2012 Aston Martin DB9

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2012 Aston Martin DB9 Review

An exciting, everyday GT.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview
If there was a 'Goldilocks' Aston Martin, the 2012 Aston Martin DB9 would be it. Lacking the edgy demeanor of the harder-core DBS, but with more punch and panache than the entry-level V8 Vantage, the DB9 is Aston Martin's well-rounded grand touring machine.

With the Aston family 470-horsepower V-12 engine sitting up front mated to a six-speed automatic, the DB9 is primed for effortless cruising at triple-digit speeds for as long as it has fuel in the tank. The interior, with push-button automatic transmission selectors, makes for an impression, though a few ergonomic issues still remain. Adults of any size would be uncomfortable in the rear seats.

With a Volante convertible in the mix, open-air driving can also be had for a small premium, with an electronically operated, Alcantara-lined soft top that is easy and quick to raise and lower. Despite being a soft top, road and wind noise is adequately damped with the top erected. While not the greatest sports car out there, the 2012 Aston Martin DB9 does provide an optimal blend of sport and luxury at a world-class level.

The Range

Body styles: coupe, convertible
Engine: 6.0-liter V-12
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Models: DB9 coupe, DB9 convertible

What's New

After receiving a face-lift last year, the 2012 Aston Martin DB9 returns with few changes. The six-speed manual and five-spoke forged alloy wheels are no longer available. Yellow brake calipers are now optional, and a Garmin satellite navigation system replaces the old unit. Beam blade windshield wipers are newly available. A 6.0-liter V-12 remains under the hood.

Exterior

The 2012 Aston Martin DB9 looks lovely from a multitude of angles and its taut, swept-back lines give it a hint of motion even when stationary. With curvaceous lines echoing the automaker's sports coupes, this is every inch a real Aston. Nineteen-inch wheels with 20 spokes are standard. Wheels with 10-spokes are an option. Automatic sensors can deploy a roll- bar on the Volante convertible model, should it be needed. The DB9's doors open upwards at a 12-degree angle, to avoid scraping.

Interior

As with most Astons, fine leather, rich wood and aluminum are plentiful in the DB9's cabin. The DB9 is technically a 2+2, but the rear seats are a squeeze and not practical. The front seats are comfortable and offer ample legroom. The 700-watt stereo features Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, and an MP3 jack. A Bang and Olufsen stereo is an option.

Performance & Handling

Out on the road, the 2012 Aston Martin DB9 could be made just a touch softer. Initial impact harshness is a bit strong for the nature of the car, possibly made worse by spring and damper rates that were made firmer several years back. Still, that's not enough to stave off enthusiasm for the driving experience with effortless power and an exotic exhaust growl. The Volante is well-stiffened with virtually no cowl shake and a solid feel overall.

Safety

The 2012 DB9 includes antilock brakes with brake assist, along with seat-mounted side airbags. Stability and traction control are both standard and automatically deployed roll-over bars are standard on Volante models.

EPA Fuel Economy

DB9 6.0-liter V-12: 11 mpg city/17 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Low-key yet exotic styling
  • Effortless power
  • Luxurious cabin

You Won't Like

  • Questionable reliability
  • Ergonomic faults
  • Rear seats in name only

Sum Up

An exciting, everyday GT.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Bentley Continental Supersports
  • Mercedes SL63 AMG
  • Porsche 911 Turbo

See the New 2014 DB9.

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