Aston Martin is currently undergoing a rebirth, as it was sold by Ford in 2007 to a private investment group. The 2009 model most clearly shows the influence of the new owners.
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Aston Martin models have always shown the very best in automotive design, and the 2009 DB9 Volante continues this trend. Note the curved aperture for the headlight casing.
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Although gadgets such as navigation and Bluetooth are standard, there are some options on this car, such as the grille, which has a brighter look than the standard.
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Under the hood, each car gets a stamped badge with the name of the final inspector who let the car out of the factory.
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Although it has 12 cylinders and 6 liters of displacement, the engine isn't technically advanced by today's standards, lacking variable valve timing and other efficiencies.
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The power top operates easily from a switch on the center console. It's not the fastest we've seen.
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With the top up, road noise is muted, as the convertible offers solid insulation.
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These 19-inch wheels are the most expensive option on the car, although only $1,510.
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The DB9 uses aluminum wishbone suspension components fore and aft, lacking the kinds of active suspension technologies found on other cars.
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The twin exhausts are fairly quiet when the car is running under 3,000rpm, but the exhaust note gets very pleasing when you run the engine speed up to 4,000.
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In good, British tradition, an umbrella comes standard with the car. But it's about the only thing that can fit in this trunk, where space is compromised by the convertible top.
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One of the highlights of the DB9 Volante is the coachwork. The cabin uses beautiful wood and leather.
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Even the rocker panels get a little leather trim around the Aston Martin badge. This spot is where you would put your hand as you get out of the car.
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The dashboard offers a surprising amount of modern technology for a car so ensconced in British tradition.
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Plastic buttons attached below the spokes of the steering wheel are very functional, but look a little cheap when compared with the nice leather around them.
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Paddle shifters for the six speed automatic transmission are mounted to the steering column.
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We particularly like the instrument cluster in this car. The gauges counter-rotate, and have little displays for trip information and a digital speed read-out.
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You choose the drive modes for the automatic transmission from buttons at the top of the stack. A manual transmission is also available.
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This joystick controls most of the car electronics, such as navigation and phone.
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The navigation LCD hides under this wood panel when not in use. We weren't impressed with its fit and finish, as it seemed hacked into place.
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The navigation system itself is hard-drive-based, and reacts quickly to commands. Unfortunately, it lacks advanced features such as traffic.
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The radio display is used for music and phone information. We like the iPod integration.
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Beyond iPod, other audio sources include satellite radio, USB, six disc changer with MP3 capability, and a regular auxiliary plug.
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A 700-watt audio system comes as standard, with a big speaker grille between the back seats. You can also upgrade to a 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen system.
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The Bluetooth phone integration is very good, reading contact list information from a paired phone.
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