Aston Martin DB9 review 2022

The DB9 is a GT car sold by Aston Martin between 2004 and 2016.

£42,713
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2
Out of 5

Pros

  • Stunning design
  • Very refined
  • Superb V12 engine

Cons

  • Slow gearbox
  • Outdated interior
  • Steep running costs
Model review

The DB9 continued the long-running tradition of using the ‘DB’ name – standing for the brand’s founder David Brown – and it was unveiled at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show. Following on from the DB7, it was available as both a Coupe and Volante (convertible), and used a fantastic 5.9-litre V12 – the same as that found in the flagship Vanquish. 

Penned by legendary designer Ian Callum, the DB9 is made of aluminium and was the first Aston Martin to be produced at the brand’s Gaydon factory in Warwickshire, which remains the home of the British brand some 20 years later. 

The DB9 received its first significant update in 2010, including subtle styling changes such as a new front bumper, headlights and diamond-turned wheels. A new adaptive damping system was also introduced to help improve both ride comfort and handling.

Latest model

In 2012 the DB9 received a further major upgrade, introducing more modern styling that closely resembled that of the brand’s new Virage, which debuted a year earlier. Aston Martin claimed that 60 per cent of the body panels were new, and it certainly helped to update the design.

As part of the update, the V12 engine was tweaked, with power increasing from 469bhp to 510bhp, while at the same time CO2 emissions dropped too. 

In 2015 came the swansong to the DB9, the GT, which Aston Martin said resembled the ‘very best of DB9’. It received another power hike to 540bhp, making it the most powerful version yet. It also gained a touchscreen infotainment system called ‘AMi II’, and subtle styling changes to set it apart from the rest of the line-up. The DB9 was replaced by the DB11 in 2016.

Value for money

You’re unlikely to consider a new Aston Martin for its value, and the DB9 was certainly not a bargain when new – costing £140,000, even before you’ve ticked any options boxes, which quickly rack up the price. 

However, as the DB9 hasn’t been on sale for a number of years, used options are now your only choice. Prices actually start from a reasonable £30,000 – what you’d pay for a new, high-spec family hatchback these days – and for that you’d get an example with around 70,000 miles on the clock. You shouldn’t have to pay too much more for a lower-mileage car, but make sure you buy on condition and history, rather than simply the number of miles. You’ll pay around £5,000 more for a Volante drop-top too, particularly if you’re buying in the summer months. 

Prices for the more modern-looking and feeling 2013 facelift start from around £60,000, with the most expensive DB9s – the limited-edition Bond Edition, which was released to coincide with the 2015 James Bond film Skyfall – tipping the scales at well in excess of £100,000.

Looks and image

If you think of a quintessential modern Aston Martin, it’s likely that the DB9 is the car that comes to mind. Even almost two decades after the DB9 was revealed, it continues to look smart, modern and elegant, and arguably even more modern than some of the firm’s more modern creations. The facelifted 2012 is certainly the most appealing to our eyes, though, with its slightly more aggressive look and more modern grille really helping to elevate it further. There really is no such thing as an ugly DB9, though. 

The interior of a car is often the bit that dates soonest, and sadly age hasn’t been overly kind to the DB9. Some of the switchgear now looks very dated, though later cars do look and feel more modern with their touch sensitive controls. On the plus side, the fit and finish of all cars is very good, with all offering an upmarket interior that helped to justify its steep price when new. 

Behind the wheel, the star of the DB9 is its V12 engine which feels brawny and muscular and delivers more than enough pace, though the figures aren’t especially impressive by more modern standards. Though not as sharp or as fun as a Porsche 911, this Aston Martin is still enjoyable to drive, though better suited to long, extended trips rather than short blasts. 

Space and practicality

While you’re unlikely to choose an Aston Martin purely for its practicality, the DB9 offers a decent amount of room for two, with plenty of adjustment to the seats and steering wheel making it easy to get comfortable.

Though the DB9 has rear seats, they’re really not suited to adults, and are better off used purely as extra storage. The boot also isn’t huge, but 227 litres will offer a decent amount of room for luggage for a weekend away.  

Engines

All Aston Martin DB9s feature a superb 5.9-litre V12, which varies in power between 469bhp on earlier cars through to 540bhp in the later GT cars. Initially a six-speed manual gearbox was sold alongside a six-speed automatic, but the vast majority of the cars you’ll see for sale will use the latter. 

In terms of performance, though, no DB9s are lacking, with 0-60mph taking 4.5 seconds, and it would surge on to a top speed of 183mph. 

Running costs

The DB9 most certainly won’t be a cheap car to run, though it’s certainly no worse than its rivals. 

In terms of fuel economy, Aston Martin claims 19.5mpg, while CO2 emissions of 333g/km are very steep. These also put the DB9 in one of the highest car tax bands, meaning you’ll pay £600 a year on this alone. 

Things to look out for

On any car like the DB9, it’s important to buy on condition rather than mileage. If a car hasn’t been serviced regularly, you should walk away. That said, this V12 engine is surprisingly reliable, though make sure there are no oil leaks, and if you do take the plunge, you’ll have to check the oil regularly as it does have a tendency to use plenty. It’s notoriously hard to colour-match the DB9 if it’s ever had any areas be repainted, so an uneven finish likely suggests a car has been in a collision in the past. 

Rivals

If you’re looking at a DB9, one of its closest rivals is the Bentley Continental GT, while the Maserati Gran Turismo and a Porsche 911 deserve your attention too. Though not quite up to the same level in terms of badge prowess, the Mercedes S-Class Coupe and Jaguar F-Type are both great rivals, too.

Depreciation

As the DB9 hasn’t been on sale for a number of years, many examples will likely have depreciated as far as they’ll go. Older cars certainly will, as providing they’ve been well maintained, they’re unlikely to drop any lower than £30,000, where they were at the time of writing. 

Trims explained

Trims explained

DB9

Standard equipment on the Aston Martin DB9 includes 19-inch alloy wheels, electric front sports seats and leather upholstery throughout. Cruise control is also included, along with a CD multichanger, headlight washers, electric mirrors and traction control.

From £30,000 (used)

Summary

  1. GT car sold between 2004 and 2016
  2. Modern facelift in 2013, before being replaced by the DB11 in 2016
  3. Coupe and Volante convertible models available
  4. Stunning design
  5. 5.9-litre V12 oozes character
  6. Great long-distance comfort
  7. High running costs
  8. Interior is upmarket, but shows its age
  9. Relatively reliable if well-maintained
  10. An old-school GT car that’s now an appealing used buy