Form or function? There was never any doubting which one of those roads the Aston Martin DB9 would choose to ply. It’s a credit to its original stylists that all these years later the remarkably little-changed interior still looks fresh and interesting. Indeed, now as then, it looks fully in keeping with the car’s substantial six-figure purchase price.

Every now and then, however, the cabin's ability to make your heart sing is rivalled only by its capacity to boil your blood. For beautiful though this cabin is, it is an ergonomic joke.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Tall drivers will find legroom in the Aston restrictive

For instance, the driving position ensures that taller drivers will be simply unable to get comfortable behind the wheel. There’s inadequate rear seat movement and too limited adjustment to the steering wheel’s reach.

Meanwhile, the gorgeous dials turn out to be all but unreadable thanks to the diminutive point size of their lettering: were it not for a digital speed readout, you’d never normally know how fast you were going. 

The centre stack is more confusing still, with two displays providing information in such a bewildering and apparently haphazard fashion that you may end up electing to go uninformed. Buttons that are tiny and poorly labelled don’t help either. At least the new Garmin-based navigation system is now merely poor rather than unusable.

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If you buy the Volante you’ll find the roof mechanism actually works very well, reducing headroom by only a tiny amount relative to the coupé when raised, and stowing neatly and quickly behind the driver.

You don’t even lose much boot space, though when even the coupé will carry only 186 litres of luggage, you’ll feel the loss of 14 of them in the Volante more keenly than most.

Bear in mind also that whichever version you buy, it will come with rear seats that, for almost all people almost all of the time, will prove entirely useless, save as for additional non-secure luggage storage.

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