The base price of the 2009 Aston Martin Vantage coupe is $119,000 with these included standard features: power leather seating; a 160-watt audio system with a six-CD/MP3 player and integrated iPod connector and USB; and automatic climate control. Those familiar with BMW’s iDrive system will understand Automobile Magazine’s statement: “Switching between the integrated iPod interface, the navigation system, and Bluetooth makes BMW's iDrive look impressive.”
Vantage options include Bluetooth, a navigation system that’s not easy to use with the controls provided; satellite radio; and memory and heated seats. “The flip-up nav screen shows only nav info; audio functions are relegated to a small LED display,” says Motor Trend, adding “a new Hard Disk Drive Navigation System allows for faster route processing, improved graphics, and additional features.”
A 700-watt audio system is available, though steering-wheel controls for it are not and would be a useful upgrade. “The radio features an in-dash 6-disc changer and when matched with the optional 700 watt Aston Martin Premium Audio System, the sound is amazing,” says NADA Guides.
“Interesting touches like a crystal ashtray complement what might be the most coveted key fob in history, an electronic device also made of crystal that lights up in its center-dash-mounted slot,” notes Automobile.com. “The ignition key—er, 'Emotion Control Unit'—looks impressive but it's no 'smart key' (it can't open the doors automatically or start the engine from your pocket), and it's tricky to insert into the dash for a proper engine start,” retorts Motor Trend.
According to one reviewer, Aston Martin has been astute in addressing some faults from the past. Untactful switchgear that was difficult to use has “been revised in the new car with a completely restyled center stack—constructed from die-cast zinc alloy and finished in graphite silver—containing new controls designed to be easier to operate than their predecessors,” says Motor Trend.
Autoblog is impressed with the “delightfully simple button on the dash allows the driver to choose from either ‘Sport’ or ‘Comfort’ gearbox maps.” The reviewer explains that “the computer remembers what transmission setting you were in last, so you can hop in and head out without having to navigate through endless menus.