2009 Bentley Continental GT Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Bentley Continental GT Coupe

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Bentley Continental GT Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.0 L W 12-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 552 hp @ 6100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 10/17 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Bentley Continental GT

  • The 2009 Bentley Continental GT coupe comes up short in all-around performance and value, but it makes up for it with style and cachet.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sumptuous interior, powerful turbocharged 12-cylinder engine, standard all-wheel drive, extensive customization possibilities.

  • Cons

    Heavy, pricey, most competitors handle better, outdated infotainment interface.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Bentley Continental GT receives a handful of new options, including adaptive cruise control, an iPod adapter and a Naim audio system with 13 speakers and two subwoofers. Additionally, a park distance control system is now standard.

Full 2009 Bentley Continental GT Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Bentley Continental GT receives a handful of new options, including adaptive cruise control, an iPod adapter and a Naim audio system with 13 speakers and two subwoofers. Additionally, a park distance control system is now standard.


In the lofty ultra-luxury coupe segment, our usual vehicle evaluation logic doesn't really apply. The 2009 Bentley Continental GT is a case in point. It costs about $25,000 more than the similarly conceived Mercedes CL600, for example, which outperforms it in just about every measurable way -- yet the Continental GT is a popular choice among business executives, professional athletes and Hollywood stars who want to make a powerful automotive statement.

Rather than crunching performance and pricing numbers, most buyers of the Continental GT will be more concerned about prestige, presence and whether they'll see other cars like their own during the daily commute. Rather than comparing feature content, they're more likely to figure out if they can create their own exterior paint color. For folks willing to plunk down 200 grand for a coupe, they want attitude, exclusivity and exquisite quality -- the Continental GT has it all in spades.

Let's start with the Bentley's dramatic exterior shape, which makes the Benz look even more like a frumpy Solara than usual. Check out the quad circular headlamps, fastback profile and imposing 19-inch wheels -- now that's attitude. The Continental GT continues to impress inside, where rich cowhide, gleaming wood and classic analog instrumentation combine to create a perfectly opulent environment. Under the hood, the all-wheel-drive Bentley receives a twin-turbocharged W12 power plant courtesy of parent company Volkswagen. It's a distinctive-sounding engine that generates gargantuan low-end torque. As for exclusivity, well, Southern California, home of Edmunds' headquarters, is home to a dizzying array of ultra-expensive cars, and even we don't see too many Continental GTs tooling around.

Of course, our logical brains are unmoved by such considerations, so the Continental GT doesn't make a lot of sense in our book. The far cheaper Maserati Gran Turismo is more engaging to drive and arguably more stylish. The aforementioned Mercedes is quicker and more nimble, and it also costs less. The BMW M6 will keep pace with the Bentley for barely half the price. The seductively sleek Aston Martin DB9 is competitive on all fronts. But for many well-heeled coupe shoppers, the 2009 Bentley Continental GT's regal bearing and scarcity on the street will trump more practical considerations. Logic aside, the Continental GT clearly has that "je ne sais quoi" that appeals to those with the means to buy one.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Bentley Continental GT is a premium luxury coupe available in one loaded trim level. Standard equipment includes 19-inch wheels, an electronically adjustable air suspension, bi-xenon headlamps with washers, an automatically deploying rear spoiler, parking sensors, keyless ignition and entry, a power opening/closing trunk, a full leather interior with a choice of primary and secondary hides in 17 colors, burr walnut trim, multizone automatic climate control with rear-seat controls, 14-way power heated front seats, memory functions, Bluetooth, a navigation system and a 10-speaker stereo with satellite radio and a glovebox-mounted six-CD changer.

Options include carbon ceramic brakes (only available with optional 20-inch wheels), adaptive cruise control, a three-spoke sport steering wheel (heated or regular), an 1,100-watt 13-speaker Naim sound system with two subwoofers, an iPod input jack, massaging front seats, four upgraded interior veneers and a rearview camera. There are also a variety of special-order options known as Mulliner Driving Specification that range from more exclusive veneers and lamb's-wool carpeting to diamond-quilted seating surfaces and specialized exterior paint colors.

Powertrains and Performance

Underneath the AWD 2009 Bentley Continental GT's hood is a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine with 12 cylinders arranged in the Volkswagen Group's unique W formation. The W12 cranks out 552 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, the latter of which is available at just 1,600 rpm. Paired to a six-speed automatic with steering-column-mounted paddle shifters, this massive engine whisks the big Bentley from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds en route to a 12.8-second quarter-mile at 108 mph -- not quite as quick as the CL600, but still good enough to match the Audi R8 supercar. Fuel economy, should anyone care, is EPA estimated at 10 mpg city/17 highway and 13 combined.


The Continental GT comes standard with stability control, antilock brakes and side curtain airbags for front and rear passengers.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Bentley Continental GT's cabin is a standout, even in this rarefied segment. The metal accents, rich wood trim and soft leather will make buyers feel as if they got their money's worth and then some. There's a charming old-world feel to the whole affair, highlighted by push-pull vent controls, a Breitling timepiece, and switches and levers constructed of real metal. Unfortunately, the infotainment system is old-world as well -- Bentley hasn't changed it since the Continental GT's 2004 introduction, and it shows in the undersized display screen and nonintuitive interface.

Double-pane side glass blocks wind noise and helps keep the cabin as quiet as a reading room. Interior controls are intuitive enough that most drivers will be able to figure everything out without cracking the owner's manual. There's room for two shorter passengers in back, but only if those in front are in a generous mood; otherwise, the backseat is good for parcels and puppies only. The 13-cubic-foot trunk provides ample cargo space for a car of this type.

Driving Impressions

The last time we weighed a Continental GT, we wondered if our scale needed recalibration. Nope; turns out our 5,177-pound measurement was right on target. Given that it's heavier than many SUVs, this Bentley's fleet-footed acceleration is truly remarkable. It can't hide all those pounds in corners, though, where nimbler competitors will show it their taillights. (The uprated Continental GT Speed model fares better in this regard.) Happily, the regular GT is a champ at smoothing out rough surfaces, and its real-world acceleration and handling will be more than enough for most buyers.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best car i have ever

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Bentley Continental GT

Traded my 07 maserati QP for a new 2008 GT, the car is absolutely amazing, insane amounts of power and torque can be driven like a limo or spanked like a true sports car. The interior is the best I have ever seen, bluetooth works fine, back up camera is a great help, ride is silky smooth and in my opinion this is the sexiest car on the market today (with a 599 a close second). I have not yet driven the car in winter conditions, but the 7000 miles I have driven over the past 6 months have been most enjoyable...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Car of cars

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Bentley Continental GT

Traded in my 2006 Maserati Gransport for a 2008 Black Bentley Continental GT Coupe. Wow! The styling is all at once beautiful, sporty, elegant, and eye-catching. While I miss the throaty roar of the Massy, the elegance and power of this Black Beauty is enthralling. The creature comforts, the interior, the modern features are beyond compare. This has to be the world's best car. The Bluetooth feature apparently has been improved, my iPhone works well with it seamlessly. The drive is comfortable, yet very powerful. With a 0 to 60 of 4.6 seconds and 552 horsepower, this is a far better buy than a Ferrari Scaglietti, in my opinion. No regrets so far after 5 days!

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Gas Mileage


  • 10
  • cty
  • 17
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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