Bentley Continental GTC (2011 – 2018) Review

Bentley Continental GTC (2011 – 2018) At A Glance


+Towering performance with V8 the best of the rang, excellent refinement, hand built interior, sense of occasion.

-Very expensive running costs, rear space not quite adult-size, looks a little dated inside.

Insurance Group 50
On average it achieves 99% of the official MPG figure

The big and rather brash Bentley Continental GTC is a very English take on open-top motoring. Just like the famous racers driven by the Bentley Boys in the 1920s, the approach here is one of ‘more is more’ – size, weight, engine capacity, you name it... 

The Continental GTC isn’t one for subtlety and this is key to its appeal – as a relaxing, effortless and very, very fast express for four to enjoy the sunshine in decadent luxury. It’s so relaxing, it might just take the driver’s mind off the cost of buying it, running it and putting fuel into it.

This second generation Continental GTC was very much an evolution of the original, rather than a fresh start. Styling was sharpened and details made more lavish, but the profile was still familiar. Nevertheless, it looked more modern, thanks to eye-catching LED-infused headlights and remarkable wrap-around ‘superformed’ front wings. Classic coachbuilding of the highest order.

Under the massive bonnet lay the defining feature of the very first Continental GT coupe – a gigantic 6.0-litre turbocharged W12 engine.

The engine’s popularity saw Bentley become the largest manufacturer of 12-cylinder engines in the world. Power was now up to 575PS and there was an abundant 700Nm of torque. Performance, despite the weight, was superb.

A year after launch, Bentley introduced a second engine choice: a 4.0-litre V8. This was the sportier and more driver-oriented engine, still producing a more than ample 507PS. Both engines, naturally, were paired with an automatic gearbox – the V8 being the first with the eight-speed auto that would later roll out across the range.

Driving a Continental GTC is a real event. It feels big, and luxurious, and quite exciting, particularly with the roof down.

The electric folding soft-top reveals the huge four-seat interior, but doesn’t make passengers suffer with an excess of wind rustle and roar. Well, not until the driver starts exploring the 195mph top speed potential of the car…

If that isn’t fast enough, Bentley later launched a Speed version, with 625PS taking it beyond 200mph. The thing is, if you drive slowly, it’s hard to believe the Bentley’s performance is so savage. The ride is cosseting, noise levels are low and it feels wonderfully genteel and decadent. Performance is rarely combined with such luxury.

For all its leather and wood-lined opulence and comfort, the interior is also starting to look a bit dated these days. It’s all beautifully finished, sure, but the Volkswagen-derived switchgear and infotainment screen are a bit too much like what you’d find in a Golf. Those used to more modern cars will also find the array of buttons, and the small size of the screens, a bit twee.

There’s no knocking the comfort, though. The huge front seats are palatial, gorgeous to sit in and exceedingly supportive. The rear seats are comfortable, too – it’s just a shame there isn’t a bit more room in there, to turn this from more of a 2+2 into the genuine four-seater it claims to be. Getting in and out with the roof up is tricky as well.

The Bentley Continental GTC is a distinctive car, as imposing to look at as it is feeling the full force of its performance. That it can also serve up such luxurious refinement is all the more impressive, and certainly enough for the lucky few to justify its similarly imposing price tag and running costs.

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a premium convertible?

"I’m looking for a premium four seater convertible. I have £70,000 to spend and will need it for personal use and also as a wedding car. Would be looking for a used version or nearly new – what do you recommend? "
The Bentley Continental GTC is a bit too sporty with not enough room in the back for this sort of use. I'd go for the bigger Azure, from 1995 to 2003, which reappeared in 2006 on Arnage underpinnings: A Rolls Royce Phantom DHC is going to be a bit rich for a £70k budget, but you could consider an older Corniche convertible that ran until 1995:
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Bentley Continental GTC (2011 – 2018) cost?