I bought the car in the Bentley dealership in Manchester. The car had one previous owner and covered 22,000 miles.
The car is flawless - it may not be as handsome, as cheap or as good to drive as an Aston Martin DB9, but it comes down to brand value and knowing that you are in a car which can reach 198mph along with having a Bentley badge glued to the bonnet.
Many complain that the car uses much of the switchgear found in both the Volkswagen Phaeton and Audi A8, however I feel that the quality of the fittings in these two cars is better than the tat stuffed into Aston Martins - Ford Fiesta fittings in a car with such a price tag is not acceptable.
I would much rather have VW switchgear than fittings found in one of Ford's part bins, or the Fiat-like fittings found in Ferraris. The only drawback I can find with the car is that the cabin is not that spacious, and the car has become a bit 'footballer wife's' car all of a sudden.
Anyone buying a car in this price region should definitely go out and test-drive one, and if anyone is seriously thinking about buying one, make it a used one! I saved myself £35,000 by buying one two years old.
My first impression on sitting in the car in the showroom was of a sensation of supreme quality. At that time, I was still considering a Porsche Carerra 4S. Having driven the Porsche and the Bentley, there is no contest - the Bentley wins hands down.
When I took the driving position for my first test drive in the Bentley, I was totally bowled over by the sheer visceral power of this motor. True, it did not have the 'bad boy' eagerness of the Porsche, but it gave me a feeling of enormous power.
I remember feeling a sense of sheer excitement that I have never felt for any car before. With the Bentley, I knew before I had driven 20 yards I was going to buy the car.
I tried to resist buying this car. I went away and decided the Porsche was better value for money and offered all the power I would ever need. However, my daughter verbalised what I was feeling. If I bought the Porsche (or anything else), within weeks I would be forever regretting my decision. So I allowed my heart to rule my brain.
Do I regret it? Not for one moment. True, I must have a second car for those supermarket visits, but so what? I get to enjoy the Bentley even more after that. I cannot for the life of me imagine any other car giving me this feeling of occasion. I could have bought the Ferrari 430 or the Aston Martin DB9, but neither gave me that feeling of exclusiveness and buzz.
I believe this to be one of the truly great cars of our age. It is one to keep.
This car is great, but with the cheaper (and somehow better) Aston Martin DB9, it's not worth the extra £12,000.
Can't wait for the Flying Spur.
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