Does that render the Aston an inferior choice? Absolutely, unequivocally not.
But there are compromises. It loses on showroom factor, for sure. In fact amongst a group of rivals including the 991 the Aston is on shaky ground. The V8's shape is still fabulously pretty, with the N430's liveries and CC100-inspired forged alloys complementing it well. But the interior is a real weak point now. The Alcantara wheel is gorgeous but the dash is outdated, complicated and fussy. Cars in this class could well be purchased as everyday sports cars and V8's cabin simply isn't good enough.
Furthermore, if the interior hasn't managed to keep pace with a decade of development, the dynamics most definitely have. Yes, the N430 has a Sport mode to sharpen throttle response but it's fundamentally an uncomplicated car. Steering modes don't have to be configured and there are no programmable buttons on the wheel; it's simply a finely honed and fantastically engaging V8 RWD sports car. And if that doesn't appeal you're on the wrong website.
The steering grabs the attention first. With ePAS becoming the norm, to experience a well engineered hydraulic power steering system is a joy. The response isn't lightning fast but it's consistent and predictable, giving absolute confidence in what the front tyres are doing. And you can feel the road surface changes and variations in grip through the wheel, the communication again bolstering trust and confidence. It's superb.
Torque is good if not abundant at low revs but that only ensures the final 3,000rpm from 4,500 onwards feels even more special. The N430 may lack the searing top end of a 991 but the V8 is plentiful eager, responsive and exciting enough in its upper reaches. The V8 snarl remains captivating too, particularly on heel and toe down changes.
But that matches the car's slightly old school approach that a fairly stiff clutch only augments further. It requires a little bit of work to acclimatise but that only serves to make the pleasure from changing gear well even greater. The V8 looks likely to be the last manual Aston too, a sad if not entirely unexpected situation.
Combining that powertrain and steering with a chassis that is beautifully damped and infinitely exploitable makes for a stellar sports car. The N430 would certainly not disgrace itself in a road test against the F-Type, 911 or R8.
Is that enough? Maybe. The V8 N430 is excellent to drive but then so are many of its rivals. The R8 and 911 have manual options as well. There's no doubt the Vantage is right up there dynamically and remains hugely charismatic, with a badge of enviable image. If that's still enough for you in the face of stiff competition from much fresher rivals then the N430 won't disappoint.
ASTON MARTIN V8 VANTAGE N430
Engine: 4,735cc V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual, RWD, limited-slip differential (7-speed Sportshift optional)
Power (hp): 436@7,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 361@5,000rpm
0-62mph: 4.5 seconds
Top speed: 190mph
Kerbweight: 1,685kg (EU weight with 75kg driver)
MPG: 20.5 (NEDC combined)
Price: £89,995 (as tested OTR price £98,130 including £995 for Aston Martin 700W premium audio, £195 for auto dimming rear view mirror, £1,795 for sat-nav, £495 for heated front seats, £995 for front parking sensors, £995 for reversing camera, £295 for alarm upgrade, £495 for Bluetooth, £295 for cruise control (!) and £495 for memory seats).