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Aston Martin Vanquish: Buying guide and review (2001-2007)

Aston Martin Vanquish: Buying guide and review (2001-2007) Classic and Performance Car
Damnably seductive, the original Vanquish. It’s a car with vivid performance, a tremendous warmth of character and a rousing delivery that grips you from the moment you press that big red starter button and never lets you go. As when new, its charisma more than compensates for its few failings, and cements its place as one of the great Aston Martins. With early examples available for as little as £50,000, they are horribly tempting.
 
This was the last extensively hand-built Aston and the last to come from the old Newport Pagnell works, which to some makes it the last ‘real’ Aston. Not that it’s a dinosaur. In many respects it was also the first of the new-era Astons. The first to be launched under the stewardship of Dr Ulrich Bez, and the first to be built around a structure of extruded, bonded aluminium and advanced composites. 
Another break with tradition was the automated six-speed manual gearbox, which did away with a clutch pedal and introduced paddles for the first time on an Aston, side-stepping the notoriously heavyweight manual gearshifts of previous flagship models.
 
And then there was the 460bhp 5.9-litre V12, a Cosworth-led evolution of the engine that had first seen service in the DB7 Vantage. It endowed the Vanquish with suitably vivid performance – 0-60 in under 5sec, a top speed of around 190mph and a rousing soundtrack to match – while the stiff platform and beautifully controlled suspension gave the Vanquish a light-on-its-toes demeanour that was a revelation after the previous supercharged Vantage flagship. And all clothed in a body of undeniable muscularity and ‘presence’, Ian Callum’s first clean-sheet Aston design.
 
Which one to buy?
 
Any Vanquish is a desirable package, but the biggest choice you have to make is early or late model. The model evolved over the years, and the character of a launch spec Vanquish is considerably different to a last of the line Vanquish S. 
 
A really worthwhile option to seek out is the Sports Dynamic Pack, available from 2003. This added uprated suspension and brakes, but the Vanquish S, introduced in 2004 (from chassis 1506), incorporated these as standard. Along with the handling upgrades, a new aero package, improved gearshift and a power increase to 520bhp completed the package.
 
Towards the end of Vanquish production, Aston Martin Works Service was sanctioned to develop a manual gearshift conversion. Almost 70 cars have been converted so far – although a well set-up automated car is a delight in itself.
 
The Linn audio system that replaced the original Alpine hi-fi for the 2003 model year is desirable, as is full leather (some Vanquishes have Alcantara centre panels on the seats), while 2+2s are slightly more sought-after. 007-spec Tungsten paint adds value; conversely, dark blues and greens are not so saleable.
 
Performance and specs
 
Engine V12, 5935cc 
Power 460bhp @ 6500rpm 
Torque 400lb ft @ 5000rpm
Transmission Six-speed automated manual
0-60mph 5.0sec 
Top speed 190mph 
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2690mm
Length 4665mm
Width 1923mm
Height 1318mm
Kerb weight 1820kg
 
Common problems
 
A well-kept Vanquish should present with undamaged bodywork, a clean, unmarked interior and a well-populated service file – although it’s unrealistic to expect that low-mileage cars will have been religiously serviced every six months, you should still expect to see stamps and invoices for annual work. You’re unlikely to be inspecting the quality of restoration work, although few Vanquishes are still in original hands.
 
• A full service history by reputable specialists is the first box in need of ticking. Ideally Vanquishes should be serviced every six months or 7500 miles; if a car’s had anything less than an annual service it should certainly put you on your guard

• The good news is that the V12 engine is very strong, and serious faults are rare. The most common problem is with the coil packs, which suffer both from heat damage and occasionally from water ingress causing shorting. Any misfiring points to problems.

• Potentially the most serious issue is oil consumption caused by the engine ingesting its own oil vapour because the reed-type valves in the breather system have stuck open. A low oil level could eventually lead to starved big end bearings at the back of the engine. So look inside the air filter for a heavy oil deposit; anything more than a light misting could spell trouble.

• Don’t be put off by the automated manual – properly set up and driven with a little sensitivity, it’s a decent system. The Magnetti Marelli hardware sits on the back of the transaxle, providing electro-hydraulic actuation of the gearchanges.

• Early cars had analogue gear position sensors, which can wear, which is when you can get problems. Later cars (chassis 600 onwards) had magnetic sensors, which are much more robust. Most early cars have had them retro-fitted when the clutch has been replaced. The shift has benefited from software updates over the years, too.

• Unsurprisingly, clutch wear varies hugely depending on driving style. Clutches can last as few as 15,000 miles or as many as 40,000. On the test drive you’re looking for a nice crisp pull-away and a crisp change, with no slip, no untoward noises and no serious vibrations. A whistling sound as you pull away suggests spigot shaft bearing wear, which is a £2000 repair; £5000 if the shaft needs replacing too.

• The standard brakes aren’t up to track-work but are fine for anything but the most extreme road driving. Cross drillings should be cleaned as part of a service; if they’re blocked it can lead to corrosion, particularly on the inner face.

• look for bubbling at the edges of the aluminium body panels, the first signs of electrolytic corrosion, which if it develops will eventually necessitate a respray. 

• Also check the front wing strakes – they’re cast on some cars and also prone to bubbling (replacements cost around £300 each).

• The single biggest problem with the Vanquish, though, is its steel front subframe. Water gets trapped between undertray and frame, causing rust. If it’s extensive it may require replacement (£5000-plus). So remove the tray and check. 

• Also check the small steel bracket at the end of each sill. Corrosion here can spread through the mounting bolts and cause electrolytic reaction in the tub itself. The carbonfibre crash structure front and rear is visible underneath so check for signs of damage, though it is repairable.
 
Model history
 
1998: Project Vantage show car previews the Vanquish at the New York Auto Show 
2001: Production V12 Vanquish launched, minutely changed in every detail over the show car 
2003: Vanquich SDP (Sports Dynamic Pack) offered 
2004: Vanquish S launched (from chassis no 1506); more power, improves chassis and aerodynamics 
2007: Production ceases at Newport Pagnell after 2593 Vanquishes built in total, including final 40 Ultimate Edition cars
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• www.astonmartinworks.com
• www.nicholasmee.co.uk
• www.amoc.org 
• www.amocna.org
 
Summary and prices
 
This was (and remains) a car of strong character, great style and effortless (200mph!) performance, with a unique place in history as the last of the artisan Astons – and prices seem set to continue rising. Fancy a Vanquish? Better act quick.
 
Well-cared-for examples are creeping up in value. Expect to pay from £55,000 upwards for a well-maintained early Vanquish today. Values are just starting to move ahead, and early cars are starting to sell for between £60,000 and £75,000, while a nice S is £100,000 and an Ultimate Edition [the run-out model, just 50 made] is way beyond that. Predictably, mileage, service history and condition count most, but specification also plays a part.
 
Words: Peter Tomalin/Vantage magazine
Last updated: 26th Jan 2016
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Aston Martin Vanquish
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  • ASTON MARTIN VANQUISH S 2+2 Auto

    £189,995 £189,995

    Type: Used Year: 2007 Make: ASTON MARTIN Model: VANQUISH Trim: S 2+2 Auto Body: Coupe Trans: Automatic Mileage: 5528 Engine Size: Ext Color: Onyx Black

    • Mileage: 5528 mi
    For sale
    £189,995 £189,995
    Kahn Automobiles
    01270869747 View contact number
  • Aston Martin Vanquish

    £114,950 £114,950

    Variant name:Coupe ,Variant: V12 2+2 2dr Touchtronic Auto UK NATIONWIDE DELIVERY INCLUDED. Aston Martin Edinburgh present this 2 owner Vanquish Coupe finished in Meteorite Silver. The interior is finished in Obsidian Black with Galena Silver stitching. The car comes with a full Aston Martin service history and has been serviced each year by ourselves and was last serviced in November 2017. The comes with a huge spec listing including carbon fibre roof and One77 steering wheel. Contact our team for more information on this car. Tailored finance packages available. Nationwide delivery available.

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 9409 mi
    • Engine size: 5.9
    For sale
    £114,950 £114,950
  • 2004 Aston Martin Vanquish S

    POA POA

    -0- Following the success of the original Vanquish Aston Martin introduced the Vanquish S which offered an increase in engine power up from 460bhp to 520bhp coupled with revised gear ratios. The factory claimed a top speed in excess of 200 mph making it one of the fastest Aston Martins built at Newport Pagnell. The bodywork was hand finished in ‘superformed’ aluminium and subtle visible differences from the standard vanquish include a bigger and updated grille, front splitter and a raised rear spoiler built into the boot lid to maintain stability at high speeds. The cockpit of the Vanquish S is finished in hand stitched leather giving a bespoke feel to an already impressive package. This car is an original Left Hand Drive model with black paint and matching leather to the cockpit. The car is in extremely good condition and has 19,546 kms showing on the odometer. Offered for sale with EU taxes paid and a UK V5 Registration document. -0- -0- -0- -0- -0- -0- -0-

    • Year: 2004
    For sale
    POA POA
  • Aston Martin Vanquish S Coupe

    £189,950 £189,950

    £189,950 YEAR: 2017 DRIVE SIDE: Right MILEAGE: 4500 TRANSMISSION: Touchtronic III 8-speed automatic POWER: 595 bhp ENGINE SIZE: 6.0 litre V12 EXTERIOR COLOUR: Onyx Black INTERIOR COLOUR: Obsidian Black with Ivory Leather ACCELERATION: 3.5s (0-60 mph) MAX SPEED: 201 mph Standard Features •Convenience - Automatic Headlights •Convenience - Automatic Wipers •Convenience - Cruise Control •Convenience - Front And Rear Parking Sensors •Convenience - Heated Rear Screen •Convenience - Launch Control •Convenience - Memory Front Seats And Exterior Mirrors •Convenience - Powerfold Exterior Heated Mirrors •Convenience - Reversing Camera •Convenience - Tyre Pressure Monitoring System •Exhaust - Sports •Headlights - High Intensity Discharge Headlamps (Dipped Beam) •Infotainment - AMi III Infortainment System •Infotainment - Bang & Olufsen Beosound 1000w •Infotainment - BluetoothTelephone Preparation •Infotainment - Infotainment System With Capacitive Switching •Infotainment - Satellite Navigation System •Infotainment - Trip Computer •Infotainment - USB Input Including Integrated Apple iPod® Connector •Safety & Security - Adaptive Damping System (ADS) •Safety & Security - Alarm Upgrade Volumetric

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 4500 mi
    For sale
    £189,950 £189,950
  • Aston Martin Vanquish

    £85,990 £85,990

    Heated Seats, Electric Seats, Service history +++FREE NATIONAL DELIVERY+++ Part Exchange Welcome - Finance Available on Request - Subject to Status + Company Directors' Packages Available - All Vehicle Professionally Valeted and Ready for Collection-Aston Martin Vanquish 5.9 V12 Coupe Automatic registered January 2003 (52) finished in Pendle Black with Full Black Leather interior, 19 Inch Alloys with Red Brake Callipers, Linn Sound System, Electric Heated Front Seats, Climate Control, Heated Front Windscreen, Leather Multifunction Steering Wheel with Paddleshift, Automatic Wipers, DVD Satellite Navigation, CD Changer, Velour Overmats, Electric Windows and Door Mirrors, Sport Mode, Traction Control.-Service History at Aston Martin on 30/01/03 at 1,098; 04/09/03 at 7,828; 18/03/04 at 11,395; 31/08/04 at 14,656; 24/02/05 at 16,612; 23/11/05 at 18,133; 01/06/06 at 19,031; 21/11/06 at 19,773; 10/09/07 at 20,650; 25/02/08 at 21,331; 27/01/09 at 22,136; 12/03/10 at 23,463; 09/05/11 at 24,706; Bradshaw Bentley Services on 14/05/14 at 26,146; Aston Martin on 21/06/17 at 31,578.

    • Mileage: 31700 mi
    • Engine size: 5935
    For sale
    £85,990 £85,990
  • Aston Martin Vanquish

    £89,950 £89,950

    Engine Size 5.9 l Mileage 19,800 miles Previous Owners 2 Bodystyle Coupe Seats 2 Transmission Manual Auto Clutch Exterior Colour Tungsten Silver Interior Trim Charcoal In production from 2001-2004, Aston Martin’s flagship model, the Vanquish, proved to be an instant success with just over 1,500 examples being produced before the introduction of the Vanquish S in 2005. The last Vanquishs built in 2004 featured a number of upgrades over the standard car including revised Platinum finish interior features, a glass start button and distinctive 7 spoke 19” alloy wheels over new anti-lock ventilated and grooved Brembo discs. This car we are proud to offer is a 2004MY specification example and is finished in Tungsten Silver with Charcoal hides. 2 former keepers and 19,800 miles since first supplied in 2004, we can confirm that this much cherished example is one of the finest examples structurally, mechanically and cosmetically. Service work has been completed by Aston Martin Works including an upgrade to the transmission to the later S specification resulting in a crisper and more reliable gear change. The car also retains its original equipment including a full glove box accessories set.

    • Year: 2004
    • Mileage: 19800 mi
    For sale
    £89,950 £89,950
  • Aston Martin Vanquish S - Late Dash

    £139,950 £139,950

    Engine Size 5.9 l Mileage 20,000 miles Previous Owners 1 Bodystyle Coupe Seats 2 Transmission Manual Auto Clutch Exterior Colour Tungsten Silver Interior Trim Phantom Grey This 2006 model year Vanquish S has covered just 20,000miles from new by it two keepers. This late dash example, incorporating a full colour screen satellite navigation, and has 2+2 seating arrangement. Finished in Tungsten Silver with Phantom Grey hides and carpets, red brake calipers and body coloured door handles.Further specification includes Bluetooth, powerfold mirrors, heated front screen, heated seats and rear parking sensors. Inspected and approved by our in house technicians, this superb example car is supplied with a pre-delivery inspection, 12 months MOT and 12 months

    • Year: 2005
    • Mileage: 20000 mi
    For sale
    £139,950 £139,950
  • Aston Martin Vanquish Coupe

    £118,950 £118,950

    £118,950 YEAR: 2013 DRIVE SIDE: Right MILEAGE: 10200 TRANSMISSION: 6-Speed Touchtronic 2 Automatic POWER: 565 bhp ENGINE SIZE: 6.0 litre V12 EXTERIOR COLOUR: Tungsten Silver INTERIOR COLOUR: Obsidian Black ACCELERATION: 4.1s (0-60 mph) MAX SPEED: 183 Standard Features • 1000 W Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system with ICEpower® technology • Memory seats and exterior mirrors • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) • Adaptive Damping System (ADS) • Powerfold exterior heated mirrors • Front and rear parking sensors • Cruise control • Ventilated, carbon ceramic disc brakes with ABS • LED rear lamps and side repeaters • Tyre pressure monitoring system • Trip computer • Alarm and immobiliser • Bluetooth® telephone preparation • USB input including integrated Apple iPod® connector • Dual stage driver and passenger front airbags • High Intensity Discharge headlamps (dipped beam) • Launch Control • Automatic headlights • Infotainment system with capacitive switching • Traction Control (TC) • Aluminium, magnesium alloy and carbon fibre composite body • Heated rear screen • Automatic wipers • Dynamic stability control (DSC) • Satellite navigation system • Emergency brake assist (EBA) Optio

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 10200 mi
    For sale
    £118,950 £118,950