Pros: Reasonable pricing (for an Aston); beautiful styling; incredible sound
Cons: Looks a lot like the other Astons; no rear seat; still pretty expensive to buy and own
What's New: The V8 Vantage is largely unchanged for the 2014 model year, which many enthusiasts expect to be its last before a full redesign.
Don't be fooled that the 2014 Aston Martin V8 Vantage is the brand's smallest and least-expensive car. No, it may not have the road presence of Aston's larger DB9 and Vanquish, but the Vantage still offers just as much excitement, interior quality and exterior beauty. And it boasts that characteristic Aston Martin exhaust note.
The V8 Vantage is offered in two versions. Shoppers who don't need monstrous power will be fine with the standard V8 Vantage, which boasts 420 horsepower through its 4.7-liter V8 engine. That model starts around $117,500 if you choose a coupe, or $132,000 if you opt for the gorgeous soft-top Roadster. But be forewarned: Prices climb quickly if you add options.
If you're looking for even more performance, you'll want the V8 Vantage S. That model adds just 10 hp under the hood, but packs wider tires, a sportier exhaust note and a host of styling revisions. It starts around $131,500 for the coupe or $152,000 for the drop-top Roadster.
What we especially like about the 2014 Aston Martin V8 Vantage is you can still get it with a stick shift. While the sporty Vantage S only comes with the brand's increasingly refined 7-speed automatic, the standard model offers a 6-speed manual or the optional automatic. Either transmission is excellent, but it's nice to know the manual is still available.
If you're interested in a Vantage, you should be aware a new model is expected soon. While the brand seems intent on keeping the current design around through 2014, most enthusiasts expect a brand-new V8 Vantage in 2015.
Aston shoppers should also be aware that there's an even more powerful Vantage on the market for drivers who really enjoy speed. The V12 Vantage boasts a whopping 565 hp, though its $182,000-plus price tag is just as staggering. We've covered it in a separate overview.