Used 2015 Bentley Continental GT V8 S Review
The 2015 Bentley Continental GT is an ultra-luxurious grand tourer with four extremely capable powertrains. Rivals may be a bit sportier, but the Continental GT is a leader when it comes to comfort and class.
If you're looking for an extremely luxurious driving experience then the 2015 Bentley Continental GT is an excellent choice. While the GT may not look vastly different than it did a decade ago, it has received several updates that help it continue to rank amongst the best coupes on the planet.
From the driver seat, there is a clear distinction between the 2015 Bentley Continental GT provides and its rivals. Few automakers can come close to offering the quality of the Continental's interior and even fewer competitors have such an extensive options list. Buyers can customize the stitching, upholstery, seats, neck warmers, carbon fiber and wood trim. You can even specify the placement and frequency of Bentley logos.
It's not just a plush ride built for the discerning leather aficionado, though. The 2015 Bentley Continental GT has the performance to back its excellent trimmings. There are four excellent engines to choose from with varying levels of power: two twin-turbocharged V8's and two twin-turbocharged W12 engines. This year, the optional 6.0-liter W12 in the GT Speed gets an additional bump of 10 horsepower and 15 pound feet of torque, giving it a staggering total of 626 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque. It's worth noting the GT's 5100-pound curb weight and its effects on acceleration, but fear not, because even the slowest GT will go from zero to 60 mph in about 4 seconds.
There are a few luxury vehicles in this price range (and size range) that will handle better around tight bends than the hulking GT. And space in the back seat is limited, both in terms of headroom and legroom. The 2015 Maserati GranTurismo and the Aston Martin DB9 are both extremely upscale options that are a bit sportier than the GT but they may be a bit less comfortable over long journeys as a result. The Mercedes Benz CL600 also provides an excellent interior along with stunning performance. Virtually any vehicle in this class will pamper you, but the 2015 Bentley Continental GT remains a top choice for those who desire the best combination of comfort and extravagance.
trim levels & features
The 2015 Bentley Continental GT is a four-passenger coupe that may be ordered with a 12-cylinder engine or with an equally potent V8. There's also the convertible version, known as the Bentley Continental GTC.
Starting with the GT V8, standard features include 21-inch alloy wheels, adaptive air suspension, keyless ignition and entry, automatic xenon headlights, LED running lights, foglights, heated and power-folding mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a heated 12-way power driver seat, driver memory functions, a 10-way front passenger seat, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium leather upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera. The standard eight-speaker audio system includes a CD/DVD player, satellite radio, digital music storage and a USB/iPod interface and voice-controlled features. A navigation system with Google Maps compatibility is also included.
The more powerful V8 S is essentially identical, but rides on a lower, more firmly tuned suspension, has unique 20-inch wheels, red brake calipers, aero-optimized bodywork a knurled gearshift knob.
Stand-alone options for the GT V8 and V8 S include ventilated and massaging front seats, carbon-ceramic disc brakes, adaptive cruise control, separate front center armrests, a rear center console, a CD changer and a premium 14-speaker Naim audio system (includes CD changer).
Two Mulliner Driving Specification packages are also available that add 21-inch wheels, a jeweled fuel cap, including drilled alloy pedals and unique interior trimmings like quilted and perforated seating. Finally, two Sports packages selectively add carbon-fiber interior trim, red brake calipers and a sport exhaust.
The W12-equipped Continental GT is equipped in a very similar fashion. The Classic Specification package adds chrome front grilles and extended veneer on door panels while the All Seasons Specification package adds a heated steering wheel and neck warmer.
Besides having the most powerful engine offered, the range-topping Continental GT Speed is equipped as a standard GT but also includes 21-inch wheels, dark tinted taillights, drilled pedals, jeweled fuel and oil caps, ski pass-through, power trunk lid and twin front armrests. All options for the GT Speed are served a la carte, which is to say, one at a time and without bundled packages.
Over the entire Continental GT lineup, most items are also available as stand-alone options. And, as with all Bentleys, buyers can choose from a dizzying array of exterior and interior colors, wheels, embroidery, stitching, piping and wood or metallic trim. The truly discerning buyer can also specify customized "Personal Commission" items -- for a price, of course.
performance & mpg
The Bentley Continental GT and GTC are offered with a choice of either a V8 or W12 engine, both twin-turbocharged and both available in two outputs. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard across the line.
The V8 variants are powered by a 4.0-liter V8 that produces 500 hp and 487 pound-feet of torque, or 521 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque in the GT V8 S that also utilizes cylinder deactivation when cruising to optimize fuel economy. EPA-estimated fuel consumption is 19 mpg in combined driving (15 city/25 highway) for the coupe and 17 mpg combined (14/24) for the GTC convertible. At our test track, the "lesser" GT V8 coupe sprinted from zero to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds.
The W12-powered Continental GT and GTC are powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine producing 567 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. For the Continental GT Speed and GTC Speed, Bentley boosts this output to 626 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque. Bentley claims that the GT Speed will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds. The EPA-estimated fuel economy for both coupe and convertible stand at 15 mpg combined.
The 2015 Bentley Continental GT comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, side airbags for all seats and driver knee airbags. GTC convertibles also have a rollover protection system that automatically deploys from behind the rear seats.
In Edmunds brake testing, a GT V8 came to a stop from 60 mph in 111 feet. A GT Speed (with optional carbon-ceramic brakes) did it in 116 feet. The Continental GT V8 S (also with optional carbon-ceramic brakes) stopped a little shorter at 114 feet. Considering that the Bentley Continental weighs over 5,000 pounds, these distances aren't very surprising, but they are a few feet longer than average.
Despite being a rather large, luxury grand-tourer, the 2015 Bentley Continental GT is easy to drive in nearly every setting. You might be disappointed if you're expecting an exotic supercar, but if you're looking for an exquisitely crafted grand touring automobile for your daily drive or weekend road trips, this car is for you. Its superior visibility, buttoned-down ride and composed handling make driving simultaneously effortless and involving.
No matter the engine choice, massive thrust is available at any speed, pushing the Continental GT past extralegal speeds with ease. The 6.0-liter W12 gets small increases to both horsepower and torque this year, although it wasn't exactly lacking in the past. Bentley claims that these increases make the Continental GT Speed the fastest production Bentley ever, with a top speed of 206 mph. The V8 is no slouch either. It manages to improve fuel economy by a generous 30 percent and its performance is livelier than that of the W12. Truth be told, it also sounds better, with a distinctive V8 growl and zero-to-60 mph acceleration times for the two powertrains only vary by a few tenths of a second. All things considered, the V8 is our pick.
Around sharp turns, the Continental GT is capable, but it's not a sports car. Long, sweeping bends are a much better match for the GT's handling characteristics.
As with any Bentley, the Continental GT's cabin features only the finest available materials. From supple, hand-stitched leather that covers most surfaces to the rich wood veneers hand-crafted in Bentley's dedicated woodworking shop, the interior pays homage to old-world craftsmanship that truly defines "world class."
High-tech convenience contrasts with that classic charm, however, keeping the Continental GT competitive with its contemporaries. The infotainment touchscreen interface is clear and its operation intuitive, and the instrument panel features a sharp digital display flanked by legible analog gauges. One weakness for the Continental GT's interior is the placement and clarity of buttons and switches. They're a bit awkward in some cases and hard to find in others.
Front seat space is abundant and comfort is excellent, but rear-seat adult passengers are still right to criticize, as space is quite tight back there. The GT's trunk is a bit larger than average for the class, with 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space. The GTC's trunk is predictably smaller, holding only 9.2 cubic feet, but at least it can accommodate a standard golf bag with the woods removed.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.