Pros: A less-expensive way to enter the world of Aston ownership; Stunning exhaust note, whether inside or out; Vastly improved interior materials compared to early; Vantage models; Handsome, timeless design will always turn heads; Manual transmission still offered for purists

Cons: No rear seat - not that you'd use it; Though it's a cheaper Aston, it's still expensive

What's new: The 2013 Aston Martin V8 Vantage is mostly unchanged. For 2012, the V8 Vantage got a new transmission, revised styling and upgraded brakes.

Overview:

Despite its six-figure base price, the V8 Vantage is Aston's entry-level model. Initially released for 2006, the V8 Vantage lineup has grown since its debut. Today, it offers two body styles: a coupe and a soft-top convertible called the Roadster. A high-performance V8 Vantage S, which also comes in coupe or Roadster guise, joined the lineup for 2011. The high-performance V12 Vantage tops the model's range.

Base-level V8 Vantage models use a 420-horsepower 4.7-liter V8. A six-speed manual is standard, while a seven-speed automatic is optional. The V8 Vantage S only offers the seven-speed automatic, and boasts a slightly stronger 430 hp. V8 Vantage S models also include a sportier exhaust note, wider tires and styling revisions. Drivers who step up to the V12 Vantage get 510 horsepower.

Pricing for the 2013 Aston Martin V8 Vantage starts around $122,000, while Roadster models add around $14,000 to that figure. The high-performance V8 Vantage S commands a $137,000 starting price. The V8 Vantage S Roadster starts around $151,000.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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