Cars & Bids Bargain of the Week: 2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Depreciated supercars might be the closest things to monkey paws in the automotive world. Sure, they can be cheap to buy, but like other high-end sports cars, they’re not always cheap to own. Yet sometimes, the understandably strong temptation to slip behind the wheel of an affordable exotic works out. And that might just be the case with this manual 2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage currently listed on Cars & Bids.

A 2006-2017 Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a seriously stylish Porsche 911 alternative

A dark-gray 2011 Aston Martin V8 Vantage in a studio
2011 Aston Martin V8 Vantage | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
2006-2017 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Engine4.3-liter V8 (2006-2008)
4.7-liter V8 (2009-2017)
Horsepower4.3-liter: 380 hp
4.7-liter: 420 hp
Torque4.3-liter: 302 lb-ft
4.7-liter: 346 lb-ft
TransmissionsSix-speed manual
Six- and seven-speed automated manual
Curb weight3595 lbs (2006)
0-60 mph time5.1 seconds (2006 manual, Car and Driver)
4.3 seconds (2009 automatic, Car and Driver)

Even if James Bond didn’t drive that DB5 in Goldfinger, the Aston Martin name would likely still be synonymous with stylish supercars. However, style alone doesn’t keep the lights on. Hence why, when Ford owned Aston, the British brand decided to make a more ‘entry-level’ model, something to take on the Porsche 911. Namely, the 2006-2017 V8 Vantage.

Although it shares some parts with contemporary Fords and Volvos, the ‘VH generation’ V8 Vantage is a real Aston Martin. It has a rigid bonded aluminum chassis, swan doors, machined-aluminum gauges, and “a spectacular leather interior,” Car and Driver notes. In addition, while the V8 Vantage’s, uh, V8 is derived from a contemporary Jaguar and Ford engine, most of its parts are bespoke, Hagerty says. And the engine, which is technically front-mid-mounted, is handbuilt, just like the rest of the car.

Despite its transaxle layout—with limited-slip differential—aluminum chassis, and Brembo brakes, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage isn’t quite as sharp as the 911. The later cars, with bigger engines as well as retuned steering and suspension, do get closer, though, Hagerty notes. But don’t look down on any V8 Vantage, especially not the early ones.

For one, it’s a better sports car than the contemporary DB9. On a twisty road, the V8 Vantage feels lithe, quick, and neutral, Car and Driver reports. Also, its hydraulic steering is communicative and well-weighted, especially at speed. Yet this luxury GT is also comfortable enough to use every day.

Plus, despite being cheaper than the DB9, the Vantage feels just as special inside, not to mention outside. Hagerty doesn’t call it “one of the most gorgeous automobiles ever built” lightly. Even 15 years after it first appeared, the Aston Martin Vantage is still striking, more so than any contemporary 911. And no 911 bellows and roars with an Aston V8 soundtrack.

You can bid on this tastefully modified manual 2006 Vantage on Cars & Bids

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As we’ll discuss shortly, 4.2-liter Aston Martin V8 Vantages are arguably undervalued for what they offer. So, some enterprising owners have started modifying them to bring out more of their sporting character. And that’s what the owner of the manual 2006 V8 Vantage currently listed on Cars & Bids did.

From the factory, this 2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage has GPS navigation, rear parking sensors, heated seats, and a premium sound system with a six-disc CD changer. And, as noted earlier, lots of leather. But it also has Aston Martin Racing OZ wheels and Vantage GT suspension components as well as V12 Vantage side skirts. Plus, it has a starlight headliner, hardwired dashcam, and some yellow interior and exterior accents. There’s paint protection film on the front end and door mirror caps, too.

Overall, this V8 Vantage is in excellent shape. The only flaws are some stone chips and driver’s seat wear, and it has just under 40,000 miles on the clock. It also has a zero-accident history. And the seller just replaced the oil, battery, and tires.

With the right care, an affordable Aston Martin V8 Vantage can be a reliable supercar

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As of this writing, this 2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage is listed at $35,000 with three days left in the auction. Admittedly, cheaper Aston Martins have appeared on Cars & Bids. But that’s over $13,000 cheaper than the cheapest example currently listed on Autotrader. It’s also about $5000 less than Hagerty’s fair-condition evaluation. And keep in mind, these cars cost roughly $110,000 when they were new.

Since this is a used supercar, potential bidders should consider getting a pre-purchase inspection. But regularly-driven V8 Vantages are more reliable than you might think. One of our former writers owned one and never had a problem with it.

However, things like oil and fluid changes can be expensive if you don’t DIY, though not quite on the DBS’s level. Also, factory clutches aren’t terribly long-lasting, although aftermarket replacements are sturdier, Car and Driver says. Furthermore, based on this Aston Martin Vantage’s mileage, the PCV valve might be due for proactive replacement. Fortunately, some Vantage parts are interchangeable with cheaper Ford ones from the period.

Still, it’s an affordably-priced Aston Martin—an exotic that remains special. Tempting, no?

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