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Is the Bentley Continental the pinnacle of a luxurious Gran Turismo?

Bentley defines itself as a brand with extraordinary craftsmanship and unique cars. According to their promises, Bentley should achieve their intention when a client considers buying a car which costs a quarter million upwards.

The vehicle shown are a Continental GT Convertible “First Edition” and a Continental GT Coupe “First Edition”, both from 2019, equipped with the mighty W12 engine the brand has redefined for several models in their past line-up. It is a car I always wanted to have an experience with. So, here we are.

First impressions

Bling bling everywhere, as much chrome as possible, the biggest engine possible, the finest materials possible. This car oozes and impresses with luxury on the outside as well as on the inside. The new GT looks better than ever. Its designer Stefan Sielaff got the proportions so well together I barely can't stop looking at the new Bentley. Such a great looking car, don’t you think?

What it’s all about

A pure luxurious driving experience as comfortable as possible with the knowledge of having a powerful engine under the hood. The British are known to keep traditions alive if possible. Ans that’s exactly what the actual Bentley Continental GT embodies. The muscular shoulders over the wheel arches reflect the power and brand’s design heritage. Even the doubled diagonally arranged round head lights and the shiny front grill do so.

The design team was aware that headlights and taillights are very special elements of a car. Oval shapes were chosen, as they are often found in Bentley's design history, but were implemented here in a new and very memorable way. What is unusual about the four-lamp arrangement is the significantly larger design of the inner pair of headlights, which not only gives the front a distinctive "face" but also reminds us of the times when, in the 1920s and 1930s, the large luxury automobiles also had a narrow space on either side of the cooler arranged lamp pair had large diameter.

But it has something else in mind: the eye is drawn to the distinctive radiator grille, which lends the car's appearance distinctiveness and presence. That’s what it’s at; presence.

"Unobtrusive, stylish and elegant in every way. A true gentlemen’s ride."

Driving experience

You feel very sublime while rolling through the streets. The Bentley has such an amazing road presence and even pops out in a very restrained configuration like this Convertible has. Maybe the car was a true neck-breaker because I mostly drove it with the opened roof. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of black cars. But combined with the cream-coloured leather interior it really seems spot on. Very tasty, very gentlemen, much coolness.

It is kind of a paradox thing by having an enormously huge engine in front but keep on chilling. Just the knowledge of having enough power in any realistic situation is enough satisfying.

Yeah, you might be annoyed about me wearing the pink sunglasses and being in an unrealistic movie. I don’t care.

Fasten your seat belt. The Continental GT can be quick, too. The mighty W12 rumbles powerful but never seems to get out of breath. The adaptive suspension helps this huge boat of a car getting through corners and winding countryside roads. What a time to be alive.

To the interior

Honestly, the Bentley Continental is a car I’d like to have a proper walkaround instead of having a ride as quick as possible. But as soon as our beloved butt has claimed the driver’s seat, the senses are flooded with impressions. As if your neighbour were to empty his children's gigantic, makeshift paddling pool in one fell swoop and flood your vegetable garden so badly that your seedlings would be untraceable afterwards. Additionally, you should head out to buy some new garden soil because there might be nothing left after that tsunami.

Jokes aside. There are only finest materials everywhere. Well, almost. Reality strikes back; Bentley used a few parts from elder Audi models such as the turn signal lever and a few hidden buttons which are made out of cheap plastic. The gear lever feels cheap in its haptics and the whole entertainment system looks very outdated.

And like a few cars I drove in the past, the rear seats are almost unusable for passengers but work quite well as luggage space. Leaving the disappointing arguments aside, the interior barely can't stop to impress you. The leather works with piping and stitching are out of this world as I'm not even going into the endless possibilities you have by configurating you own new Bentley. And of course, the Conti GT has everything on board you'd like to have in a luxourious car; electric seats with heating, cooling and an air scarf (!), piano paintjobs, real alloy air vents, soft closing doors, Naim speakers and so on. To sum it up quickly; The Continental GT is a great companion for long distance traveling.

Now what to buy

This might be the most complex section to write in this review. The Bentley marks the highest end depending on luxurious driving. Not even a Rolls Royce comes close to this. Despite they cost even more.

On the other side, a Mercedes S500 or S63 Convertible might do the job at least as good as the Bentley Continental GT for less money but less extravagancy, either. Considering that I’ve driven both and I must consider that the Mercedes might be a better value for the money spent. And the running costs should be slightly less, too.

At the end, money or brand preferences are probably the most common arguments for the buyer’s decision. I’d love to have both in a classy specification. The Bentley probably a slightly bit more just because of the optics and the rotating display which fascinated me every time it turned.

To end this review, I wanted to thank Auto Kauth, one of my long-term clients for the opportunity to have a go in their Bentley Continental GT Convertible and Coupe which they had in their sales inventory.

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