What to know before you buy a Aston Martin DB9

Photography Courtesy Aston Martin

[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.

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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Ebby New Reader
12/14/22 9:33 a.m.

I have a 2005 Volante, with 14500 miles on the ODO. Car is near perfect and when I purchased it, it was advertised as Accident Free, with a clean Tennessee title. Contacted prevous owner and he tells me car was severly damaged in a 2011 crash near Miami Florida. The rebuilder did a magnificient job---but as you know, the car´s value is diminshed and I am wondering what percentage should be used in fuguring out a price for the car. It is an auto, Silver  with gray interior. Everything works except the GPS unit. Anybody have any ideas?

Anybody know about this car? Thanks, Mike E



Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
12/14/22 9:51 a.m.

In reply to Ebby :

I don't have any personal experience with your situation, but we do have an article that discusses diminished value. You can read it here.

Hopefully, this helps.

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