My First Supercar: Aston Martin DB9 – Impressions

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Upon delivery of the DB9, I was still kind of in shock and had a bag of mixed emotions. On one hand I was just so excited and elated that I had in my possession a car that I used to and many others could only dream of. On the other hand, I knew there was still quite a bit of work before I could breathe easy about the soundness of my decision. On top of that, I was concerned that maybe an off day impulse buy would be one that I would want to take back a later day. My test drive probably wasn’t as thorough as it should have been, after all the test drive was the first time I had ever even sat in a supercar, much less drive one. Then the worries about how much these seemingly little minor repairs would cost crept up.

I mentioned before how Ferarri’s and Lamborghini’s have become commonplace in pop culture, and that showed itself when I began to look for a garage that could properly service my Aston. Well, in Houston, there are Ferarri and Lamborghini dealerships who can service your respected car, but for Aston Martins, there are zero. In reality, I have found only 3 reputable garages that can properly service an Aston. Naturally I took the car to Sphere Motorsports close by my work place to have them take a look at it since they were the ones who did the initial inspection so the car should be familiar with them.

And so, as discussed before I bought the car we came up with a list of issues with the car.

– Check engine light: Misfire in Cylinder #6.

– Nav Screen Gears not working (very common problem as gears are made out of plastic).

– Aston Martin Manufacturer update for rubber oil lines to metal tubing.

– Air Conditioner not as cold as it should be.

– TPMS light fault (known common issue with Aston Martins)

First thing is to address is the check engine light. The likely fault is a bad coil pack and spark plug, so cheapest try to fix is to replace the whole set of coilpacks. I could just replace one, but the labor cost of replacing one vs all of them is about the same and I would rather not have to pay that amount again if another one goes out. about $4K and 3 weeks later (parts had to be shipped from England), problem appears to be solved, with instructions to use some fuel additive to clean out the system. Cool, problem solved. Or not? Couple days later check engine light comes back on. Car is running much better than before but the light worries me a bit. Take it back to the shop and the computer returns a general misfire code on startup. I am advised to continue using the fuel additive to really clean out the system. The light doesn’t come back on. Nice. About 5-600 miles later, I decide to stop using the additive. Surely by now all the crud has been flushed out. Nope, light comes back on and returns the same thing. So where I am at now is the car is due for it’s regular 30k mile maintenance. I’m hoping that I’ll take it in, do the regular maintenance and have them completely flush and clean the fuel and intake lines. button up the rest of the issues. This is what happens when you buy a car that’s been sitting in someone’s garage for who knows how long with the same tank of gas in cold climates. In reality, though, there seems to be nothing wrong with the engine after the coilpacks were replaced, so I consider myself very lucky to have dodged a big bullet and avoid a $20k+ repair bill.

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Clear Bras and Paint Protectors – side rant

Whoever decided to just cover the front 18 inches of the car with this clear film needs to be punched in the face. I understand the want to protect your paint from small rocks and debris, but if you’re going to do it, do the whole panel. Having a clear line run across the bonnet and fenders just makes the car look cheap. If you are truly concerned about your paint, just do a wrap on the entire car. This way you can change colours whenever you want all while protecting and maintaining your car’s original paint. A heat gun, some solvent and 2 hours later, clear bra and adhesive is removed. Can still tell where it used to be but only under certain angles of light.

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The Drive

So now how does the Aston drive? I will give you my complete biased opinion of the car. It is without a doubt the most well rounded car I have ever driven. Hands down. And I will argue that it is the most well rounded supercar ever built.

First off, performance. Let’s face it, the reason you buy a supercar is because it goes fast. Performance is a huge part of why you buy one in the first place. Now don’t get me wrong, if you want a car that can top 200mph and perform like a banshee on steroids you’re probably better off looking at a Ferarri, Lamborghini, McLaren or the likes. The Aston just cant match that level of performance, but it ranks pretty high up there. With the stock 2005 model 6.0L V12 pushing out 450hp and a mean 420lb-ft or torque it will do 0-60 in 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 186mph. For a car that weighs almost two tons, that is enough to make your eyes light up. The suspension and ride quality on the Aston is absolutely spot on. I was expecting a super hard ride, one that would send shocks down your spine over every pavement buckle, bump and dip, but I was surprised with just how comfortable the ride is. Built as a GT car, it is designed for long hauls so comfort is a key element in the design. But the way it is able to provide the perfect balance of comfort and performance is just amazing.

Now asthetics, the Aston Martin DB9 Coupe has got it down pat. Number one no exceptions. The bodylines, the subtle curves and flares, the iconic Aston Martin grille, the low and wide stance. Again, it is the perfect balance between the elegance you’d expect from a superluxury car and the aggressiveness of a sports car. I would probably just stare at it all day if I could. And the aesthetics don’t end outside. In the interior, plush headliner and leather dash and upholstery, aluminum center console, wood grain finish. Now I will have two complaints about the interior that bug the crap out of me. Back seats. WHY? Who on earth decided it would be a good idea to put back seats in a DB9. I would argue unless you are a family of midgets, there is absolutely no way you can fit four people in a DB9. Even two small adults and two infants or children would not be able to fit. There is absolutely no reason for the back seats, end of discussion. My second complaint, which annoys me more than the back seats, is the lack of cup holders. Come on. A GT car with no cup holders? I don’t think I need to say much more about the lack of cup holders.

But wait there’s more. The aesthetics don’t end there. The sound and symphony the car makes is unmistakable. Not too loud and overbearing but distinct enough to let people around you know that you’ve got some serious hardware under the bonnet. I used to think the sound of a V8 was where it’s at, but when you hear the 12 cylinders fire up and rev the engine to 6-7000+rpm, it is the most satisfyingly terrifying sound you can produce.

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Versatility. The DB9 is a car that I feel can be used as a daily driver. I mean you spend all this money on a car only to drive it once every now and then? And by daily driver, it’s not just about using it for everyday activities. It is also about the level of comfort that you have when you drive it. Not having to be overly cautious about every bump and dip, or every driveway. Having enough room in the boot for everyday items.

Then, there is the value. For roughly $190k brand new I challenge you to find another car that can come close to doing what the DB9 can do.

So, for under $50k as of now I am convinced that the Aston Martin DB9 was the best purchase I can remember to date. When I talk to other car enthusiasts and tell them, every last one of them agrees it was a hell of a steal. Would I ever sell it? Not in the foreseeable future.

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