Bentley Continental GT review

Category: Coupé

Section: Performance & drive

Bentley Continental GT 2021 rear cornering
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 2021 front
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 rear cornering
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior dashboard
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior rear seats
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 infotainment
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 front static
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 rear right tracking
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 front left tracking
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 right tracking
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 badge detail
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior front seats
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior detail
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior steering wheel
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 kickplate detail
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior detail
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior detail
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 boot open
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 2021 front
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 rear cornering
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior dashboard
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior rear seats
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 infotainment
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 front static
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 rear right tracking
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 front left tracking
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 right tracking
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 badge detail
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior front seats
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior detail
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior steering wheel
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 kickplate detail
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior detail
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 interior detail
  • Bentley Continental GT 2021 boot open
What Car?’s Continental GT deals
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Target Price from £168,500
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From £179,900

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The Bentley Continental GT is the perfect fit for the indulgent lifestyle of the super-rich, so we should probably start with its most extravagant version: the Speed, with its 650bhp 6.0-litre W12. 

That might sound like too much power, but it’s all efficiently put down to the ground through its four-wheel-drive system and eight-speed automatic gearbox. Speed models have a locking differential to make sure the power is evenly distributed between both rear wheels, preventing any loss of traction.

The V8, unlike the W12, loves to rev, giving it an alluring versatility. Sure, it can do the long-legged GT thing, but it also rewards you when you knock the gear lever over to manual mode and start to press on. Although maximum torque comes at just 2000rpm, the engine feels at its best between 3000 and 4000rpm, with impressive accelerator response and very little lag. 

Clever three-chamber air suspension is standard on all Continental GTs, providing a wafty ride in its softest setting. The default Bentley driving mode strikes the best balance between comfort and body control on most roads, disguising the two-tonne bulk while taking the sting out of nearly all lumps and bumps.

Over particularly rough sections of road, sharp-edged abrasions occasionally send small shudders through the base of your seat, although that's much less noticeable in the lighter V8. When we say lighter, we’re talking about small margins. At 2165kg, the V8 Continental weighs 108kg less than the W12. 

Most of those kilos will be over the nose of the car, so during quick changes of direction, the front of the V8 is pretty keen to turn in, which helps you rotate the car mid-corner. The 48v active anti-roll bars (optional with the V8) keep the car flat through the bends, giving the V8 surprisingly high limits that you'll struggle to breach on a public road.

The heavier Speed still has some tricks up its sleeve, though, because it has four-wheel steering to make it feel more nimble, both during low-speed manoeuvres and quick changes of direction when you up the pace. The lighter, rear-wheel drive DB11 is sharper still, but we reckon the Continental GT would be quicker point to point.

New car deals
Target Price from £168,500
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £179,900