Bentley Continental GT review
The Continental GT is unmatched in the world of grand tourers; imperious and eloquent in equal measure, it hits the brief like no other
Few cars hit the ‘grand tourer’ brief quite as well as the Bentley Continental GT. Since it was first introduced in 2003, the large and luxurious coupe has been a sales hit, reinvigorating the Bentley brand by opening it up to a more contemporary customer. Twenty years and three generations later the Continental GT has only become more impressive, with an even wider breadth of ability and even more sumptuous luxury.
The current Continental GT was first introduced in 2018, and the range has since expanded to include two powertrain options, two body styles and five variants spread between the sportier and luxurious ends of the GT market. Yet the Continental GT’s brilliance perpetuates across the range, bringing together luxury and high performance motoring like few other cars can.
About the Bentley Continental GT
The Continental GT’s grandiose styling is perhaps first to grab the eye, while the fabulously luxurious and lavishly equipped interior feels a cut above anything else you can buy for the money. Throw in a thoroughly reworked driving experience that – courtesy of a chassis shared with the Porsche Panamera – brings a new level of responsiveness and control to what’s classically been more of a luxury than sports car.
The Continental GT is powered by either a brutish 4.0-litre V8 or effortless 6.0-litre W12 engine, each paired to a sophisticated all-wheel drive system. Together with the latest high-end chassis hardware, Bentley’s recipe for its GT car is formidable, and extremely successful.
The range is now split into no less than five individual models, most featuring a specific powertrain. At the entry-point is the V8-powered GT, then you have the Azure and V8 S models sharing the same powertrain, but coming with more kit and a bias towards luxury and a more dynamic drive, respectively. Above these sits the W12-powered Speed, leaving the Mulliner at the top of the range, which can be specified with either powertrain option.
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Apart from trim changes and different wheel designs, all Continental GTs generally look similar, with the S and Speed models both offering a sportier aesthetic on account of their darker-coloured details. Mulliner models feature their own elaborate grille and wheel designs, with Bentley also recently introducing a slightly more subtle Blackline finish for its flagship trim.
Alongside the coupe is the full-four seater GT Convertible which swaps the fastback metal roof for a folding fabric item. As well as being compact enough to easily fit under a sleek tonneau, the fabric roof can also be specified in one of six different colours including a distinctive tweed finish. Of course, if you expand your idea of a GT from just being a two-door, Bentley’s Flying Spur saloon shares many of the Continental GT’s fundamentals, packaged into a sleek four-seater body.
The luxury GT coupe market currently offers an array of drool-worthy exotics, but the Continental GT remains closest to the mantra. Its rivals include the Ferrari Roma and Aston Martin DB11; look further afield and you’ll find the slightly smaller Lexus LC500 and Porsche 911. Maserati’s new GranTurismo is another consideration, and if you’re after a GT with a three-pointed star on the front your only option for now is the drop-top SL.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Continental GT is unmatched in the world of grand tourers; imperious and eloquent in equal measure, it hits the brief like no other
- 2Engines, performance and driveBentley’s superb powertrains sync perfectly with its chassis to create an experience that’s every bit as indulgent as you’d hope
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsHigh running costs are to be expected on cars like this, but Bentley has employed at least some fuel-saving initiatives
- 4Interior, design and technologyOpulent, finely crafted and full of tech, Bentley’s new-age interior design is a triumph
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThose sat in the front seats have plenty of room, but rear passengers could be a little more well catered for in terms of space
- 6Reliability and SafetyBeing part of the giant VW Group means that it’s gone through the same rigorous development as its German counterparts