Bentley Continental GT review - MPG, CO2 and running costs

Expensive to buy, expensive to run and potentially expensive to sell… but what did you expect?

If you want to run a car with a 626bhp 12-cylinder engine under its bonnet, any interest in fuel economy is likely to centre only around the driving range on a full tank. The new Continental GT’s fuel tank will hold 20 gallons of fuel, which at the officially measured 13.6mpg combined would allow you to travel around 270 miles miles between fills.

The V8-engined Continental manages a more palatable 23.9mpg, with its 90-litre fuel tank good for a claimed 474-mile range. But, to achieve this in real-world driving you'll need plenty of willpower and a light right foot  – although it's likely that most buyers won't be troubled by such costs.

The W12 has CO2 emissions of 308g/km, so saving the environment isn’t going to be at the top of buyers’ objectives. There’s a hybrid model promised which should answer questions on that score, but meanwhile company car drivers will be looking at a top-rate 37% Benefit-in-Kind bracket and an associated annual tax bill that’s knocking on the door of £25k – assuming users are in the highest ‘additional rate’ income tax band.

It’s not just at the fuel pumps where the Continental GT can make significant inroads into your personal wealth, of course. While the £150,000-plus entry price isn’t much more than the previous model, there are a wealth of customisation options and bespoke upgrade possibilities that mean you can spend a lot more creating your perfect specification.

Maintenance won’t be cheap either, as aside from the high cost of servicing you’ll need to budget for expensive consumables like tyres and brake pads.

Insurance groups

You’ll pay dearly to insure a Continental GT as its staggering performance, price and rarity places it in the top group 50 insurance rating. Repair costs will also be sky high, which also contributes to expensive premiums.

Depreciation

The significant tech upgrades, better looks and enthusiast driving credentials of the new car are impressive, but when it comes to depreciation expensive and exclusive luxury models like this will still likely lose a lot over the first three years, so if you’re buying outright be prepared to lose a lot of cash as the first owner. That said, there aren’t many around at the moment, so exclusivity should keep values high. Expert data suggests the Continental GT will retain between 50% to 60% over 3 years and 36,000 miles, with the First Edition models performing least well.

Longer term, the model’s (relatively) high predicted sales volumes and significant cost of ownership are likely to count against it.

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