Bentley Continental GT Review

Gumtree Rating

4.5 rating

If there’s really such a thing as an entry-level luxury car then the Bentley Continental GT is it. It launched in 2003, comes in coupe and convertible versions and you can choose any engine you want – as long as it’s big and petrol. That badge still has a real premier draw and these wheels will definitely bring some admiring glances. So, bringing Bentley ownership to the masses? No, it’ll still cost you a pretty penny, but it is a Bentley after all.

Visit the Bentley Continental GT model page to explore available vehicles and learn more.

What we think about the Bentley Continental GT

We’ll keep it simple — if you can afford it, buy one.

Pros

+

Breathtaking performance

+

Refined luxury

+

A real all-rounder

Cons

Too much safety tech is optional

Options quickly add up

High running costs

The Continental GT is available as the GT V8, GT or GT Mulliner. The 4.0 V8 is the cheapest (if you can call a Bentley cheap) and the standard GT has a 6.0-litre W12 engine. The Mulliner is the most luxurious version, with a price tag around a third again on the price of the V8 iteration.

Driving performance of the Bentley Continental

Our Driving Rating10 / 10

It’s a Bentley, so you’d expect high levels of comfort in the ride. You won’t be disappointed here. All-wheel drive and some technical jiggery-pokery ensures that comfort doesn’t mean poor cornering either – the Continental feels sure-footed and stable in all situations. It’s the cheaper V8 that feels most responsive though, despite having less power than the W12. Whichever you’re driving, the seats offer armchair-like comfort and visibility is good, despite the sloping roofline.

Safety and reliability of the Bentley Continental

Our Safety Rating9 / 10

Judging the safety of the Continental GT is difficult as it hasn’t been rated by Euro NCAP. There’s a plethora of safety tech available but it doesn’t all come as standard, so you’ll have to fork out for additional packages. If buying used, that cost has already been picked up by a previous owner though. Reliability-wise, this is a luxury brand so you’re likely to be well supported with issues, and it’s important (and reassuring) to remember that Bentley is part of the Volkswagen Group.

Under the bonnet of the Bentley Continental

Our Engine Rating10 / 10

The engine choices on offer are both big and both petrol – old school. The 6.0-litre W12 has 635 bhp and does 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds. The 4.0-litre V8 has ‘only’ 550 bhp but manages the same 0-62 mph sprint in a very similar four seconds. The power is achieved through twin turbochargers and the engines produce huge amounts of torque – 770 Nm for the V8 and a whopping 900 Nm for the W12.

What you'll find in the Bentley Continental

Our Design Rating9 / 10

The Bentley Continental GT has always managed to combine classic styling with GT sports appeal. It looks simultaneously timeless and completely modern, and the styling reflects what it is – supremely luxurious and incredibly powerful. The bonus of its looks is that, if your budget doesn’t stretch to a more recent model, even cars 15 or more years old don’t feel particularly dated. The Continental GT is an imposing figure in its dimensions but doesn’t feel oversized or unmanageable.

Comfort and interiors in the Bentley Continental

Our Comfort Rating9 / 10

As you would expect from Bentley, the interior of the Continental GT is superb and arguably unmatched at this (albeit not low) price point. The elegance and quality of the materials are exemplary and reach new heights of luxury in the Mulliner. The interior is in line with the exterior in its retro aesthetics that suggest timeless luxury while incorporating modern technology – such as the digital instrument panel. Comfort-wise, it’s like driving in your living room. If, of course, your armchair had twenty possible adjustments and offered cooling, heating and massages. Rear passengers are not so lucky as space is limited, but it’s perfectly good for short journeys or smaller children.

Blue Bentley Continental GT

What features you'll find in the Bentley Continental

Our Features Rating9 / 10

The infotainment screen is a useful 12.3 inches and includes Apple Play and Android Auto. It’s incorporated into the old-school interior well and doesn’t feel out of place, but there is an option to add a rotating unit that can disappear into the dashboard to reveal either three physical dials or more of that sumptuous veneer. The Mulliner offers the highest levels of luxury, and there’s an impressive level of customisation options. Options is the operative word here because there are a lot of them and they can add up very quickly. The fact that the best safety equipment is an option is particularly disappointing.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Bentley Continental

Our Fuel Consumption Rating4 / 10

If you’re buying a Bentley Continental GT, a car whose smallest powerplant is a 4.0-litre V8, fuel efficiency is probably not your highest priority. The mpg range is 20.8-23.3 and that will plummet if you get carried away with these enticingly powerful engines. The economy figures of the current cars are actually a few mpg higher than the previous generation thanks to some clever tech, but it’s doubtful you’ll really feel the difference.

Running costs of the Bentley Continental

Our Cost Rating5 / 10

Again, if you’re buying a Bentley, running costs aren’t likely a major worry for you. But if you’re looking to pick up an older used bargain, it’s important to keep in mind that these are going to be high and factor them into your budget. Servicing, parts, insurance and filling up at the pumps are all going to be very costly.

Our verdict of the Bentley Continental

4.5 rating

4.5 / 5 Gumtree rating

Few cars can do what the Continental GT does, combining classic elegance and luxurious comfort with sports handling and blistering performance.