The way to describe the Bentley Continental is “solid”. The car is extremely overbuilt and it has such a feel of presence and occasion to it on the road. It is extremely refined and relaxed about everything it does whether you are just cruising or charging full steam ahead. The way it retains this laid back feel in all situations really sets it apart from any other car I have experienced. The Continental is a serious Grand Touring car to be sure.
As far as raw performance, the Bentley actually exceeded my expectations. It accelerated much harder than I thought it would, given its large curb weight. Its W12 delivers a potent, low bellow under power, which is delivered smoothly but with noticeable force. Its transmission was better than I thought it would be too, not as crisp or as fast as the Lamborghinis, but very responsive for a car so focused on luxury.
The GTC’s handling composure on tiny mountain roads was the biggest surprise about the car. With that said, it doesn’t hide it’s heft, but it is able to overcome it and keep a very solid pace on tighter roads due to it’s very well done chassis. Even on such tight winding roads, where the car should be completely out of it’s element, it maintains that comfortable composure I mentioned earlier, it is very difficult to phase this car. It was able to cruise at 110 on open, slightly curving two lane mountain roads with such ease that I didn’t even realize how fast we were going until I glanced down to the speedo. Even on crap pavement you had to be looking at the road to know how bad the tarmac was because it still rode so smoothly even over such a rough surface.
The interior was superb in quality, as to be expected in any Bentley. The leather was supple and smooth, and the seats were soft and encompassing like you were sitting in an armchair behind the wheel. The materials used are all of the highest grade, nothing about this car feels even remotely cheap. In fact I am sure there are more than a few areas of the car where “the best” was deemed unfit, and something even better was found for use. Remember, this is a Bentley we are talking about here, not some low life Mercedes or Jaguar.
The Bentley Continental is a superb car in every possible way, and I feel the GTC convertible version is probably the best way to have it. Being able to drop the top only adds more appeal to a car like this that will be used on the boulevard, not the racetrack. Bentley knew what they were doing when they made this car. The Continental is the cheapest model they offer, but honestly it’s the best because of that. It offers more performance and equal luxury to the likes of the Brooklands and the Mulsanne but costs half the price and has the same basic image about it too. In the past I have even gone as far as to say that the Continental is the best GT car offered on the market since it came out with all factors accounted for. After driving the car for real I can confirm that I was correct. It’s no wonder they have sold so many of them. The Continental GTC was better than I thought it would be by a decent margin, and I would not shudder one bit at the prospect of driving one of these across the continent. Fantastic car.
WoM Score: Bentley Continental GTC (used)
Primary Function: Luxury: 2
Secondary Functions: Performance(2), Practicality(2): 2
Visual Appeal: 2
Build Quality: 2
Value for Money: 2
Final Score: 10/10