An Aston Martin V8 Vantage makes you feel like a spy

But you don't have to be a James Bond fan to fall for this Aston's charms
But you don't have to be a James Bond fan to fall for this Aston's charms

by Ben So and Theron Lane | May 17, 2024


Here’s a confession, and perhaps a trigger warning for some: I am not a James Bond fan. Okay, with that out of the way, I can continue with my somewhat unbiased review of the 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

I say somewhat unbiased, because even though I am not a fan of the British spy himself, I do like his taste in getaway cars. I adored the BMW Z3 and Z8 in my early teenage years, later growing to appreciate the timeless beauty of the Toyota 2000GT and the Aston Martin DB5, and had an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish on the cover of my binder during my peak high school years. Like many other gearheads, I developed a fondness for Aston Martins from the early-to-mid-2000s, so I cannot say I was totally impartial as I approached this gorgeous car finished in Tungsten Silver.

Even though this generation of Vantage had actually never been in a Bond movie, the association will always be there. The Vantage looks svelte and the classy body lines are perfectly suited to the man himself. The long hood and short rear end are classic sports car proportions, and many of its iconic styling cues — such as the signature front grille and fender vents — add presence. The owner of this particular car [It’s your boss’ boss’ car, so be nice. —Ed.] added some extra visual flair in the form of clear tail lights from a later Vantage, plus a handful of parts from the V12 cars, though I do not think it needed any to begin with.

While its exterior styling does an excellent job in captivating attention, the inside is where the Vantage truly feels special to me. The doors swing open at an angle — a little upward and away from curb — to welcome you into the beautifully crafted cabin. The leather still feels rich to the touch, the metal handbrake handle is perfectly milled, and the signature opposite-running gauge dials are simply works of art. I love the glass-covered engine start button; it is cool to the touch and feels substantial when you start it up.

Yes, there are some quirks and drawbacks to this Vantage. Given it’s from the era when Ford owned Aston Martin, some of the switchgear — such as the turn signal stalks, the window switches, and even the key fob — were also shared with certain Volvo and Ford models. And while the GPS screen that rises from the dashboard might have been cool in 2007, its interface today is atrocious to look at and even worse to use. But the good news is that most Aston buyers would not have recognized the parts-bin specials because they probably would not have also owned a Ford or a Volvo of the same era, and the radio functions just fine with the display retracted.

Powered by a normally aspirated 4.3-litre V8 under the long hood, the Vantage puts out 380 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque. While these figures are not nothing even in today’s power-obsessed world, they are not overly impressive especially when you factor in its 3,500-pound-plus curb weight. In fact, driving the Vantage felt slow. This was not because I was drag racing any villains, but because how stiff everything felt behind the wheel. The Vantage requires effort to steer, the clutch is heavy, and you will need to work the surprisingly tall shifter into gears. Seeing how sleek and smooth the Vantage is on the outside, this burly driving feel certainly was not what I expected, but it also gave me a strong sense that I was doing the driving, a sensation that is not found in many other modern sports cars. It also helps that the Vantage gets much easier to drive, and provides good feedback, at speed.

With this heavy feel, the Vantage is better covering long distances as a grand tourer, rather than quick manoeuvres as a corner-carver. The suspension is tuned to prioritize comfort, but this in turn creates some extra body roll and nosedives when driven aggressively. However, when you take it easy, the Vantage eats up miles like the best of them, and the V8’s soundtrack is quite rewarding, especially with the aftermarket exhaust on this particular car. I equate this driving experience to the many muscle cars that put a big smile on my face regardless of the speed, except I felt like an A-lister with the Aston. Or a secret agent.

And that last point right there is why this 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage charms. You feel genuinely cool showing up anywhere. Unlike many far more expensive and showy supercars that steal the spotlight away from you, the Vantage lays out the red carpet for you. You don’t have to be wearing a tailored suit behind the wheel, but you will want to look respectable because others will always be curious about the person showing up in a sleek, silver British sports car. And even though I don’t love James Bond movies, I sure as hell appreciated being mistaken as the man himself, even if it was only for a split second.


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About Ben So


Ben has been living and breathing car magazines, spec sheets, and touring auto shows for his entire life. As proud member of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada, he keeps a close eye on the latest-and-greatest in the auto industry. When he isn't geeking out about the coolest new cars, he's probably heading to the next hidden-gem ice cream shop with his three quickly growing kids.

Current Toys: '97 Integra Type R, '07 LS 460 RWD, '08 Corvette Z06, '18 Odyssey Touring