Bentley Continental GT and GTC


The Bentley Continental GT is one of the most dependable supercars. It has huge performance from the W12 engine, yet superb components and build means it easily absorbs the high miles owners put on it. Seeing cars that have covered many miles is not uncommon, and reflects its easy drivability and dependability. They are rock-solid.

2005 Continental GT coupes are now down to 55k – this is bang on the money and, coincidentally, level pegging with the Aston Martin DB9. This trend continues through the years, too, which is entirely in line with what this car is. It’s Bentley’s alternative to the DB9, and buyers of one often consider the other, too. Lower mileage Continental GTs does tend to hold their values much better. In fact, these have hardened up over the past few months, as many buyers have switched from buying new to used. The stock of available new cars has reduced considerably as heavy discounting has launched most into the market. The company realizes that a short term sales benefit could have longer term implications in erosion of values and consumer appetite to order new ones.

The popular drop-top Bentley Continental GTC is a very creditable alternative to the Coupe GT version – and is, surprisingly, more practical than the Coupe. When people tell me they’ll want to carry a third or fourth person regularly, I advise them to go for the GTC. That’s because the hardtop has the centre console extended between the rear seats. The GTC doesn’t have this, so gives people more space to spread out.

Bentley also has a very well developed personalisation service. This is particularly relevant for open top cars, where owners may be more tempted to indulge and show off. More people buy GTCs as weekend cars, so the mileages tend to be that bit lower than for the GTs. The market factors this into valuations. I certainly have with the cars I’ve looked at here. But I still would have nothing to fear from a higher-mileage GTC, such is the integrity of the car. So long as it was reflected in the price. Currently, the price decreases by about 10,000 for 10,000 miles more on the clock.

The standard Bentley colour palette is very good. You’re safe with most blues, blacks, silvers and greys – so long as you have the right interior. Certain external greens and internal reds need to be approached with care. As a rule, a dark exterior works well with light interior, and vice-versa. A popular colour that really sells well on GTCs is Silver Lake. This is the ‘brochure’ colour, seen in all the original release material, and works superbly on the GTC. The interior is offered with a choice of colour for both the main and secondary hides (secondary means the top stripes of the door panels, the rear shelf, centre console and the dash top). This defaults to a colour that tones with the exterior. Some people have chosen the same colour for both, and this can be overpowering. Also beware of cars with light coloured dash tops. This can reflect into the windscreen on sunny days…

Bentley also offers a wide selection of interior wood veneer finishes. Safe traditional dark walnut and burr finishes provide the traditional feeling of opulence. A modern meaner look is offered with the piano black lacquer and aluminium dash options, but these only work well with contemporary Teutonic colours. There are also some ‘off the wall’ veneer options, such as elm burr and even mahogany, which look yellow and red… and are not popular.

On the GTC, brighter (but still subtle) metallic’s tend to be seen more frequently, again a reflection of the car’s more lifestyle-orientated approach. Also, the choice of hood allows for colours to match the exterior, such as green, blue and red. The brave out there will go for white; with a good set of wheels, this is a reasonably safe choice in the current market – but buyers should remember that tastes and fashion can change…

The Speed version, which arrived in 2007, is a very worthwhile addition to the range, particularly with the GTC. The standard car is hardly slow – it’s still a 6.0-litre W12 model, after all – but the speed gives just that little bit extra, both visually and on the road, with steering and handling tweaks, without costing a fortune to buy. Speed models provide an opportunity for existing drivers to trade up, and also mean Bentley can take on the Ferrari California. This model has set a new benchmark in the sector – and its natural competitors are the Aston Martin DBS Volante and the GTC.

A more recent addition is the Bentley Continental Supersport. This is the new ‘green’ Bentley: in a few years, all models will be E85 Bioethanol compliant – and this is the first one to use the eco fuel. It can, of course, run on regular unleaded too. Producing a full 621bhp, it was launched in two seat coupe guise, as an extreme performance supercar. It is even faster than the standard Speed, with Ferrari-challenging pace. This year, the open-top convertible has been added too, with similar performance and, this time, four seats.

Bentley has benefited from the VW / Audi DNA. While some people criticize the instruments for looking VW Group, it hasn’t proven detrimental to the car in service. They’re solid, reliable, well made parts, and give the car a Teutonic feel that Aston Martin lacks. They’re also extremely reliable. Just make sure it has an official service history. High-mileage and out-of-warranty Bentley Continental GTs are something you really shouldn’t fear. We at Clive Sutton offer a wide range of new and used Bentley cars for sale. We deal across the UK and can look after your Bentley car buying or selling requirements wherever you are located.