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Original MSRP: $180,070 - $198,470
MPG: 11 City / 17 Hwy
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2010 Aston Martin DB9 Performance

This performance review was written when the 2010 Aston Martin DB9 was new.

Auto critics say that the DB9 must be experienced in order to fully appreciate how masterfully engineered it is. While other high-end sports cars may be faster, reviewers agree that few handle as well as the DB9.

  • "The DB9 is both a true sports car as well as an excellent grand tourer, thanks to an all-aluminum V-12 engine with oodles of torque available as low as 1500 rpm. And, for those who want to really enjoy the car, a 6-speed manual transmission is still offered." -- Road and Track
  • "The DB9 remains a very capable handler, especially when equipped with the Sport Pack, which cranks suspension performance up a notch. It includes revised dampers, springs, and a front anti-roll bar. The Sport Pack lowers the car by six millimeters and also features five-spoke lightweight forged aluminum alloy wheels." -- Forbes
  • "As exotic GTs go, the DB9 is generally exhilarating to drive, as it changes direction easily and responds smartly to steering and braking inputs. Best of all, it still manages to offer a compliant ride that makes it one of the few exotic sports cars you'd look forward to driving cross country." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

Its Lamborghini and Ferrari competitors may be faster, but critics don't seem to mind. The DB9’s mighty powertrain is nothing to scoff at. Equipped with a 5.9-liter V12 engine, the DB9 produces 470 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 443 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm.

It’s available with two transmissions -- a six-speed manual transmission or a Touchtronic 2 six-speed with an electronic shift-by-wire control system. According to Aston Martin, the DB9 can reach a top speed of 190 mph and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. The EPA rates the DB9’s city/highway fuel economy at 11/17 mpg when equipped with a manual transmission. With the automatic, fuel economy increases to 13/20 mpg.

  • "The Aston's 450-hp, 6.0-liter V12 is 5,935cc of motoring nirvana. From the deep bass rumble that accompanies the first prod of the starter button to the wolflike howl above 6,000 rpm, this engine coaxes, engages and enthralls." -- Edmunds
  • "Acceleration is not neck snapping from a stop, but DB9 gathers speed quickly and has an abundance of reserve power for passing and merging." -- Consumer Guide
  • "There's enough torque on tap (443 lb-ft for 2009) to run as low as 1000 rpm and not lug the engine, which comes in quite handy on the crowded streets and highways surrounding Hollywood.  ... An impressive 470 hp propels the car forward and it's impossible not to grin." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Mat the gas and you're met with a wonderful combination of intake moan and exhaust note. The engine sounds sweeter too; we'd wish for a bit less muffling, but if you want the louder, harder edged version, well, that's what the DBS is for." -- Motor Trend
  • "Aston Martin says the manual-shift DB9 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. That's quick, but not blindingly fast like the Gallardo and F430. According to Car and Driver and Motor Trend, the Gallardo sprints to 60 mph in around 4 seconds, while the F430 does it in 3.5." -- Cars.com
  • "Our tester had the autobox, which we found to shift crisply and relatively quickly in sport mode, behaving in most respects like the excellent six-speed ZF transmission found in Jaguar's XKR. We also like how the transmission paddles have been fixed to the column versus the wheel, but there were occasional moments when manual shifting led to some confusion on the part of the transmission, and when not in sport mode, we didn't find shifts to be particularly fast." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

Test drivers admire the DB9's sporty handling dynamics -- which are made possible by its perfectly balanced weight distribution and advanced drive technology. When compared, critics choose the coupe over the Volante, as the latter's loss of rigidity and altered suspension settings render it more suitable for cruising than sports performance. Both, however, leave critics impressed.

  • "Handling is where the DB9 truly excels, hanging on with passion through swift curves and delivering a civilized experience. Confidence levels reach well beyond the sports-car norm. The suspension follows road contours closely, yet ride comfort is satisfying." -- Cars.com
  • "On the road, the Volante is less aggressive than the coupe, which tries to fishtail out of every tight corner. The topless DB9 is a little heavier and not quite as stiff structurally as the fixed-head version, which ensures a more compliant ride." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Still, by removing the roof you remove a huge proportion of the car's structural rigidity. The Volante is little more than half as stiff as its hardtop sibling, which is sufficient to alter the character of the car. To compensate for the diminished rigidity, the setup of the DB9's suspension -- double wishbone front and rear -- has been softened. And as a result, the Volante now feels more like a boulevard cruiser than a sporting GT." -- Edmunds
  • "DB9's [Volante] ride is surprisingly firm, with even modest road imperfections filtering into the cabin. Additionally frustrating is the less-than-rigid body structure which contributes to copious flexing over railroad tracks and other large road imperfections." -- Consumer Guide
Review Last Updated: 4/29/10

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