
· Torque: 420 lb·ft (569 N·m) at 5750 rpm
· Wheelbase: 107.9 in (2,741 mm)
· Length: 185.9 in (4,722 mm)
· Width: 75.0 in (1,905 mm)
· Height: 50.4 in (1,280 mm)

>> Overall <<:

This car is the “crème de la crème” of all sports cars. I cannot imagine why anyone would choose a Ferrari over this. Its more sophisticated, it has the perfect outlook that other cars don’t have. It has the image that it’s a lovely saloon car, but when you open the taps, it unleashes a raging beast of an engine under the bonnet. Just sitting in the car, stationary will make you think “wow, what a machine” and that’s when you find that you are sitting in a rocket of pure engineering beauty. So, what have I learned from my experience? Well, Aston Martin has proved that their slogan “Power, Beauty, Soul” is true, or at least it is in this case. Its not some boy racers speed demon, it is a sophisticated gentleman, that has a heart of fury. When you drive this car, you get a sense of no longer being apart of the Hoi Polloi. The more laps I did in this car, the more it grew on me. Yes there are things I hate – Its indicator tick, and heating system just being a couple to name, but its sheer brute power that can calm down when you just want a relaxing drive, has made it (for me personally) the best British sports car out there today, and fully makes up for it’s flaws.

If you do have £100 000 to spend on a car; get this new. If you only have £50 000 to spend, get an 08 plate one used off eBay, and for this money, you can get one in immaculate condition. And even if you cannot afford that – get yourself a track day experience with one of these things just like I did. The car is practically showing off… And that at this end of the market is a very good thing indeed.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my review of the Aston Martin DBS – And even if you cannot afford it, I hope this has enticed you to take it for a spin on the racetrack, which is where this car really does belong. If not, then I hope this has been educational for you – people see this as a tire-smoking thug, but it is much, much more than that. Getting back in my Clio was disheartening, but I’m sure you will enjoy it, just as much I did.

Thank you, for taking the time to read my review, of the Aston Martin DBS.

-FORCE (Martin)


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Comments about this review »

PRO-REVIEWER 11.04.2011 02:01

Sorry but if I were about to splash out over a hundred grand on a car I would be looking for an opinion from someone that owned one and not someone that had played around with one for a few hours.

CGholy 19.03.2011 16:45

This looks fun to drive.

macgirl147 10.03.2011 17:12

Fantastic review! :D E from me !

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Product Information »

Product details

Body Type Coupe
Fuel Type Petrol
Weight 1695
Length 4721
Width 1905
Height 1280
Avg Price 159043
Type Car
Power 510
Cylinders V12

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Review Ratings »

This review of Aston Martin DBS V12 Coupe has been rated:

"exceptional" by (25%):

  1. macgirl147
  2. zoe_page
  3. dee7778

and 11 other members

"very helpful" by (55%):

  1. dbuk2000
  2. rojm
  3. Jake_Speed

and 28 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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