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Bentley Continental GT Buyers Guide

In the last decade there has truly been only one car to spearhead the luxury GT cruiser market and it didn’t come from Germany but rather across the water in England, where Bentley Motors launched what would be their best selling car ever with the introduction of the Bentley Continental GT. This car catapulted into the mainstream with stunning looks, extreme comfort, state of the art technology, raw power, and everything else you’d expect from a bespoke hand-crafted car. With the car approaching the end of its life cycle, we thought we would share our experiences after buying a Supersports edition in our comprehensive Bentley Continental GT buyers guide.

We recently picked up a very rare 2011 Bentley Continental GT Supersports Convertible. While we always wanted a Bentley, it seemed like the Bentley Continental GT was a car that was full of issues in its earlier days and with repairs on being astronomical, we always stayed away from all their models. While we weren’t looking for a Bentley to add to our fleet which consists currently of two Aston Martins, a Maserati, and an R8; we simply fell in love with this particular one at a Cars and Coffee event in Boca Raton at Excell Auto Group. We laid eyes on the car and knew it simply was the time to take the plunge.

Bentley Continental

We were looking for the latest and greatest of the first generation Bentley Continental GT with ours being a later build (2011), with low miles (15,000), and the highest model available (Supersports). The Bentley Continental GT is notorious for being low on technology, bad on suspension, and loose on trim. Three things that even later model cars can suffer from as the parts are all still the same as the ones found in the earlier 2004 cars. Once we identified the car, our research and inspection process began.
Photo credits: Luxorium Luxury

Bentley Continental

Model Differences and Features

The biggest confusion amongst new Bentley prospect buyers is that there are so many variations of the same car. Here is a breakdown of what you should know from each model.
Photo credits: Bas Fransen

Bentley Continental

Bentley Continental GT – Started off in 2004 as a two door and became the most popular Bentley ever sold. The Continental GT is the car, in its simplest format, where every option is a la carte. There are many variations and special editions of the car but the most famous one is the Mulliner Edition which adds nicer seats, wheels, and trim options. This car is also referred to as the Bentley GTC when addressing the convertible version of the same car.
Photo credits: Coconut Photography

Bentley Continental

Bentley Continental GT Speed – Take a base Continental GT, add a face lifted bumper, better tail lights, wheels, trim, and a bit more horsepower and what you have is the exact same car but called the Bentley Continental GT Speed. A great revised version of the incredible base model for those who seek cheap thrills and a bit more exclusivity. Mainly available as a coupe, but with a few sightings of convertibles out there. This model started in 2008.
Photo credits: Iabnol Asia

Bentley Continental

Bentley Continental Supersports – Take the Speed model and make it even more exclusive by adding massive ceramic brakes, 600+ HP, new front and rear bumpers, new hood, new headlights, blacked out grills, a reworked transmission control unit and Bugatti carbon fiber bucket seats along with some incredible carbon fiber trim, and what you have a is $300,000+ work of art that is extremely limited in production and quite stunning in design. It’s the perfected version of what the GT should have always been. This model launched in 2010 and ended the first generation GT in 2012. And by the way, it is Supersports, not supersport, so no need to send us a correction.

Bentley Continental

Issues to be Aware Of

Since most of the Bentley Continental GTs use the same components in technology and mechanics as the 2004 model, most of the issues have been corrected on the 2007 and newer cars. This is why they tend to depreciate less than the pre-2007 cars, which were notorious for being problematic cars. There are, however, a set of issues that still plague the car to this date and even though newer cars haven’t shown as much of these issues, many still have them:
Photo credits: Alex Guerber

Bentley Continental

Window Regulators Tend to Go Bad: While its no big issue in most cars as it’s a quick and cheap fix, the Bentley window regulators are $1200 a piece (not including labor).

Seat Motors: The motors that push your seats in all 23 adjustable directions are very weak. Our car’s seat motors were fixed at a cost of $2800 for both under factory warranty.
Photo credits: Miami Fever

Bentley Continental

Air Suspension: At a cost of $6000+ a side, this is by far the biggest issue to look out for. Notorious for going bad on earlier models or models with mileage exceeding 60,000. The one test you can perform to ensure there are no issues is to leave the car sitting overnight and see if the suspension completely lowers the car by the morning.

Trim Pieces Wear Quickly and Fall Off: Yes, you heard that right. Since most of the earlier cars were built with plastic knobs out of a Ford Focus, they don’t hold up well and unfortunately cost much more than a Ford Focus to fix. Look out for functionless buttons and trim pieces showing separation from leather or socket.

Bentley Continental

Headliner Issues: Earlier cars suffered from headliner issues as they got older. This was more common in the coupe but is more frequent in older cars. An easy fix as long as the alcantara or leather itself isn’t damaged.
Photo credits: Jon

Bentley Continental

Bentley Continental GT Maintenance

Outside of the main things that break, the Bentley Continental GT is a pretty solid car but does require a bit of love on a regular bases. Here are some maintenance items you should know about.

Bentley Continental

Oil changes take 12 quarts of pure synthetic oil meaning that oil changes will cost you roughly $500+ at a great independent local shop. You can count on over $1500 at the local dealership.

The car gets like 8 miles to the gallon and while that doesn’t matter if you bought the car new, you are not going to like using the gas station every other day and paying $70 to fill up.
Photo credits: Alex Nunez

Bentley Continental

Brakes and rotors are expensive. On the base model, the rotors and pads alone from an independent Bentley wholesaler will cost $4000. On a Supersports or Speed, the ceramic rotors could cost upwards of $30,000 for the set. Make sure to inspect the brakes not just for wear but for contamination or neglect.
Photo credits: Bas Fransen

Bentley Continental

Final thoughts

While the Bentley Continental GT is an incredible car for the money on the used market. You should expect to pay around $65k for the right base model, $80k for the Speed, and between $100k – $130k for a Supersports, which still makes it all sound unreal based on their new prices. The car is not without fault and honestly its far from the most fun to drive for the money.

Bentley Continental

For us at Secret Entourage, we wouldn’t drive a Bentley Continental GT unless it was a Supersports as the dynamics of that specific car are night and day from the base model and the fact that it costs twice as much validates that as well. We bought a 2011 Supersports convertible in a very unique color combination, which we plan to drive for free for 6-10 months and then dump using our Exotic Car Secrets system. All in all, the Bentley ContinentalGT is an animal of its own that holds its ground on beauty, comfort, and status.

Bentley Continental

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