Buyer Guide: 2004-2011 Aston Martin DB9

[Editor's Note: This article originally ran in the May 2014 issue of Classic Motorsports.]

When it was introduced at the 2003 Frankfurt auto show, the Ian Callum and Henrik Fisker-designed DB9 was considered one of the most stunning designs of any GT car. It was the first model to be constructed in Aston Martin’s new Gayton production facility. It incorporated the lessons learned from the DB7 and the Vanquish and became the first clean-slate Aston Martin in decades.

At launch, the DB9 coupe’s base cost was $155,000, with the convertible Volante starting at $170,000. Times have changed, and the recent facelift caused the values of the earlier models to drop. These days, you can buy a nice coupe or Volante for as little as $60,000. These cars are likely still depreciating, but we don’t expect them ever to be sold for less than $50K due to their rarity and exclusivity. The time to pounce is just around the corner.

The DB9 is powered by a 6-liter V12 engine that features 510 horsepower and 457 ft.-lbs. of torque. It is linked to a six-speed, paddle-shift automatic transmission. This is enough to hurtle the car from zero to 60 in 4.8 seconds and give it a top speed of 186 mph.

The DB9’s interior was light years ahead of the interior of its DB7 predecessor. Gone was the obvious Ford-derived switchgear, replaced with lots of bespoke buttons, switches and other fittings. The materials were better all around, as were the ergonomics: comfortable seats, logical button and switch placement, and the most beautiful instrument cluster of any modern car.

The quality of the materials and the great performance tick all the boxes for us. The amount spent on the DB9’s construction is made quite apparent, no matter where you look. This is a $150,000-plus car that looks and feels every bit of its price. 

Although the DB9 is larger than, say, a Porsche Boxster, it still handles as well as any other top-tier sports car. Before you deride it for having a paddle-shifting automatic transmission, we urge you to try one. Its reaction time and smoothness will surprise you. 

Care & Feeding

As with any of our other “Depreciation Station” supercars, you can’t maintain the DB9 for the same cost as a Camry. However, these cars have proved themselves to be extremely reliable and trouble-free. Only the cars that haven’t been properly maintained seem to have issues. 

Make sure you only consider buying a DB9 that has a complete and up-to-date service history. Also, only an authorized Aston Martin facility should have performed the work.

Last Piece of Advice

If you’ve always wanted an Aston Martin, there are few–if any–better deals out there than a DB9. The cars offer a fully developed design in a reliable and beautiful package, with performance and exclusivity to match its looks. Find a good car, drive it to Monterey this year for sports car week, and be the envy of your friends.

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