2009 Aston Martin DB9


2009 Aston Martin DB9 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Aston Martin DB9 was new.


Performance: 9.0

Critics contend that the DB9 needs to be experienced 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.

  • "As with the Vanquish, you don't 'start' the DB9 but rather fire it up. After turning the ignition key, you reach across to the center binnacle and hit the 'start engine' button. I can only imagine how many owners have excited their dates by inviting them to hit that particular button." -- The Auto Channel
  • "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
  • "[T]he DB9 isn't the ultimate automotive thrill machine -- other exotics best it in terms of numbers and outright performance. The DB9 is more of a GT car, one that possesses sharp handling yet is still capable of driving from Miami to Los Angeles without giving the driver chronic back pain." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

Boasting 470-horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 443 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm, the DB9's powerful 5.9-liter V12 engine is a force to be reckoned with. While its engine is front mid-mounted, its gearbox is rear mid-mounted. Available with two transmissions -- a six-speed manual transmission or a "Touchtronic 2" six-speed with an electronic shift-by-wire control system -- the DB9 can reach a top speed of 190 mph and accelerate from 0-to-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. It's Lamborghini and Ferrari competitors may be faster, but critics don't seem to mind.

According to the EPA, the DB9 has a city/highway fuel economy of 11/17 mpg when equipped with a manual transmission. With the automatic, fuel efficiency is increased to 12/19 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
  • "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 are impressed with the '09 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, make an impression.

  • "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
  • "The 9 is a very easy car to drive. It doesn't intimidate the driver, unless the mere thought of driving a $172,000 car in city traffic fills you with a sense of horror. All the input controls, except the brakes, are quite light and fall easily to hand." -- The Auto Channel
  • "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

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