Aston Martin DB11 review 2021

The DB11 is a glamorous sporting GT car that combines performance with luxury

£119,810
Average price
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2
Out of 5

Pros

  • Stunning design
  • Great fun to drive
  • Brilliant performance

Cons

  • Not as spacious as some may hope a GT car to be
  • Doesn’t feel as modern as rivals
  • No manual option
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model review

Aston Martin is undoubtedly one of the most famous manufacturers around, with an unmissable approach to style and performance, and as part of that it’s been the firm’s ‘DB’ models that have been its bread-and-butter – being named after the brand’s founder David Brown. 

It’s a nameplate that’s been used for decades, and one of the most important available today is the DB11. Arriving in 2016, this sleek and stylish model replaced the DB9 and made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show that year – leading to dropped jaws at just what a stunning piece of design it is. 

It was the first Aston Martin launched under the company’s ‘Second Century Plan’ under then-boss Andy Palmer, and arrived with a mighty 5.2-litre V12 engine under the bonnet, producing a significant 600bhp. 

Latest model

Since its launch, a number of changes have been made to the DB11, with the first key difference coming in 2017 when Aston Martin introduced a lighter 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine – a unit shared with Mercedes-AMG. 

The following year Aston Martin launched a new Volante drop-top model – bringing even more in the way of glamour – while the most recent addition is the AMR, standing for Aston Martin Racing. This acts as the DB11 flagship, and gets even more power, sharper handling and a range of cosmetic changes to make it stand out from the regular car. Since its introduction this has become the only V12-powered model available. 

Value for money

If you’re in the market for a DB11, value for money is unlikely to be the top priority, and that’s probably a good thing given the DB11 starts from a steep £145,000, and that’s before you’ve even ventured on the options list, which you’ll want to do. Upgrading to the Volante convertible adds £15,000 to the price, while the AMR starts from a hefty £175,000. On the plus side, you get plenty of equipment included as standard, such as a full leather and Alcantara interior, along with electric and heated seats and a 360-degree camera system. 

Things are a bit rosier on the used market, though, with 2017 models starting from £80,000 – still a lot of money, but a big saving on the original list price. Significant savings are also available on nearly-new models – we spotted a one-year-old example with just 2,000 miles on the clock for £106,000, which is a vast saving on the original list price. 

Looks and image

Though it might be more than half a decade since Aston Martin pulled the covers off the DB11 at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, this GT car still looks as glamorous as ever, with sleek bodywork, a bulging rear end and fancy LED lighting at the front and rear. The front-end with its bulbous grille makes it look unmissable as an Aston Martin. The Volante then brings a cool fabric roof to the table, while the AMR gets a more menacing design thanks to its black accents. 

The DB11’s leather and Alcantara interior also helps to add to the feel of luxury, as do the ultra-comfortable seats that are fantastic for long trips, too. It’s not a perfect cabin, though, as Aston Martin has raided Mercedes’ stash of parts to pull the interior together. Unfortunately a lot of these parts are no longer used in current Mercedes models, so the DB11 feels a bit behind the times, sadly. 

Where there won’t be any grumbles, though, is when it comes to the way the DB11 drives. It’s nothing short of sublime, being devastatingly quick (even with the V8 engine) and handling especially well when the roads turn twistier. It’s certainly more accomplished than a Bentley Continental GT in this respect. The ride is also brilliantly judged, being soft enough for it to be a comfortable cruiser, yet at the same time helping to keep the body in check through the corners. 

Space and practicality

One good thing about the DB11 is that it offers plenty more room than its predecessor (the DB9), though Aston Martin still labels it a ‘2+2’, and that’s very much what it still is. Those rear seats are really best for small children at the best, with minimal legroom and headroom back there. On the plus side, there are Isofix points now, just in case you fancy having a go at using this Aston Martin as your family car. 

The boot measures 270 litres, which isn’t huge, but should be plentiful for some weekend away bags. 

Engines

There are two engines available on the DB11 – a Mercedes-AMG-derived V8 and a range-topping V12. Each comes with an eight-speed automatic, too, with power being delivered to the rear wheels. 

Beginning with the V8, it is a 4.0-litre unit developing 503bhp and 675Nm of torque – allowing for an impressive 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 187mph. 

Then there is the 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12. This was initially what the DB11 launched with, where it produced 600bhp. But today, it’s only available on the AMR, with the power being increased to 630bhp and torque notched up to 700Nm. Despite the extra power, the additional weight means it’s only 0.2 seconds quicker to 60mph than the V8 (taking 3.5 seconds), though it can reach a higher top speed of 208mph – where permitted, of course. 

Running costs

The DB11’s running costs are perhaps unsurprisingly quite steep, and will not be for the faint hearted. If you’re looking to keep a watchful eye on this, though, the V8 will be the one to go for, with Aston Martin claiming it will return 26.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 244g/km. 

As for the V12, that will struggle to get past 20mpg, while CO2 emissions of 303g/km are some of the highest of any new road car today. 

Regardless of version, though, you should expect steep maintenance and insurance premiums, given the DB11’s performance. 

Things to look out for

Given the DB11’s relative rarity, not as much is known about its reliability compared with a more popular example. 

More positively, Aston Martins are now more dependable than in the past – not least due to sharing parts with Mercedes – though you should check all the electrics work, especially the media system as it’s known to be a bit glitchy. 

Rivals

If you’re looking at a DB11, there are a range of options you should consider. Perhaps its closest competitors are the Bentley Continental GT and McLaren GT, though you shouldn’t ignore something like a Porsche 911 and Jaguar F-Type as a more affordable option. There are also three Mercedes models that are easy to compare to – the S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, the SL Roadster and the AMG GT supercar. 

Depreciation

Despite having such a legendary badge, the DB11 hasn’t held its value as you might expect. That’s especially true of nearly-new models, which tend to plummet significantly compared to the list price – and we’re talking tens of thousands of pounds. 

Which DB11 to pick

Cheapest to buy when new

V8 528 2dr Touchtronic Auto

Most MPG

V8 528 2dr Touchtronic Auto

Fastest model (0-60)

V12 630 2dr Touchtronic Auto

Trims explained

You don’t have traditional trim levels on the DB11, but you can choose between the V8, Volante and V12. Equipment highlights and pricing are as follows.

V8

Unsurprisingly given the DB11’s high price, you get a generous amount of standard kit. Highlights include 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive dampers, an electric steering column and launch control. You also get LED headlights, a full leather interior with Alcantara headlining, heated front seats and a 360-degree camera system. Front and rear parking sensors are also included, along with electric door mirrors, cruise control and keyless entry and start. There’s also an impressive sound system along with a large touchscreen and TFT digital dial system.

From £144,900

Volante

The spec is broadly similar on the Volante, but you of course get the more glamorous electric-folding fabric roof

From £159,900

AMR

Upgrading to the AMR, which is only available as a Coupe, gets you a larger V12 engine, which brings an additional 130bhp on top of the V8. You also get plenty of carbon fibre and gloss black detailing, darkened headlights and a gloss black grille. A contrasting lime colour also helps to distinguish the AMR, along with a leather sports steering wheel.

From £174,995

Summary

  1. Stunning design
  2. Lovely leather and Alcantara interior
  3. Outstanding performance
  4. V8 and V12 models available
  5. AMR version acts as a more aggressive option
  6. Volante convertible on offer
  7. Very pricey to buy new...
  8. But steep depreciation makes it a good used buy
  9. Showing its age inside
  10. A fantastic GT car, but newer rivals could be better all-rounders

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