Aston Martin Rapide S | PH Used Buying Guide

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Aston's flawed but fabulous four-door can now be bought for little more than £40k - here's how to get one 👇

If you’re a non-negotiable fan of engine noise there can’t be much argument about this Aston being the best sounding of all the cars in this segment, cars like the Panamera, RR Ghost and Bentley Flying Spur. The beauty of the Rapide S lay in its dual personality. Its AM29 V12 engine could be stretched to dish up a delicious three-course Sunday dinner audio experience or dialled back for an intimate jazz club supper level of refinement that was a match for any of these rivals.

Servicing was on a 12-month/10,000-mile basis. Aston’s own schedule prices these services up at between £805 and £840 for the first four years. The £840 even-numbered year services included brake fluid changes, but at year four/40k miles you had to add £130 for new auto diff oil. Coolant was changed within the £920 and £990 cost of the 5yr/50k and 10yr/100k services.

The very first 8-speed Aston ZF boxes had a problem going into neutral when you hadn’t asked them to. Weirdly, this was traced to the chrome on a trans switch reacting adversely with a PCB. It was caught early and a recall was issued. There was also a recall to put right a comms error between the engine and gearbox control modules which allowed the car to continue rolling in Park mode. If you’re not using the Rapide as a daily it’s a good idea to hook the battery up to a trickle charger.

The quality of the bodywork and of details like the flush-fit doorhandles was right up there but the aluminium could bubble up over time. Water could mess up the operation of the windows. The tailgate opened onto what we’ve seen described as a 317-litre space which if you folded the back seats down grew to 750 or 886 litres, depending on your information source, but you might well find yourself scratching your head at these numbers when you personally examine the space.

However, if you’re more interested in a character-rich motoring experience than in securing the moral high ground then the Aston is surely worth more than a look at prices starting from a little over £40k. From behind the wheel it feels like a 2-seater sports car. That’s a feeling you’re less likely to experience in a Panamera.

 

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I saw one in that very colour this morning. Lovely. And terrifying

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