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2013 Bentley Continental Review

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2013 Bentley Continental Expert Review

By

Even in the rarified air of ultra-luxury vehicles, few combine the performance, pampering and prestige found in the 2013 Bentley Continental. The Continental is available as a coupe (GT), convertible (GTC), and sedan (Flying Spur), with Speed variants of each offering more of just that. While the big sedan is as distinguished as the 2-door Continental counterparts, 2013 marks its last year in current guise ahead of an all-new 2014 Flying Spur model. As praiseworthy as the sedan is, it's the coupe and convertible that really steal the show in the Continental lineup with their hulking excess. With thundering 8- and 12-cylinder engines and immaculate interiors, these handmade British automobiles more than hold their own against rivals from Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and Maserati among the world's .01 percenters.

You'll Like This Car If...

If potent performance is just as important to you as interior opulence, it doesn't get much better than a Bentley. The Continental's eloquent interior speaks of the finest British coachwork, while the vehicle's mechanicals feature some of the best German engineering.

You May Not Like This Car If...

You don't need to shell out $200,000 for Continental-like luxury and performance. You can spend much less money and have access to far larger dealer networks with a Mercedes-Benz S-, CL- or CLS-Class, BMW 6 or 7 Series, or even an S5 or S8 from Audi, which shares Bentley's VW corporate parent.

How It Ranks

#3

out of 4

Fuel Economy

#4

out of 4

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.7 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
What's New for 2013

Bentley Continental GT coupe and convertible models now have an 8-speed ZF transmission that helps attain (slightly) better fuel economy, while the 2013 Flying Spur sedan continues with a 6-speed transmission before the vehicle's 2014 revamp. The GT Speed coupe and convertible performance variants boast additional power, with their 12-cylinder engines tuned to unleash 616 horsepower.

Driving the Continental

Driving Impressions All 2013 Bentley Continental models have the power to blast their considerable mass from 0 to 60 mph in the 4-second range and hit top speeds of nearly 200 mph...

... or, in the case of Speed models, beyond. These are sports-car figures, but Continentals are not necessarily sports cars. A hushed, comfortable ride takes priority over racecar-like agility. Driving a Continental is meant to be an experience in elegant motoring. These cars just happen to also have the means to blow past lesser cars – which is most every car – when duty calls. The Continental's all-wheel-drive system provides excellent grip in slippery conditions, and the newer 8-speed ZF automatic transmission is smooth, especially in sport mode. On open roads, the 2013 Bentley Continental is bliss. Parking lots are another matter, especially for the coupe models and convertibles with the top raised. These cars' beautifully sloped roofs compromise rear visibility, which can make backing up your $200,000 vehicle dicey. Spend extra and get the rearview camera.

NAIM AUDIO
Unless you're an audiophile, Naim may not be a familiar name to you. After hearing what this British audio brand serves up in its components tailored for Bentley vehicles, you'll never forget it. These available ultra-premium sound systems turn the cabin into an auditorium for musical bliss.

INTERIOR FIT AND FINISH
Every knob, every surface and, well, just about everything you come into contact with in a Bentley Continental speaks a tactile language all its own. It's a language of nobility and opulence. For proof, nothing more is needed than a press of the sturdy metal ventilation buttons.

2013 Bentley Continental Details
Interior

If you've ever wondered what sets a $200,000 vehicle apart from a $20,000 vehicle, step inside a 2013 Bentley Continental. The fit and finish are nearly without peer. The interior is leather, of course. But it's not just any leather. Only the finest, most premium and most blemish-free hides are selected. Metal and wood abound. Everything breathes quality, from the Breitling analog clock in the center stack to the diamond-pattern hide on the interior door panels. The two rear seats in the GT and GTC are tight for adults. The Flying Spur's bench offers more room and heating/massaging function for the outer seats, just like those in front, and can be configured with two individual seats.

Exterior

Some cars are described as having "presence," an essence that exceeds mere physical size. The 2013 Bentley Continental abounds in it. Even the Bentley GT coupe and GTC convertible, at less than 190 inches in length – slightly shorter than a Honda Accord sedan – possess this trait. These two are the real lookers of the Continental lineup with their muscular curves that run front to back, defined best in their exaggerated rear haunches where the sloping roof and sides intersect. The Flying Spur sedan shares the big quad headlights up front but is statelier and much longer overall. At over 208 inches in length, this is not a small car by any means.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Needless to say, every Bentley is exceedingly well equipped. Some of the more prominent features include a high-resolution touchscreen command center with navigation, massive 20-inch wheels, bi-xenon projector headlights, an 8-speaker sound system, and a power trunk (or "boot," as it's called across the Pond). GTC convertibles have a power-operated 4-layer insulated roof. Speed models have a more powerful version of Bentley's already-potent 12-cylinder engine. Though parking sensors are standard, surprisingly, a rear-view camera is not. That's a shame on a car costing as much as a house, and is a feature highly advised especially on 2-door models with their compromised rear visibility.

Optional Equipment

Aside from the much-advised rearview camera, other options of note include the premium Naim audio system, an iPod interface, heated steering wheel, radar-based adaptive cruise control, carbon-ceramic brakes, and lambswool rugs. GT and GTC models can be equipped with 21-inch alloy wheels. We're quite fond of the electronically adjustable neck warmer in the convertible models, perfect for those cool nights when you want to cruise top down under starry skies.

Under the Hood

Power for all 2013 Bentley Continentals, save the GT V8 and GTC V8, comes from a twin-turbocharged W12 engine mated to either a 6-speed or 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The twin-turbocharged V8 is a powerhouse in its own right, making 500 horsepower and offering improved fuel economy compared with the 12-cylinder engines. All Bentley Continentals feature all-wheel drive, which enhances traction. The 8-speed transmission found in the fresher GT and GTC models helps fuel economy, but every model except the V8 Continental GT coupe is still subject to a gas guzzler tax. The Continental is also E85-compatible.

2013 Bentley Continental GT and GTC V8
4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8
500 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
487 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm
EPA city/high fuel economy: 15/24 mpg (GT), 14/24 mpg (GTC)

2013 Bentley Continental GT and GTC
6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12
567 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20 mpg (GT), 12/20 mpg (GTC)

2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed and GTC Speed
6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12
616 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
590 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20 mpg (GT) 12/20 mpg (GTC)

2013 Bentley Continental Flying Spur
6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12
552 horsepower @ 6,100 rpm
479 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-6,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/19 mpg

2013 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed
6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12
600 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
553 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700-5,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 10/17 mpg

Regardless of which 2013 Bentley Continental you choose, be prepared to write a sizable check. The least expensive model in the 2013 Continental line – the GT V8 – has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $177,000. The GTC V8 convertible starts at over $194,000, and the Flying Spur sedan at around $187,000. The higher-powered Speed version of each adds tens of thousands of dollars. Options can also easily add tens of thousands of dollars, with some single packages costing as much as a new economy car. At these prices the Bentley Continental is less expensive than the Rolls-Royce Ghost, which starts around $260,000, but higher than just about everything else in it class except some AMG performance editions of the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class and S-Class models. Normally we'd suggest you take a hard look at the Fair Purchase Price before buying, but we doubt many buyers will be haggling when it comes to their Continental. As such a niche vehicle, precise resale values are difficult to predict for the 2013 Bentley Continental.

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2013 Bentley Continental Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.7
Out of 10

Based on 10 Ratings for the 2005 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    10.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    9.8/10
  • Comfort
    10.0/10
    Styling
    10.0/10

Fantastic vehicle

By on Thursday, June 27, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Excellent quality throughout, great to drive,"

Cons: "Cup holders are. Small, should be deeper"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have only had my GT V8 a little while, but I love it, every time I get in the car I cannot do anything but smile. fit and finish are excellent, V8 is awesome. I have had a number of high end specialty cars, this car is hands down the best car I have ever had. It was expensive, but worth the money!!"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Flying Spur is high quality & unique design fusion

By on Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great combination of VW's mechanical and electrical engineering with Bentley's traditional attention to details and excellent quality materials. The car is understated in appearance. The price is high and it was a very self-indulgent purchase. Overall I am pleased with the car."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Wow! Wow! Wow! Worth every penny,,,

By on Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,161

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Bentley has left no stone unturned"

Cons: "Having to wash it every week!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Delivery of my Bentley

"This car delivers on so many levels , the v12 twin turbo engine is amazing and blows my last car an Aston Martin Vantage Roadster out of the water. I bought this car without even test driving one over the phone,,and by far best phone order I've ever placed, make sure if you love your music as I do ,, get the up grade on the sound system you'll be glad you did!"

18 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Delivery of my Bentley

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