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Bentley Continental GT: Buying guide and review (2003-2011)

Bentley Continental GT: Buying guide and review (2003-2011) Classic and Performance Car
Bentley Continental GT Bentley Continental GT Bentley Continental GT Bentley Continental GT Bentley Continental GT
When Bentley revealed the Continental GT in 2003, it marked the dawn of a new era for the Crewe marque under Volkswagen ownership. At first there were many who feared for the Bentley marque, assuming that the VW Phaeton underpinnings of this new British supercar would never be up to the job. But the critics were soon silenced and the Continental GT has gone on to become easily the most popular model ever offered by this luxury sporting brand, with a variety of offshoots also offered, including convertible and saloon editions. 
 
Far from those Phaeton underpinnings devaluing the Bentley brand, this is a car that has a superb blend of agility, comfort, performance and reliability – a blend that would never have been in reach without the clout of the mighty Volkswagen Group. The Phaeton’s platform also brings standard four-wheel drive across the range, so unlike some rivals, you can get the power down whatever the conditions – and you shouldn’t overlook the value of that added security.
 
Which one to buy?
 
Don’t automatically go for a really low-mileage car, as regular use is essential to keep things working properly. If you do go for a low-mileage example, make sure that the history backs up the mileage; these cars can be clocked. When you’re checking the history, see who has done the work; as specialist vehicles, the Continental must be maintained by experts. It’s worth going for a post-2006 model, as these feature some useful developments over earlier editions; Bentley tended to make changes each year, but didn’t always publicise them.
 
If the Continental sounds like your thing, there are few choices to make as all cars have an automatic gearbox and the same engine is used throughout. However, this magnificent W12 unit came in different states of tune and there are three body styles available; the GT is a coupé, the GTC is a convertible and the Flying Spur is a saloon. While the GTC is more costly than the coupé, it’s every bit as refined so you get the best of all worlds. However, despite their generous dimensions, the GT and GTC aren’t especially spacious inside, with rear seats suitable only for children. If you’re buying to transport more than two people regularly, focus on the Flying Spur saloon. This isn’t as stylish as its two-door counterparts and it’s more costly than the GT, but it’s significantly cheaper than a convertible while offering just as much performance and luxury, but with added practicality.
 
If you’re happy with an entry-level car – that’s the one with a mere 552bhp – you might as well buy an older example and stick a private plate on it. It’ll look just the same as a later edition, which is what you’ll have to settle for if you want a Speed or Supersports, as they didn’t arrive until 2007 and 2008 respectively. 
 
Performance and specs
 
Bentley Continental GT
Engine 5998cc, 12-cylinder
Power 552bhp @ 6100rpm
Torque 479lb ft @ 1600rpm
Top speed 190mph
0-60mph 4.7sec
Fuel consumption 16mpg
Gearbox Six-speed auto
Insurance group 20
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2745mm
Length 4804mm
Width 1918mm
Height 1390mm
Kerb weight 2350kg
 
Common problems
 
• Any car with corrosion or less than perfect panel gaps has been crunched, so just walk away. There are plenty of really superb cars available so there’s no point settling for anything less.

• The W12 that powers all of these cars is extremely tough, but maintenance can be costly because access is poor. There are no cam belts to replace but even renewing the spark plugs means a certain amount of dismantling is required. 

• Radiators fail and replacing them means removing the front bumper. A warning that the engine is overheating when it isn’t is probably because of an imbalance between the two exhaust manifold temperatures.

• Dampers aren’t prone to failure, but on hard-driven high-mileage cars they may be worn; as you’d expect, replacements are costly.

• Brake discs are a weak point, and hard-driven cars can get through them alarmingly quickly. Expect to pay plenty for a new pair, or you could upgrade to a ceramic system if you’ve got seriously deep pockets.

• Some cars are fitted with aftermarket wheels on ultra-low profile tyres, which tend to damage the ride quality. The standard alloys get kerbed and they corrode too, with refurbishment generally very costly.

• Tyres can be hard to find; standard GTs are fitted with 275/40 ZR 19 105Y (B) rubber. It’s essential that you fit tyres with the correct loading.

• The drains at the base of the windscreen (under the bonnet) get blocked up, leading to water in the fuel and air-con system. If left, it can short out the central locking too.

• The heated rear window contains the radio aerial. These have a tendency to fail, with the whole window having to be replaced.

• The high-level brake light over the back window can also fail, and dealers routinely ask for a lot of money to fix it – so check it works properly.

• If you need to stay in touch on the move, buy a post-2006 car as Bluetooth wasn’t available until this point.
 
Model history
 
2003: The Continental GT makes its debut, in 552bhp coupé form only, as the world’s fastest four-seat coupé. 
2005: There’s now also a four-door saloon, called the Flying Spur which is mechanically identical to the coupé.
2006: The most glamorous derivative of all is now here; the GTC convertible. 
2007: 600bhp Speed versions of the GT and GTC are introduced,
2008: A Supersports version of the GT and GTC is introduced, with 621bhp and carbon-ceramic brakes as standard.
2009: The Flying Spur Speed is introduced.
2010: A heavily facelifted Continental GT goes on sale; it’s effectively a second-generation car.
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• www.bdcl.org
• bentleyownersclub.co.uk
• bentleyenthusiastsclub.com
 
Summary and prices
 
Prices for well-used early examples start from around £25,000 today. Although there is always more risk involved in buying from this end of the market, there are good cars out there, so buy on condition. £30,000-£35,000 is a much better starting point though, and there is a much greater selection of cars available from this price point, including post-2006 models. The GT Speed models start from around £50,000, with Supersports variants coming in at about £65,000. 
 
Words: Richard Dredge
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Last updated: 12th Jan 2016
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Bentley Continental
19950 184990 GBP
  • Bentley Continental GTC

    £117,990 £117,990

    Used condition, Franchise approved,

    • Mileage: 10600 mi
    • Engine size: 5998
    For sale
    £117,990 £117,990
    Bentley Leeds
  • Bentley Continental GT

    £39,950 £39,950

    4x4 Boss motor company are extremely proud to present one of the nicest Bentley Continental GT's we have seen.Finished in Silver Tempest with Magnolia Main Hide with Beluga Secondary Hide interior.It is further complimented by Piano Black Wood Veneer Inserts which extend to the rear of the car.FULL BENTLEY MAIN DEALER SERVICE HISTORY - 12 BENTLEY SERVICES - LAST SERVICED IN JULY 2018This car includes: 20'' Alloy wheels, Power folding exterior mirrors with memory function, Cruise control, Tufted velour floor covering, Front and rear parking sensors, Soft closing doors, Extended Chrome Finished Lower Grilles, Automatic headlights, Electric front seats with lumbar support, Multi-function steering wheel, Sat Nav, Tyre pressure monitoring system, Power closing boot, Heated front seats, Keyless entry and start, Rain sensing wipers, and more.- VIEWING STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT ONLY - PART EXCHANGE WELCOME- FINANCE AVAILABLE THROUGH OUR WEBSITE - 6 MONTHS RAC WARRANTYDisclaimer: Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure accuracy of all our vehicles information, some inaccuracies may occur. It is important that you do not rely on this information but check with Boss motor company limited about any items which may affect your decision to buy this vehicle.

    • Mileage: 26000 mi
    • Engine size: 5998
    For sale
    £39,950 £39,950
  • Bentley Continental R

    £32,995 £32,995

    Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Full Leather, Memory Seats, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Locking Wheel Nuts, Electric Seats, Front Centre Armrest, Head Restraints, Heated Seats, Height Adjustable Seat, Lumbar Adjustment, UK Supplied, UK Specification, Radio Cassette, Multi-Disc CD Player, Auto-dip Rearview, Electric Aerial, Electric Front Windows, Electric Mirrors, Cruise Control, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Twin Air Bags, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Headlamp Jetwash, Metallic Paintwork, 17'' Alloys A Most elegant 95mdl year Continental R. Finished in unmarked Peacock Blue Metallic with unmarked Parchment Hide piped Dark Blue. Complete Bentley History from new with invoices from Main Agents and Marque Specialists.Genuine Mileage of 79,300 only. Ice cold air conditioning. 17' Bentley Alloys. Perfect heavily figured Burr Walnut. Original working Radio/ Cassette and Multi CD. All Tools and Handbooks.New Mesh grill and Headlamp inserts.Twin airbags.Shown at the 2014 Hampton Court Concours. MOT 05/19 with no advisories. Hpi Clear. Extended warranty and Domestic and overseas delivery at extra cost.Previously supplied by us.

    • Mileage: 79800 mi
    • Engine size: 6750
    For sale
    £32,995 £32,995
  • Bentley Continental GT

    £43,999 £43,999

    Variant name:6.0 W12 Speed 2dr Auto ,Derivative:Speed ,Variant: 6.0 W12 Speed 2dr Auto 6 Speed Gearbox,ABS,Air Conditioning,Alloy Wheels,Anti Theft System,Automatic Gearbox,Automatic Headlights,Automatic Wipers,Bluetooth Prepared,CD Player,Climate Control,Cruise Control,Electric Front Seats,Electric Mirrors,Electric Windows,Engine Immobiliser,ESP,Four Wheel Drive,Front Assist,Front Fog Lights,Full Service History,Heated Mirrors,Heated Seats,iPod Connection,Isofix Seats,Keyless Entry,Leather Steering Wheel,Leather Upholstery,Memory Seats,Multiple Airbags,Onboard Computer,Parking Distance Control,Power Steering,Satellite Navigation,Traction Control,Xenon Headlights

    • Year: 2009
    • Mileage: 43000 mi
    • Engine size: 6
    For sale
    £43,999 £43,999
  • Bentley Continental

    £96,950 £96,950

    Variant name:GT V8 S MDS ,Derivative:MK2 (3W) ,Variant: GT V8 S Mulliner Coupe, 2016 Model Year, Huge Specification, Many Factory Options, Please Read Our Comments New In Stock We Have An Outstanding 2016 Bentley Continental 4.0 GT V8 S Coupe. 2016 Model Year With Updated Styling Resplendent In A Stunning Colour Combination And With One Of The Highest Specifications We Have Ever Seen. Offered In Moonbeam With Beluga Hide This Car Benefits From A Host Of Factory Ordered Desirable Optional Extras. Specification Includes But Is Not Limited To 21' Six Twin Spoke Alloy Wheels, Contrast Stitching In Pillar Box Red, Naim Sound Package, Acoustic Side Glazing, Dark Tint For Front & Rear Lights, Quad Exhaust Finishers, Sports Exhaust, Diamond Quilted Hide Door And Rear Quarter Panels, Rear View Camera, Cruise Control, Piano Black Veneer, Navigation System, Power Boot Opening & Closing, 14 Way Electrically Adjustable Seats With Lumbar Support, Front Seat Heaters, Cooled Seats, Massage Seats, 3 Zone Electronic Air Conditioning, Telephone Voice Control, Drilled Alloy Sports Pedals, Soft Close Doors, Keyless Entry And Start, Tracker, Leather Head Lining, Deep Pile Over mats Front & Rear, V8 'S' Tread plates, Beluga Gloss Black Lower Body Styling, Painted Gloss Black Matrix Style Radiator Grille, Jewel Fuel Filler Cap, Bright Chrome Fittings For Windows & Doors, Beluga Gloss Exterior Mirrors, Red Brake Calipers, Space Saver Spare Wheel, Electrically Operated Folding And Heated Exterior Mirrors, Bentley Umbrella, Only 6000 Miles.

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 6000 mi
    • Engine size: 4
    For sale
    £96,950 £96,950
  • BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT - 2006

    POA POA

    The Bentley Continental GT is a car recognised for its hand-built craftsmanship and years of expertise in producing a luxurious yet powerful coupe. ;;Bentley are one of very few manufacturers to have produced bespoke parts for their cars using 'in-house' designers. This is acknowledged in the Continental GT, whereby the comfortable, spacious and characteristic interior is a combination of the efforts of Bentley's top interior designers. This allows the driver to enjoy those longer drives in ultimate luxury and comfort, enabling them to fully immerse in an environment filled with varnished wood, billeted aluminium and leather. This particular version also features optional extras of the 4-spoke wood and hide steering wheel, veneer door inserts as well as the Bentley name embossed into the leather seats. ;;The Continental GT also boasts the twin turbo-charged, 6 litre W12 engine; a configuration which is rarely seen amongst other cars which creates a somewhat unique and special driving experience in the Bentley. With 500bhp pushing all 4 wheels, the Continental impresses many with its powerful figures, yet this power is transitioned in the most elegant, sophisticated and mature manner onto the road. ;;This particular continental GT features full Bentley service history, and has been meticulously cared for throughout its ownership.

    For sale
    POA POA
  • BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT 2004

    £21,495 £21,495

    71000 warranted miles , Sapphire blue metallic complimented with unmarked Portland and nautic hide , Newly refurbished 19” Mulliner alloys tyre condition excellent , Full detailed service history 10 service stamps ( 7 Bentley main agent 3 Bentley specialist ) Dark walnut burr , Electronic adjustable suspension with adjustable ride height, 6 speed with sports mode , Auto transmission with trip-tronic and sports mode / paddle shifts , Constant 4 wheel drive , Park distance control , Speed sensitive power steering , Tyre pressure monitoring , Upgraded Blue-tooth telephone preparation, ,Satellite navigation , DVD , Multi feature enhanced audio system with multi CD player / I pod I phone connectivity , Fully electric massaging heated driver and passenger front seats , Dual zone climate control, Heated electric door mirrors , Easy entry adjustable steering column , Bentley floor mats , This vehicle is in outstanding condition , No mechanical or electrical issues whatsoever having been genuinely maintained regardless of cost since new ( this vehicle has been under Bentley main agent extended warranty over recent years invoice present ) , Drives faultlessly , Will be supplied with a fresh 12 months MOT and 12 months national parts and labour warranty inclusive of break down cover , Plate does not stay with the vehicle , All service books / manuals and navigation disks ( 8 disks Europe ) present / 2 Brand new keys ( recently upgraded to the latest style by the last keeper ) .Part exchange welcome. Attractive finance packages available on this vehicle. Any inspection welcome . All major debit cards accepted .

    • Mileage: 71000 mi
    • Engine size: 5.998
    For sale
    £21,495 £21,495
  • BENTLEY CONTINENTAL 2005 Auto 103000 Petrol Black GT

    £19,950 £19,950

    Were delighted to offer to the market a stunning example of one of these superb cars. This car has the full Mulliner driving specification and represents outstanding value. The car has a stunning service history all by Bentley main dealers except two. This car really has to be seen and driven to be appreciated. PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO CALL IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU MAY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS OR ANY OF OUR OTHER CARS. VIEWINGS CAR BE ARRANGE AT EITHER OF OUR SUSSEX OR SURREY BRANCHES. PART EXCHANGE WELCOME, FULL DEALER FACILITIES AND FINANCE AVAILABLE.

    • Mileage: 103000 mi
    • Engine size: 5.998
    For sale
    £19,950 £19,950
  • BENTLEY CONTINENTAL 2012 Auto 18600 Petrol Grey GTC

    £74,950 £74,950

    Were delighted to offer to the market a lovely spec'd Bentley Mulliner GTC. The car comes in a stunning colour scheme in Thunder Grey metallic with a dark navy roof, dark navy interior with white stitching which looks superb. Our car is currently going through full retail preparation so we will have more photos to follow. the car comes complete with a full and up to date service history having been serviced only 400 miles ago. PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO CALL IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU MAY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS OR ANY OF OUR OTHER CARS. VIEWINGS CAR BE ARRANGE AT EITHER OF OUR SUSSEX OR SURREY BRANCHES. PART EXCHANGE WELCOME, FULL DEALER FACILITIES AND FINANCE AVAILABLE.

    • Mileage: 18600 mi
    • Engine size: 5.998
    For sale
    £74,950 £74,950
  • Bentley Continental

    £76,995 £76,995

    Variant name:GT Coupe ,Derivative:Speed ,Variant: GT Coupe 6.0 W12 Speed Pleased to offer for sale this Beautiful Bentley GT Speed. HDD Navigation, 8in High Resolution Touch Screen, Digital DAB Radio, Electronic Cruise Control, Heated Front Seats, Multi - Zone Automatic Climate Control System, Park Distance Control with Graphic on Infotainment Screen and Audible Warning, Voice Activation, 20in x 9.5J 5 - Spoke Alloy Wheels in Painted Finish with Black Wheel Centre Badges 275/40ZR 20 Tyres, AM/FM Radio, Single DVD/CD/MP3 Slot, Bentley GPS Tracking System Provision, Drivers and Front Passenger Seats - 14 - Way Adjustment Including Memory, Electronic Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Keyless Ignition, Rain Sensing Windscreen Wipers, Telephone Control with Bluetooth, Upholstery - Leather, Volumetric Ultrasonic Alarm.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 43500 mi
    • Engine size: 6
    For sale
    £76,995 £76,995
  • Bentley Continental GT

    £91,995 £91,995

    Variant name:Coupe S Mulliner ,Derivative:S Mulliner ,Variant: 4.0 V8 S Mulliner Driving Spec 2dr Auto We are proud to present this stunning 2015 Bentley Continental GT finished in Tungsten Silver with a beautiful Beluga & Cumbrian Green Quilted Leather Interior. This particular example has a stunning specification featuring 21" Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels, Carbon Ceramic Brakes with Gloss Red Brake Calipers, Gloss Black Exterior Trim, Extended Carbon Package, Quad Exhaust Tips, Mulliner Driving Specification, Fully Adjustable Electric Quilted Leather Seats with Memory Function, Multi-function Leather Steering Wheel, Bentley Logo Stitched Headrests, Electronic Opening Boot, Naim Surround Sound System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Digital Trip Computer, Matte Carbon Interior Trim, Keyless Push Button Start, Heated & Ventilated Front Seats, Adaptive Suspension, Electronic Parking Brake, Electric Folding & Heated Wing Mirrors, Dual Climate Control, Air Conditioning, DAB Radio, Terrestrial TV, Bluetooth Smart Phone Connectivity, Full Colour Satellite Navigation, Breitling Dashboard Clock, Front & Rear Parking Sensors and Rear Parking Camera. For more information on this stunning Bentley please contact a member of our Sales Team on the number listed above.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 25300 mi
    • Engine size: 4
    For sale
    £91,995 £91,995
  • Bentley Continental

    £106,950 £106,950

    Variant name:GT V8 S ,Derivative:MK2 (3W) ,Variant: GT V8 S CONCOURS SERIES BLACK.10000 Miles, 4 Stamp Bentley Main Agent Service Record, Television, Massage Seats and More. One of the shining stars of the Furness Park stock list is this stunning Bentley Continental GT, with only 10,000 miles on the clock, a 4 Stamp Bentley main agent service record and a massive list of specification, this must be one of the best out there. Bentley has a presence like no other, somehow the brands name is known nationally yet rarely seen. Which makes this car extremely desirable. With a long list of specification including; Massage seats, Television, Reverse camera, Brietling clock, Brake assist, Anti locking brakes, Traction control, Tyre pressure monitoring system, Keyless start, Keyless entry, Bluetooth telephone connectivity, Rear & Front park distance control, Telephone voice dialling, Infotainment system/Satellite navigation, Continuous damping control, Power boot opening and closing, Servotronic speed sensitive power steering, Daytime running lights, Bi-Xenon headlights & headlight washers, External media interface, 14 way electric lumbar memory control front seats, Multi-zone climate control, Footwell illumination, Heated front seats, Isofix attachments on rear seats, Door puddle lights, Multi function steering wheel with paddle shift and more. If you are on the hunt for the best Bentley Continental GT Concours then look no further, this is the one.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 10825 mi
    • Engine size: 4
    For sale
    £106,950 £106,950