Aston Martin DB12 Volante (2024) review: still want that Roma Spider?

Published: 15 April 2024 Updated: 15 April 2024
Aston Martin DB12 Volante review
  • At a glance
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5

By Alan Taylor-Jones

New cars editor, seasoned road tester and automotive encyclopaedia.

By Alan Taylor-Jones

New cars editor, seasoned road tester and automotive encyclopaedia.

► 2024 Aston Martin DB12 Volante review
► Out goes the V12, in comes V8 power
► Road test, prices and a verdict you can trust

Don’t think of the Aston Martin DB12 Volante as the softer, squishier option. Instead, the drop-top has been engineered to match the hard-top as closely as possible. That would make it the most dynamic Volante in Aston Martin’s long history and possibly one of the best sports cars out there.

The Aston DB12 coupe certainly impressed us at launch in 2023. A complete interior overhaul was long overdue and most welcome, with a far more bespoke feel and better tech throughout. Gone was the big twin-turbo V12, although you couldn’t call its AMG-sourced V8 replacement malnourished. Can the convertible version impress as much?

At a glance

Pros: Ride, handling, performance
Cons: Glare on touchscreen, feels big on a B road

Tell me what’s new

Like on the DB12 Coupe, Aston’s twin-turbo V12 is no longer available. You’ll need a DBS if you want 12 cylinders. In its place sits a reworked version of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo AMG V8 found in lesser DB11s. Bigger turbos and supporting modifications boost performance, and the chassis has been tweaked to match.

Aston Martin DB12 Volante rear driving

It’s a more rigid platform than the old’s car and has adaptive dampers with a far greater bandwidth. The suspension tune is much the same as the coupe’s save for a slightly tweaked rear spring rate and a specific damper tune. That’s no surprise, since the Volante weighs 111kg more than its fixed-head brethren, at 1796kg before fluids.

The interior eschews almost all Mercedes parts and has its own inhouse-developed infotainment system. Contrary to most rivals, this overhaul doesn’t mean everything’s controlled by a touchscreen. There are plenty of physical controls to make simple things like changing temperature easy.

And the specs?

The new V8 churns out 671bhp and 590Ib ft of torque. This is delivered to the rear wheels by an eight-speed ZF torque converter automatic to give 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 202mph. Efficiency is predictably poor, with 23.2mpg and 276g/km of CO2 listed on the official WLTP test figures.

Aston Martin DB12 Volante front driving

It takes 14 seconds to open the fabric roof and 16 seconds to close it at speeds up to 31mph. This is controlled via a dedicated switch on the centre console, a far better solution than burying it in the touchscreen infotainment system.

How does it drive?

Gently crunching down a gravel drive and into the heart of a village, the Volante feels docile and remarkably comfortable. It quickly becomes clear that Aston Martin aren’t afraid of picking poorly surfaced roads for the 2024 launch circuit – and highlight how easy it is to live the DB12 Volante in everyday conditions.

GT mode allows slightly too much body movement during spirited driving, with Sport bringing an extra layer of control without ruining the ride. Sport+ feels a bit too stiff and hyperactive for a B-road so, thankfully, there’s an Individual mode along with separate buttons for the suspension tune, manual mode for the gearbox and exhaust volume. It really is pick and mix.

Aston Martin DB12 Volante front cornering

The Volante’s V8 is unobtrusive in its quietest mode with the mid setting on the exhaust giving a bit more noise. I found myself with the exhaust in full, shoutiest loud mode most of the time, for a bit more burble and roar. With nothing but fresh air between my ears and the quad pipes, it seemed a shame not to enjoy them.

Gearchanges are smooth in GT mode with Sport bringing a greater keenness to kick down a gear or two. Sport+ changes are faster still, but seem to avoid thumping though for dramatic effect. Manual mode is good, but there are faster-acting gearboxes out there.

The steering combines good road feel with a quick rack and not a hint of nervousness around the straight-ahead. It allows you to get comfortable with the DB12 Volante quickly as you start to explore its abilities. Turn-in feels keen with very little roll from the suspension and plenty of front-end adhesion, with the option of bringing the rear into play if you wish. You’re aware of a little flex from the chassis when really pushing on, if not enough to cloud the driving experience.

Aston Martin DB12 Volante rear cornering

Road and wind noise aren’t a great deal more bothersome than in the coupe with the roof up. With it down, you’ll be doing the national speed limit before things get too blustery assuming the side windows are up, and the detachable wind deflector is in place.

Is the interior up to scratch?

At last, the answer here is yes. Gone is the tiny and outdated Mercedes infotainment screen, replaced by an all-new system. The 10.25-inch touchscreen has slick graphics, sharp responses and logical menus. Its only real sin is the angle at which it sits, lown down in the centre console, making it tricky to read in direct sunlight.

Aston Martin DB12 Volante interior front

Beneath it you’ll find the satisfyingly mechanical-feeling rotary drive mode selector, stubby gearlever and lots of lovely buttons and physical controls for the important stuff like heating and the excellent Bowers & Wilkins stereo’s volume control. Quality impresses, too, making this a massive step on from the DB11.

Before you buy

You’ll need £199,500 at the time of writing to get your hands on the new 2024 Aston Martin DB12 Volante, but it’s possible to spend an awful lot more if you go mad on personalisation and options. You do get a fair amount of equipment as standard, including a full suite of ADAS self-driving systems, auto high beam, blindspot monitoring, a 3D parking camera system, the adaptive dampers and 21-inch alloy wheels.


We had high hopes for the DB12 Volante and we didn’t walk away disappointed. The new engine provides prodigious performance and the ride and handling balance is truly impressive. Is it quite as good to drive as the coupe? No, but you could say that about most of the Volante’s rivals, save for those coming out of McLaren.

While we’re used to Aston Martins driving well, what’s refreshing here is that the interior looks just as exquisite as the exterior, and works very well indeed. We’d certainly have one of these over a Bentley Continental GTC. A Ferrari Roma Spider? That’d be a closer run test.


Price when new: £199,500
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 3982cc 32v twin-turbo V8, 671bhp @ 6000rpm, 590Ib ft @ 2750-6000rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 3.7sec 0-62mph, 202mph
Weight / material: 1796kg (dry)
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4725/2135/1295mm

Photo Gallery

  • Aston Martin DB12 Volante review
  • Aston Martin DB12 Volante front driving
  • Aston Martin DB12 Volante rear driving
  • Aston Martin DB12 Volante front cornering
  • Aston Martin DB12 Volante rear cornering
  • Aston Martin DB12 Volante interior front
  • Aston Martin DB12 Volante rear seats
  • Aston Martin DB12 Volante infotainment
  • Aston Martin DB12 Volante driving position
  • Aston Martin DB12 Volante ATJ driving

By Alan Taylor-Jones

New cars editor, seasoned road tester and automotive encyclopaedia.