Used Aston Martin Dbs
A history lesson…
Everyone has a favourite Bond. Even those who don't actually go to see the films still have an opinion. It's the same with Aston Martins. People never lucky enough to get behind the wheel will still argue for the merits of their favourite model. Aston Martin has that kind of hold on the psyche of the British motoring enthusiast. The Aston Martin DBS fuels those kinds of debates. Arriving in 2007 to replace the Vanquish, it provided the spectacular ride for a new James Bond. As it turns out, Daniel Craig has survived longer as Bond than the DBS did as a replacement for the Vanquish, with the Vanquish returning in 2012. For some though, the DBS is a perfect blend of DB9 and Vanquish and represents the true Grand Tourer heritage of Aston Martin. Rather like a cross between Daniel Craig and Sean Connery perhaps.
Bang for your buck
Well it's going to be a big bang and quite a lot of bucks too for that matter. The DBS was heralded by Aston Martin as the 'culmination of the DB bloodline' which is quite a title to live up to. Designer Marek Reichman was asked to take the DB9 and made it lower, wider and that bit more aggressive. He succeeded too. Not as extreme looking as a Vanquish, it's your beautiful wife in an evening gown; Daniel Craig in that tailored dinner jacket. It's a DB9, only more so. In performance terms, it's that bit more focused. This is a Grand Tourer able to hold its own on the track. That is the essential debate about the DBS: is it just a DB9 which goes a bit faster, or is it greater than the sum of those DB9 parts? Supporters will claim the latter.
What you'll pay
Aston Martin only made available 500 of these cars internationally per year, so scarcity is a factor here. Added to that is the short life span which means that this model will forever be rare and for some has the makings of a classic. Aston Martin's hugely increased residuals are also at play when looking for a used DBS. These factors combine to give a price of around £80,000 for an early 2008 model DBS Coupe with around 25,000 miles on the lovely clock. They are a lot easier to find in manual form rather than the Touchtronic autos, because many Aston Martin buyers missed the manual from the previous Vanquish model and jumped at the chance of the sportier Aston with a stick shift. Early Volante convertibles will drop you around £100,000 on a fine car with an impeccable service record.
What to check
You won't be surprised to learn that these cars tend to be driven quickly, so look out for stone chipping damage at the front. This probably means that the previous owner hasn't specified the paint protection option, so that could end up costing you money over the long term. The satellite navigation system has been known to have a few glitches, so make sure you have this demonstrated and it's working properly. The hand-built V12 engines are essentially Vanquish and are pretty near infallible but there are some accessories which can cost you. You need the Eurowatch Tracker with an annual fee of £250, so make sure you get a tracker fob and that it's paired to your phone. Also consider a spare plastic key (or 'emotional control unit' as Aston would have it) just in case you smash the £700 glass original.
You really shouldn't be thinking about parts prices if you're buying one of these. A 'reconditioned' starter motor is £200. Let's leave it at that.
How it drives
On paper, the Aston Martin DBS is only a shade faster than the DB9 and actually a little less powerful than the Vanquish it replaced. But that is misleading. Aston Martin has introduced carbon fibre panels along with lighter brakes and seats. This has trimmed 120kg from the weight of the Vanquish and the DBS is a significantly quicker car to drive. From pavement pose to sixty takes a shade over four seconds and the car continues to 100mph in only 9.4 seconds. If you're on a track, or a runway, the top speed is 191mph. In short, this is a beautifully focused Grand Tourer which rewards enthusiastic drivers with jaw-dropping performance. The best DB? It's all a matter of opinion.