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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
25995 149990 GBP
  • Bentley Continental GT

    £106,990 £106,990

    Used condition, Franchise approved,

    • Mileage: 1350 mi
    For sale
    £106,990 £106,990
    Bentley Newcastle
  • Bentley Continental

    £26,995 £26,995

    Variant name:GT Coupe ,Variant: GT Coupe 6.0W12 Delighted to offer for sale this Bentley Continental GT Mulliner in Diamond Black Peal with Black Mulliner Quilted seats & Speed Alloy Wheels. MULLINER BENTLEY QUILTED SEATS, 20" SPEED ALLOY WHEELS, Red Calipers, Front seat Electric & Memory, Hide trimmed Multi function Steering Wheel, Gloss Black Interior Trim, Stainless Steel pedals, Satellite Navigation, Climate Control, In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD Autochanger), Keyless start / Entry.

    • Year: 2005
    • Mileage: 60000 mi
    • Engine size: 6
    For sale
    £26,995 £26,995
  • Bentley Continental

    £25,995 £25,995

    Variant name:GT Coupe ,Variant: MULLINER GT Coupe 6.0 Unique Prestige are pleased to offer for sale this beautiful Bentley GT Mulliner covered over 70,000 miles & only 3 Former keepers from new and 13 Service Stamps. MULLINER BENTLEY QUILTED SEATS, 20" MULLINER SPLIT RIMS, Silver Lower Grills, Massaging Front seat with Electric & Memory, Hide trimmed Multi function Steering Wheel, Wood Veneer Interior Trim, Stainless Steel pedals, Satellite Navigation, Climate Control, In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD Autochanger). ARRANGE A VIEWING OR TEST DRIVE ON THIS CAR BY PHONING US ON 01992465533. PART EX WELCOME!! Credit and Debt Cards Taken. Finance Subject to Status. NATIONWIDE DELIVERY CAN BE ARRANGED. *Administration Fee with every Retail car sold which allows us to give you a HPI certification,12 Months M.O.T, 6 Months AA Warranty 6 Months AA Breakdown Assistance* Extended Warranty available!! Opening hours are 9:00am - 6:00pm Monday to Saturday. Sunday appointment only. ADDRESS 21 HIGHSTREET, HODDESDON, EN118SX. Just 10 Minutes from Junction 25 on the M25.

    • Year: 2005
    • Mileage: 75000 mi
    • Engine size: 6
    For sale
    £25,995 £25,995
  • Bentley Continental GT

    £91,900 £91,900

    Variant name:Coupe Speed ,Derivative:Speed ,Variant: 6.0 W12 [635] Speed 21" Graphite Alloys with Red Calipers Satellite Navigation Bluetooth Reversing Camera Soft Close Doors Heated and Cooled Front Seats FBSH Multi award-winning prestige car dealership John Holland is delighted to offer for sale this Stunning Bentley Continental Gt 6.0 W12 [635] Speed. Finished in Anthracite Grey with Beluga Diamond Quilted Leather Upholstery with White Contrast Stitch, Speed Embrioded Head Rests, Beluga Leather Headlining, Linen Secondary Hide and Piano Black Interior Inlays. This beautiful example comes with a fantastic specification to include, 21" Graphite Multi Spoke Alloy Wheels with Red Calipers, Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, Reversing Camera, Soft Close Doors, Multi Function Heated Leather Steering Wheel, Paddle Shift, Cruise Control, Electric Steering Colum, Dual Climate Control, DAB Radio with ipod Connection, Heated Electric and Cooled Seats with Memory, Keyless Entry and Start, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Electric Folding Mirrors, Privacy Glass, Auto Lights, Xenon Headlights, LED Day Time Running Lights, Tracker System. Also benefiting from a full Bentley service history. Supplied with 2 keys and al its original owners manuals wand wallet. John Holland has been established for over 40 years supplying a premium level of service in the sale of sports, prestige and collectors cars. We have a team of experienced buyers who hand pick our cars from all parts of the uk so you can buy with confidence all vehicles are HPI Clear and prepared to the highest standard, full dealer facilities available call the sales team for further information.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 9123 mi
    • Engine size: 6
    For sale
    £91,900 £91,900
  • BENTLEY CONTINENTAL 2013

    £69,995 £69,995

    We are pleased to offer this stunning Continental GT 4.0 V8 with full Bentley dealership service history. Viewing by appointment only, please call for full details;;Upgrades - 22" Revere Forged Alloy Wheels, Mulliner Driving Specification Pack, Carbon Pack, Rear View Camera, Embroidered Bentley Emblems to Seat Facings, Seat Ventilation and Massage Function to Front Seats, Sport Gear Lever Finished in Knurled Chrome/Hide, Power Boot;;Standard Features - Satellite Navigation, Climate Control, Cruise Control, In Car Entertainment (CD Autochanger), Rain Sensor, Seats Electric (Driver/Passenger), Telephone Equipment, Tyre Pressure Control, DAB Radio, Bluetooth Preparation

    • Mileage: 19000 mi
    • Engine size: 3.993
    For sale
    £69,995 £69,995
  • Bentley Continental GT

    £75,900 £75,900

    Variant name:Coupe S ,Derivative:S ,Variant: 4.0 V8 S 2dr Auto Muliner Driving Specification 21" Alloys with Red Calipers, Satellite Navigation Soft Close Doors Naim Audio Heated and Cooled and Massaging Front Seats FBSH Multi award-winning prestige car dealership John Holland is delighted to offer this stunning Bentley Continental Gt 4.0 V8 S 2dr Auto. Finished in Thunder Grey with complimenting Beluga and Linen Diamond Quilted Leather Upholstery, Duo Tone Leather Headlining and Piano Black Interior Inlays. This beautiful example comes with a fantastic specification to include, Muliner Driving Specification, 21" Diamond Faced Alloy Wheels with Red Calipers, Soft Close Doors, Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, Reversing Camera, Multi Function Leather Steering Wheel, Paddle Shift, Cruise Control, Dual Climate Control, DAB Radio with ipod Connection and Naim Audio, Heated and Cooled and Massaging Front sets with Memory, Keyless Start, Electric Folding Mirrors, Xenon Headlights and LED Day Time Running Lights. Also benefiting from a full Bentley service history completed on the 19/03/15 at 9942 miles, 17/03/16 at 18846 miles, 22/03/17 at 27336 miles all at Bentley Hertfordshire and again on the 30/01/18 at 34179 miles at Charles Hurst Bentley. Supplied with 2 keys and all its original owners manuals and wallet. John Holland has been established for over 40 years supplying a premium level of service in the sale of sports, prestige and collectors cars. We have a team of experienced buyers who hand pick our cars from all parts of the uk so you can buy with confidence all vehicles are HPI Clear and prepared to the highest standard, full dealer facilities available call the sales team for further information.

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 36744 mi
    • Engine size: 4
    For sale
    £75,900 £75,900
  • Bentley Continental GT

    £34,995 £34,995

    Air Conditioning, Bluetooth, Climate Control, Colour SatNav, Dual Climate Zones, Full Leather, Memory Seats, Powered Folding Mirrors, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Immobiliser, Keyless Entry, Locking Wheel Nuts, Remote Alarm, Remote Central Locking, Electric Seats, Front Centre Armrest, Head Restraints, Heated Seats, Height Adjustable Seat, Lumbar Adjustment, Retractable Headrests, Sports Seats, Rear Spoiler, Metallic Paintwork, Headlamp Jetwash, Front Fog Lamps, Colour Coded Body, Auto Lighting, Multiple Airbags, Curtain Airbags, ABS, Trip Computer, Traction Control, Power Steering, Parking Sensors, Parking Camera, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Cruise Control, Adjustable Steering Column, Auto-dip Rearview, Automatic Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Self-levelling Suspension , Push Button Start, CD Player, Radio, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, MP3 Player, Mulliner pack, 20'' Alloys, 4x4, Full main dealer service history

    • Mileage: 90000 mi
    • Engine size: 5998
    For sale
    £34,995 £34,995
  • Bentley Continental

    £39,995 £39,995

    Variant name:Speed ,Variant: Continetnal GT Speed Pleased to offer for sale this outstanding condition Bentley Continental GT Speed with Full Main Dealer service history. Chrome Package, 20inch Speed Alloy Wheels, Milliner quilted seats, Climate Control, Cruise Control, Gloss Black interior Trim, Entertainment (Radio/CD Autochanger), Rain Sensor, Satellite Navigation, Seats Electric (Memory Driver/Passenger), Seats Heated (Driver/Passenger), Telephone Equipment (Bluetooth Interface), Tyre Pressure Control. ARRANGE A VIEWING OR TEST DRIVE ON THIS CAR BY PHONING US ON 01992465533. PART EX WELCOME!! Credit and Debt Cards Taken. Finance Subject to Status. NATIONWIDE DELIVERY CAN BE ARRANGED. *Administration Fee with every Retail car sold which allows us to give you a HPI certification, 12 Months M.O.T, HODDESDON, EN118SX. Just 10 Minutes from Junction 25 on the M25., 39, 995. 4 seats, £39,995

    • Year: 2007
    • Mileage: 48000 mi
    • Engine size: 6
    For sale
    £39,995 £39,995
  • Bentley Continental GT

    £104,995 £104,995

    Variant name:Coupe S Mulliner ,Derivative:S Mulliner ,Variant: 4.0 V8 S Mulliner Driving Spec 2dr Auto We are proud to offer this exceptional 2015 Bentley Continental GT 4.0 V8 S with Mulliner Driving Specification. Presented in Gloss Black with Black and Cream Leather Interior. This Continental GT has phenomenal specification including, Gloss Black Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels, Red Brake Calipers, Automatic Xenon Projector Headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights, Quad Exhaust System, Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Fully Electronic Adjusting Front Seats with Lumbar Support and Memory Function, Massaging Front Seats, Electronic Adjusting Steering Column, Electric Windows, Electronic Adjusting and Folding Mirrors, Multi Functional Leather Steering Wheel, Cruise Control, Air Conditioning, Trip Computer, Dual Tone Leather Interior, Paddleshift, Dual Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Heated Seats, Cooled Seats, Adjustable Air Suspension, Switchable Suspension Modes, Retractable Bootlid Spoiler, Electronic Parking Brake, Dual Climate Control, Air Conditioning, DAB Radio, Full Colour Satellite Navigation, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Breitling Centre Clock, Reverse Parking Camera. To discuss this wonderful Bentley Continental GT in further detail please don't hesitate to give us a call on the number as shown above.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 2000 mi
    • Engine size: 4
    For sale
    £104,995 £104,995
  • Bentley Continental GTC

    £99,900 £99,900

    Variant name:Convertible S ,Derivative:S ,Variant: 4.0 V8 S, Concourse Edition, 21 Inch 7 Spoke Black Alloy Wheels, Red Calipers, Duo Tone Interior, Carbon Inlays, Gloss Black Lower Front Spoiler, Side Skirts, Rear Diffuser, Electric Heated and Cooled Seats, Massage Seats, Air Scarf, Reversing Camera Multi award-winning prestige car dealership John Holland is delighted to offer for sale this outstanding Bentley Continental GTC V8 S Concours Edition presented in this stricking colour combination of St James’ Red complimented with a Black Hood, Diamond Quilted Duo Tone Linen Main Hide, Beluga Secondary Hide, Linen Contrast Stitching with Emblems on Front and Rear Headrests, Beluga Carpets, Alcantara Headlining and finished with Carbon Fibre Interior Inlays which all makes for a stunning vehicle. This beautiful vehicle benefits from a fantastic specification which includes 21" 7 Spoke Black Alloy Wheels with Red Calipers, Gloss Black Lower Front Spoiler, Side Skirts, Rear Diffusor, Mirror Caps, Window Surrounds, Black Surround Headlights, Black Grille, Electric Heated and Cooled Front Seats with Memory, Massage Seats, Air Scarf, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Reversing Camera, Satellite Navigation, DAB Radio, Bluetooth with Audio Streaming, Power Boot, Carbon Fibre Sun Glasses Holder, Soft Close, Contrast Stitching, Multi-Function Duo Tone Hide Trimmed Steering Wheel with Contrast Stitching, Electric Folding Exterior Door Mirrors, Dual Zone Climate Control, Cruise Control, Xenon Headlights plus much more. This stunning example also benefits from a full Bentley service history completed by Bentley Leeds on 25/10/16 at 9273 Miles and again on 06/11/17 at 17936 Miles. Supplied with 2 keys and all original owners manuals. John Holland has been established for over 40 years supplying a premium level of service in the sale of sports, prestige and collectors cars. We have a team of experienced buyers who hand pick our cars from all parts of the uk so you can buy with confidence all vehicles are HPI Clear and prepared to the highest standard, full dealer facilities available call the sales team for further information

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 21210 mi
    • Engine size: 4
    For sale
    £99,900 £99,900
  • Bentley Continental

    £92,975 £92,975

    Variant name:GT Coupe ,Derivative:S ,Variant: GT V8'S' Mulliner Satellite Navigation, Mulliner Driving Specification, Interior Colour Split Black & Linen Hide, Interior Style Specification with Contrast Stitching, Mulliner Driving Specification, Diamond Quilted Hide, Drilled Alloy Sports Alloys, Dual Tone 3 Spoke Steering Wheel, Knurled Sports Gear Lever, Piano Black Interior, Storage Case to Centre, Twin Front Armrest, Ventilated Front Seats with Massage Function, Power Boot Opening and Closing, Rear View Camera, Remote Control Garage Door Opener, Easy Exit Function, Telephone Voice Control, 21″ Seven Spoke Alloys Black Limited Edition, Sports Exhaust, DMC Power Upgrade, UK Supplied, Immaculate

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 15000 mi
    • Engine size: 4
    For sale
    £92,975 £92,975