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Test drove - really wanted to like it

 
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:09 PM
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Test drove - really wanted to like it

I've been lurking, checking, getting close to wanting a 2009 and up 6-speed roadster. I like British cars (currently on my 4th Jaguar, this one 2016 XJ)
Just test drove a 2 owner, 22,000 mile, 2010, 6-speed roadster, at the local AM dealer. I drove probably 6-8 mile loop in town, but wasn't blown away for some reason. Car was perfect mechanically and dealer maintained with full history.
Came away scratching my head. I don't know what I was expecting.
My last sports car was a 2000 Honda S2000 which I owned since new for 8 years. That car was ALWAYS fun to drive.
 

Last edited by yidal8; 04-11-2019 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:32 PM
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What were you expecting?
 
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:11 PM
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Maybe I was expecting something more nimble on one hand, but with more refined ride on the other. Handling felt neutral and balanced, but steering not very sharp. Quite bumpy ride at low speeds (didn't have opportunity to go over 50mph). Steering could be quicker. I was driving in local traffic, which may not be the strong suit of this car. Engine pull was linear and 'strong enough', ample torque. Clutch effort quite high, but fits the car, and got used to it quickly. Gear shift not quick but precise and good action.
I need another drive to re-calibrate maybe.
 
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:32 PM
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Any car with steam roller tires and 3500+ pounds of weight will have a tendency to feel a little flat on it's feet when tooling around. I have had a few light and lively sports cars including an Elise and Miata. This car is never going to the fun at any speed kind of thing that the lighter, smaller, narrower cars are.

The amazing thing about the Vantage is how it responds when you push it. There's a ton of feel through the steering (much better than most cars and any electric steering system) and the chassis is so well balanced that you can drive it right on the edge of adhesion with relative ease. It never seems to get away from you. I have the 4.3 (tuned) and never feel like it's lacking power. It's really quite a fun car when you drive it a bit aggressively, you just have to be careful because when you do, you're going pretty damn fast.

This all depends on what you're looking for.
 
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:21 PM
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Driving 'around town' was local streets, not an area you you could get on a highway?
 
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Prefurbia View Post
Driving 'around town' was local streets, not an area you you could get on a highway?
Another good point. He only got up to 50. My test drive included an fast on-ramp, acceleration up to 90mph...quickly, and a short trip through some smaller streets. The acceleration, sound, and stability on the corners sold me quickly.
 
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:42 PM
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I love mine even sitting in the garage... it's an Aston
 
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:07 PM
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You need a longer, faster test drive. Also, check out the Vantage S, it’s more nimble with a faster steering rack.
 
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:16 PM
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Thanks. Yes, another test drive is needed. I guess I somehow 'didn't get it' . Also, the car had this built in radar detector that kept beeping, warning and buzzing, so was kind of distracting and the sales guy didn't know how to shut it off.
 
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by yidal8 View Post
Thanks. Yes, another test drive is needed. I guess I somehow 'didn't get it' . Also, the car had this built in radar detector that kept beeping, warning and buzzing, so was kind of distracting and the sales guy didn't know how to shut it off.
This reminds me of someone complaining about a house because they don't like the paint color in the kitchen.
 
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by yidal8 View Post
Maybe I was expecting something more nimble on one hand, but with more refined ride on the other. Handling felt neutral and balanced, but steering not very sharp. Quite bumpy ride at low speeds (didn't have opportunity to go over 50mph). Steering could be quicker. I was driving in local traffic, which may not be the strong suit of this car. Engine pull was linear and 'strong enough', ample torque. Clutch effort quite high, but fits the car, and got used to it quickly. Gear shift not quick but precise and good action.
I need another drive to re-calibrate maybe.
If it was on the factory Bridgestone tires, swapping to Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires will fix many of your complaints. Better handling, better steering response, better ride quality... It's a night-and-day difference.

Driving in local traffic didn't help, either, especially in a manual. That car, the right tires, and an open road and you'll be in heaven.
 
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:56 PM
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Well like others have mentioned, it really is dependent on what you're wanting out of the car. If you're wanting a truer sporting experience like your s2000, the Vantage is not the right car. It's too big, heavy, and even the S model steering rack is not going to give you the tightness of a lighter, nimbler vehicle. If you wanted a British car to give you that maybe look into an Exige or Elise

If you're wanting torque heavy, throw you in your seat speed, it''s also not the right vehicle. They're relatively slow in comparison to their competition with not a lot of aftermarket support and niche customer-base.

Where these cars excel is providing an exceptional analog driving experience in style & comfort. None of these modern electronic assists, car doing a lot of the driving for you. You can always modify them to skew towards one of those aforementioned driving experiences but it's going to cost you quite a pretty penny. Even a GMR supercharged Vantage will pale in comparison to a full bolt on of it's competitors

I always describe my S as it's too luxurious to be considered a true sportscar, but too sporty to be considered a luxury coupe. it sounds amazing, turns heads, comfortable on a 9hr drive, and will always have a timeless design regardless of the decade it's driven in. It's great to really push to the limits on very spirited cruises and trackdays, you don't have to worry about the car getting away from you as the feedback to the driver is incredible. It provides probably one of the best smiles per gallon ratings on the road

I would 100% recommend an S over a base, it is night and day OEM-wise (I've owned both)

Changing my tires, tuning, changing the exhaust has made my S a more fun experience, but I'd never throw it in the same sporting experience as say a 911 turbo
 
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:16 AM
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The car had new tires installed by the dealer, but not sure which, I'll ask them. I agree with most comments, and am even more excited about the v8v, as being what I am looking for. I can't see how @DetomasoGTS74 comment is constructive. The test drive was not planned correctly by the dealer in my view. Unfamiliar roads in some local traffic, no 'back-roads', no fast sections, only one sweeper but it was going downhill, with the radar detector telling me the police is everywhere.
And yes, I was researching the Elise also, but it is too 'hard core' for me-meaning I will not drive it as often as I would this car. I test drove the Evora 400 6-speed couple of years ago and was extremely impressed. Just don't like the design and no convet available.
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Last edited by yidal8; 04-12-2019 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:52 AM
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Ah Ha! I just looked at the ad from Long Island Aston Martin - You drove a base Aston Martin which in 2010 is not likely to have Sports Exhaust as installed. I had a 2009 Vantage, not an 'S' which is the much sportier version of a Vantage. I still liked the car, but it was a bit 'whimpy' sounding and irritatingly quiet. If you can drive an 'S' or one optioned with the sports suspension and sports exhaust, you might be surprised at the difference.
 
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Prefurbia View Post
Ah Ha! I just looked at the ad from Long Island Aston Martin - You drove a base Aston Martin which in 2010 is not likely to have Sports Exhaust as installed. I had a 2009 Vantage, not an 'S' which is the much sportier version of a Vantage. I still liked the car, but it was a bit 'whimpy' sounding and irritatingly quiet. If you can drive an 'S' or one optioned with the sports suspension and sports exhaust, you might be surprised at the difference.
Sport pack suspension, 20 inch wheels and a wider stance and straight pipes does it for me. My car is a blast to drive...
 

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