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Home / Reviews / Cars & bikes / Aston Martin DB12 review: beauty, brawn, and now brains as well

Aston Martin DB12 review: beauty, brawn, and now brains as well

Previous Aston Martins always felt outdated in the tech department, but the new Aston Martin DB12 brings the brand right into the 21st Century

Stuff Verdict

The Aston Martin DB12 may just be the most desirable car on the planet. It’s head-turing looks, new-found dynamics, and glorious interior make it a near-perfect all-rounder.


  • Stunning interior and exterior design
  • Tech feels well integrated
  • Dynamically exciting
  • Feels so special


  • Boot and rear seat space isn’t amazing
  • It’s not for shrinking violets


I’ve driven my fair share of Aston Martin models in my time, from the DBS to the DBX, and while they’ve always looked and sounded amazing, they’ve always felt lacklustre when it comes to interior technology. The new Aston Martin DB12 has resolved these issues, with an ultra-luxe driver-centric cockpit and upgraded, bespoke tech.

The DB12 doesn’t only bring interior refinement; Aston Martin has also achieved a significant leap in sporting character and dynamic capability. The British automaker asserts that it has created a new category of vehicle here; the DB12 isn’t a Grand Tourer, this is the world’s first Super Tourer.

Of course, this upgrade in refinement also comes with a higher price tag – the Aston Martin DB12 starts at £185,000. That’s a big increase from the DB11, is the new DB12 worth the price increase? I recently had the very difficult task (that’s sarcasm, if you can’t tell) of finding out…

The styling

Aston Martin is known for making some of the best-looking cars… ever, so the DB12 has some big shoes to fill. Borrowing from the head-turning, muscular design of the Aston Martin DBS, I genuinely believe the DB12 is the best-looking car currently available to buy.

Compared to the DB11, the DB12 looks more aggressive. This hints towards the power and enhanced capability that lies beneath. The track has been increased by 6mm at the front and 22m at the rear, while the all-new front-end features a larger, re-shaped radiator grill and a re-shaped splitter. 

The Aston Martin DB12’s wider track stance is complemented by standard-fit 21in forged alloy wheels, and, sitting proudly on the nose is the latest evolution of the iconic Aston Martin wings badge. 

New smaller, frameless wing mirrors compliment the design whilst also improving the aerodynamics of the car and to assist entry, presenting door handles welcome you into the new, ultra-luxury cabin.

The car comes in a dazzling array of colours, but I happen to think the Satin Aluminite Silver of my test car was absolutely perfect. The soft sheen provides a subtle, understated shine, while allowing you to appreciate every line and curve of the bodywork.

It really is a stunning vehicle – I often found myself checking it out while walking away after parking. It draws lots of attention and admiration, which can be a positive or a negative, depending on how you look at it.

Climb inside the DB12 and you’ll instantly realise why it’s more expensive than the outgoing model. Its all-new, ultra-luxurious interior feels opulent, with a lovely contemporary design.

The cockpit focuses on the driver, with physical buttons and switches ergonomically placed to allow easy control. You sit below the shoulder line and the centre console is quite high, this gives you a sporty seating position, but good visibility means I never felt cramped or claustrophobic.

The DB12’s rear seats are a different story, however. The legroom and headroom are extremely limited back there, so it’s only really suitable for children. Even then, I couldn’t get my toddler’s car seat, with its bulky ISO-fix base, into the rear due to the narrow opening (lightweight car seats shouldn’t have this issue).

The craftsmanship here is really top-notch, with the interior covered in hand-stitched Bridge of Weir hides (even on the roof). It does a perfect job of blending together its supercar and grand tourer values, with a space that feels comfortable, relaxing and luxurious when you’re cruising, yet also feels sporty and connected when your driving becomes more energetic.

The drive

The DB12 takes a new, more switched-on approach when it comes to driving characteristics. Aston Martin has focused on performance and handling to compete with sportier rivals such as the Ferrari Roma and Porsche 911 Turbo.

It actually features the same chassis and suspension set-up as its predecessor, but it has been honed for a more precise, energised ride. The DB12’s aluminium structure is 7-percent stiffer, and a new generation of intelligent adaptive dampers deliver excellent driving dynamics. Coupled with the precise steering, the DB12 gave me plenty of confidence on the road.

Despite the increased agility, when cruising on the motorway, the car is suitably stable, relaxed and comfortable. I could easily cover hundreds of miles in the DB12 and still feel refreshed when I reach my destination.

The chassis is perfectly matched to its 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. It produces 671 bhp and 800Nm of torque; an increase of 34-percent compared with the outgoing DB11. When paired with the 8-speed automatic transmission, it powers the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. It may not have the instant acceleration of an EV, but it feels addictively punchy, with a glorious soundtrack to match.

The DB12 features five drive modes; GT, Sport and Sport+ adjust the dynamic behaviour; Wet mode enhances stability on low grip surfaces; Individual mode allows you to tailor the vehicle to your preferences. These are selected using a tactile knurled rotary controller on the centre console. The system also offers four pre-defined ESP modes (Wet, On, Track and Off).

It’s fair to say the Aston Martin DB12 is a jack of all trades – a highly competent all-rounder that excels in every aspect. Whether you’re seeking exhilarating performance, precise handling, or long-distance comfort, the DB12 delivers on all fronts. However, if you want something even more agile and sporty, then the recently updated Vantage would be a better pick.

The technology

The outdated tech borrowed from Mercedes always felt at odds with the ultra-luxe Aston Martin interior. Thankfully, the DB12 fixes that with an all-new, entirely bespoke infotainment system. This is the first in-house system designed and developed by Aston Martin, so have they done a good job here?

To begin with, the screen looks much more premium, with the 10.25in display now fully integrated into the dashboard rather than tacked on like in previous models.

The software also feels suitably premium, with a dark, minimal UI design. You’re certainly not overwhelmed by menus, settings, and personalisation options, Aston Martin has kept things relatively simple, striking a good balance between touchscreen commands and physical switches.

The DB12 retains buttons for all of the key, frequently used mechanical operations such as gear selection, drive selection, heating and ventilation. There are also override switches for chassis, ESP and exhaust, Lane Assist and Park Distance Control.

When it comes to using the screen, for navigation, media, or changing more obscure settings such as cabin lighting, the screen is responsive and the UI is easy to navigate.

If you prefer, the system supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (which, let’s be honest, most of us will use no matter how good the manufacturer system is).

An all-new companion Aston Martin App allows DB12 owners to communicate, interact and engage with their car. This allows you to remotely lock/unlock and locate the car, as well as look up trip data and initiate over-the-air updates.

As standard, the DB12 is fitted with the Aston Martin 390w 11 speaker audio system, but true audiophiles will want to opt for the surround system developed in partnership with Bowers & Wilkins. This 15-speaker, double-amplified 1,170W system sounds balanced and powerful, offering a truly immersive audio experience. I found it difficult to choose between listening to music and enjoying the equally glorious V8 engine.

Aston Martin DB12 verdict

Having driven a number of Aston Martin models, I can confidently say that the new DB12 marks a significant leap forward for the brand. It successfully combines luxury, performance, and advanced technology, creating a vehicle that excels in every area. The DB12’s refined interior, enhanced driving dynamics, and powerful V8 engine set a new standard.

Aston Martin’s commitment to innovation is evident in the DB12, with its first in-house infotainment system being a real hit. The car manages to strike a perfect balance between being a high-performance sports car and a comfortable grand tourer, making it an ideal choice for those seeking both excitement and refinement. 

In essence, the DB12 not only meets but exceeds expectations, solidifying its position as a top contender in the luxury sports car market.

Stuff Says…

Score: 5/5

The Aston Martin DB12 may just be the most desirable car on the planet. It’s head-turing looks, new-found dynamics, and glorious interior make it a near-perfect all-rounder.


Stunning interior and exterior design

Tech feels well integrated

Dynamically exciting

Feels so special


Boot and rear seat space isn’t amazing

It’s not for shrinking violets

Aston Martin DB12 technical specifications

Powertrain4.0-litre V8 Twin Turbo
Power680PS / 671bhp
Torque800Nm / 590 lb-ft
Top speed202mph
Fuel economy23mpg
Boot Volume262 litres
Weight1685kg (dry)
Dimensions2145 x 4725mm
Profile image of Spencer Hart Spencer Hart Buying Guide Editor


As Buying Guide Editor, Spencer is responsible for all e-commerce content on Stuff, overseeing buying guides as well as covering deals and new product launches. Spencer has been writing about consumer tech for over eight years. He has worked on some of the biggest publications in the UK, where he covered everything from the emergence of smartwatches to the arrival of self-driving cars. During this time, Spencer has become a seasoned traveller, racking up air miles while travelling around the world reviewing cars, attending product launches, and covering every trade show known to man, from Baselworld and Geneva Motor Show to CES and MWC. While tech remains one of his biggest passions, Spencer also enjoys getting hands-on with the latest luxury watches, trying out new grooming kit, and road-testing all kinds of vehicles, from electric scooters to supercars.

Areas of expertise

Watches, travel, grooming, transport, tech