‘The colour hooked me – then I drove it’
Aston Martin first-timer David Collins wasn’t sure – but now has absolutely no regrets about splashing out on an ex-demo DB11
‘The V12 is quick when you want it to be, but it feels like it’s ticking over most of the time’
IT’S A CAR TO FALL IN LOVE WITH
I’d previously owned a couple of Porsche Boxsters, and then in 2017 bought a new McLaren 570GT. However, I had reliability issues with it, so I rejected it. I then looked at a Mercedes C63 S and the AMG GT, but my step daughter said why not an Aston Martin? I hadn’t really considered an Aston before because of their previous Ford ownership, using Ford and Volvo parts, perceived reliability issues and an ageing model line. In April 2018 I visited my local dealer in Chichester to test drive the V8 version of the DB11, which was impressive, and then saw their 66-plate, 2017model year demonstrator V12 Launch Edition on the forecourt. It’s the Shanghai Fashionista spec in Frosted Glass Blue (from Aston’s ‘Q’ personalisation service) with the contrasting black roof, B&O sound system, heated and ventilated seats and blue and ivory leather interior. The colour hooked me, and once I’d driven it, I knew it was the car. My wife also fell in love with it, not having been a fan of the McLaren.
SO FAR BEYOND EXPECTATIONS
Having had the car for 16 months now, I’m still really pleased with it. We’ve been on extensive trips around the UK, and it is so comfortable and e ortless to drive. The V12 sounds lovely, it’s quick when you want it to be, especially when you’re in Sport mode, but feels like it’s ticking over most of the time. Around town I get 20-25mpg, and up to 30 on a long run. It draws a lot of attention as well. Not that it’s been completely fault-free. The day after I collected it, the engine management light came on, which turned out to be a failed catalytic converter; I thought they lasted the life of the car. One of the soft-close bonnet latches failed twice. The service from Aston Martin has been excellent to date, and an Aston courtesy car was provided each time.
FOR AN EXPENSIVE CAR, IT’S CHEAP IN PLACES
I wasn’t a fan of the tablet-style infotainment screen when I first saw it. I much prefer integrated ones. Although it works very well, I’m aware it’s last-gen tech from Mercedes. For a car that costs £170k new, I’m surprised there is no auto high beam, tra c sign recognition, or Apple CarPlay. My Fiesta runabout has all these as standard. The chrome-e ect control knobs on the air vents feel very cheap and are plastic. A bit of cost-saving there, I think. The rest of the interior seems well put together, though. Insurance and road tax are around £500 each. The first five years servicing are included in the cost of the car from new, so I have three more free services. As the car is only used as a weekend car and for occasional long trips, I’ve done only 6000 miles.
COLOUR ME CONVERTED
The retail values for early DB11s is now around £100k, and I would probably lose about £50k if I traded it in now, so the gap to a new model is growing. But I enjoy driving it so much that this one would be a keeper anyway.