Used Aston Martin DB9 2004-2016 review

Two years later, the Sport Pack Plus was introduced, with adaptive damping.

The DB9 was again refreshed for 2013 when power rose higher still to 510bhp, the body was made lighter and stiffer and three-mode adaptive damping was added. In a last hurrah, the DB9 GT arrived in 2015 with 540bhp, black detailing and Aston’s new, touch-sensitive infotainment system.

Throughout the DB9’s life, buyers could choose between a six-speed ZF Touchtronic automatic with column-mounted paddles and a fruity blip accompanying downchanges or a beefy six-speed manual gearbox. An early automatic is fine, and in 2009 the improved Touchtronic 2 system arrived. 

The DB9 is certainly no track car, but that manual gearbox does add a welcome level of engagement. Better still, although there are very few manual DB9s around, they cost about the same as the autos.

The DB9 Volante convertible arrived a few months after the coupé. It has a stiffened chassis, slightly softer suspension and a fabric roof that takes around 17 seconds to fold. Today, it’s outnumbered roughly two to one by the coupé and, like for like, costs around £6000 more.

Some DB9 buyers went overboard with options. Today, condition, service history and provenance matter more than baubles and silly colours. The only exception we would make is the 2006 Sport Pack. It sharpens the handling and makes the DB9 that bit more involving.

Cramped in the front as well as in the rear and with pretty woeful ergonomics, a DB9 is a deeply flawed creature. However, you bought it for that badge, those looks and that engine – and, rain or shine, they will never disappoint.

Aston Martin DB9 common problems

Engine: It’s strong but can suffer from corrosion around the cylinder liner seal area. This is easily found by looking at the weepage holes along the side of the block.

Check for timing cover seal failure, too. Listen for a noisy valve train and check the oil level, because DB9s get through around 250ml every 1000 miles. Interrogate any warning lights with an Aston Martin fault reader.

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