TG's motoring editor has an Aston Martin DB11. Time to steal it for a few days
Top Gear has an Aston Martin DB11 for six months. You can catch up on all its details here, including how we specced it, but it’s safe to assume without further research that we rather like it.
So much so, that chances to drive it have to be grasped whenever possible. So when its keeper – motoring editor Ollie Marriage – had other wheels for the weekend, that’s exactly what I did.
My phone weather app was showing lots of little suns, so I plonked Exmoor into the sat nav and went for a very long drive. Lots of good things have been said about the DB11, and I had a whole weekend to find out if they’re true. Place hate mail in the comments box below…
First off, doesn’t it look well in Cobalt Blue? Marriage reckons the colour splits opinion, but I’ve not met a soul who dislikes it. With the contrasting black roof it looks magnificent, though that’s an option that tricks some people into thinking it’s some sort of clever convertible.
It gets an awful lot of attention this car, and it’s all positive. It’s astounding how many people will stop filling up their car to come and ask about it in a fuel station, or flagrantly ignore the green cross code to dash through traffic to come take a peek. Try that in a Ferrari or Porsche with 600hp. Something about Astons clearly suggests you’ll be a friendlier person to approach…
So much cool detailing, too. Forward hinging bonnets always seem especially exotic (though you do get one on a mk1 Renault Clio), even more so when there’s an intricate headlight cut-out and a sneaky peak at the front wheel arch aero.
To drive? It’s brilliant, even if this isn’t a super sharp sports car. Instead, it rides sublimely and makes long distances feel very short. There are no better stress relievers on sale.
Find a good road, though, and its dynamics remind me of a Mazda MX-5. Really. There’s lots of pitch and roll, so you get a gentle prod the DB11’s limits are approaching, allowing you to either back off and slow down, or adjust the car’s balance to your liking and get on the power.
In the dry, anyway. When it’s wet, all that turbocharged torque can make it a little spiky on the exit of a corner. It’s all very well contained by the traction electronics, mind.
A turbo engine means good fuel economy when you’re being careful, too. But that’s fine. It was worth every penny.
I love the buttons on the steering wheel that adjust the powertrain and suspension through their various modes (pictured just below the paddles). It makes it far easier to chop and change settings – getting a sharper engine map with softer suspension, for instance – than many of its rivals, which make you delve into on-screen sub-menus.
The driving position is just downright brilliant, in fact. It’s possible to drive hours on end and not feel a single twinge. I’ve had a bit of a bad back lately and it subsided during my weekend in the DB11. Comfier than a sofa, then. Scientifically proven.
That’s not me in the picture, by the way, but my little nephew Max.
He loves the DB11. And is very appreciative of the elongated steering wheel paddles, which are far easier to reach than the little stubby buttons you get on, say, an Audi R8.
Allowing smaller hands to reach them seemingly makes the DB11 the perfect first sports car, as this grin evidences.