Aston Martin - A dream come true

Furniture specialist Steve Cowling gets comfortable in the Aston Martin Vantage Roadster...

Furniture specialist Steve Cowling gets comfortable in the Aston Martin Vantage Roadster.Tell us about yourself and what you doI am co-director of Clive Christian Brentwood and have worked in our showroom for 14 years. Clive Christian is world famous for its fine quality English furniture and interior design, including hallways, stairways, fireplaces and panelling. I have been in the furniture industry for 22 years with my brother and my father.

Do you do much driving?I live in Billericay and work in Brentwood, so I can't really say I drive a lot. Nevertheless, I enjoy the driving that I do but driving for its own sake doesn't excite me. But a car like the Aston Martin would make it a lot more interesting.

So you do like cars?I enjoy driving nice cars and if I had an Aston Martin it would be fun. I'd certainly drive it a lot more than my everyday transport, which is a BMW 320 diesel. The BMW is more practical and it's got a CD player. That's all I can say about it, really.

Tell us about other cars you've ownedMy first car was a Hillman Hunter, which was a heap. My favourite was a Mercedes-Benz CLK convertible, which was great and I drove it with the top down most of the time. One of the cars I enjoyed least was my Ford Granada estate.

What would your dream car be?My dream car has always been an Aston Martin and it's been like a dream for me to drive this car today. I think there's a James Bond inside all of us and the fact that they're so quintessentially English gives Astons that aura. It's classically beautiful, timeless, but thoroughly modern and for me recalls the DB5s in the 1960s. I love the colour, I love everything about it.

What do you think of this Aston? I love the front end of the car, it's just awesome. The styling and the lines inside and out are just gorgeous, classic Aston Martin. The lines haven't changed drastically over the years. You couldn't mistake it for anything but an Aston.

How does the car drive?Like a dream. In fact, I was surprised at just how easy the car is to drive. The paddle-style gearshift looked daunting at first, but after just a few minutes behind the wheel I felt as if I'd been driving it all my life. This car's quite simply got everything I would need without being cluttered or fussy.So how do you rate it?I love it. The quality and layout of the interior is something I can really appreciate. The instrument layout shows a lot of thought and there's no mistaking that this is a real driver's car first and foremost.Facts at a glancePrice as tested £103,000 on the roadInsurance Group E21 [est.]Co2 emissions Maximum 358 g/kmPerformance Max speed 175 mph; 0-60 mph 4.9 secs.Fuel consumption 18.8 mpg (combined)Standard safety features Twin front and side airbags; ABS; Electronic Brake Force Distribution; Emergency Brake Assist; Dynamic Stability Control; Traction ControlWill it fit in your garage? Length: 4380; Width: 1865; Height: 1265 (mm)How Steve rated this carI'd love one.10 out of 10 Steve Cowling was talking to motoring editor Adrian Foster. Contact Adrian at Our thanks to Grange Aston Martin of Brentwood for the loan of the test vehicle. For more information log on to or

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