What the road testers said at the time
‘STEPPING STRAIGHT from the susurrus refinement of the Merc, the Aston seems loud, harsh and crude. It isn’t, of course, just relatively so, its temperament and character gravitating at least some of the way towards the extreme represented by the Ferrari 599. The Aston is a great car in which to attack big distances, and if it doesn’t do it with quite the Zen-like calm of the Bentley and Merc, it’s comfortable and easy on the nerves and more engaging than either.
Clear within the first few miles is the improvement in the damping [compared with the launch car that the magazine had previously tested], which feels substantially firmer than before but, importantly, much more controlled at speed. The steering’s better, too, with greater precision about the straight-ahead and more feel on lock.
Good as the earlier car’s gearchange was, this one is slicker still – though it’s still set too far back and teamed with a dead throttle action and late clutch biting point – and the ceramic brakes are phenomenal, the best here.
On challenging roads, the DBS feels lithe, threadable and immensely quick. Third gear is good for pretty much everything on the twistier stuff, providing just about perfect levels of flexibility, outright pace and engine braking. The steering is accurate and well-weighted and body control is exemplary. It makes no attempt to steamroller rucked and rutted surfaces into submission in the manner of the Bentley and the Merc, but rather tracks the undulations with no wasted body movement, using damping to desensitise its impact. That said, no-one dreams of pressing the button that activates the firmer of the Aston’s two damper settings. The car’s dominant dynamic trait is its skittish rear end, even with traction control engaged, to remind you that, thing of sonic beauty that the DBS engine is, it packs a brutal punch.’ – DBS manual vs Bentley Continental GT Speed and Mercedes CL65 AMG, evo magazine, March 2008