Used 2010 Bentley Continental GTC Review

Ultra-luxurious convertible tourers are a relative rarity, and in this class the 2010 Bentley Continental GTC makes its mark with old-school opulence, exclusivity and a powerful engine.




what's new

For 2010, the Bentley Continental GTC has a revised fascia with a more upright grille, larger and lower air intake, and chrome headlamp bezels. Carbon-ceramic brakes and Adaptive Cruise Control are available options and the steering has been re-tuned for improved feedback and feel.

vehicle overview

There are few choices when it comes to ultra-luxury convertibles. And among this select group, it's hard to beat the 2010 Bentley Continental GTC. It features the best in British opulence, blended with German engineering, combining to deliver just what the target customer wants -- exclusive excellence.

At over $200,000 per example, exclusivity is a given. As far as excellence, just look at what the Continental GTC offers. The cabin is bathed in supple leathers, rich wood trim and metal accents and is sure to please even the most discerning of buyer. Under the hood, a 6.0-liter 12-cylinder churns out 552 horsepower and drives all four wheels. All of this combines to deliver an opulent open-air tourer that is also a stout performer.

Excellence, however, does not equate to perfection. The 2010 Continental body styling is getting a bit stale after seven years without any appreciable changes, and even with the gobs of power under the hood, the GTC's heavy curb weight is hard to mask when cornering. On the inside, the small and outdated infotainment interface sours the overall experience.

For most prospective Bentley owners, these drawbacks will probably do little to dissuade them. Imperfect excellence is still excellent, after all. If anything, the few competitors in this class will give shoppers some pause. The Aston Martin DB9 Convertible represents a sportier alternative with similar exclusivity and is similarly priced. At a slightly lower pricepoint, the striking Maserati GranTurismo is also capable of raising a few heart rates. The Jaguar XKR is also a thriller but at half the price of the 2010 Bentley Continental GTC, it's nowhere near as exclusive.

trim levels & features

The 2010 Bentley Continental GTC is a premium luxury convertible offered in a single, well-appointed trim level. Standard features include painted 19-inch alloy wheels, a power-folding soft top, an electronically adjustable air suspension, bi-xenon headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, power door latches, front and rear parking sensors, keyless ignition/entry, a full leather interior with a choice of primary and secondary hides in 17 colors, burl walnut trim, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear-seat controls, 14-way power heated front seats, memory functions, Bluetooth, a navigation system and a 12-speaker stereo with satellite radio and a glovebox-mounted six-CD changer.

Options include carbon-ceramic brakes (only available with the optional 20-inch wheels), a power-opening and -closing trunk, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel, 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 the Mulliner Driving Specification that range from more exclusive veneers and lamb's-wool carpeting to diamond-quilted seating surfaces and specialized exterior paint colors.

New for 2010 is the Series 51 option of pre-selected interior treatments. This add-on takes its name from the year 1951, when the first official Bentley styling department was established. This package adds "51" badging, 20-inch polished wheels and special cabin treatment. The latter includes three-tone color schemes, unique upholstery with contrasting piping/stitching and exclusive wood veneers.

performance & mpg

Powering the Bentley Continental GTC is a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine with 12 cylinders arranged in the Volkswagen Group's unique W formation. This W12 power plant produces an impressive 552 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Even more noteworthy is that all of this torque is on tap at just 1,600 rpm. A six-speed automatic with steering-column-mounted paddle shifters is the only transmission available, and it sends power to all four wheels.

Despite its hefty 5,478-pound curb weight, the Continental GTC hustles from zero to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, according to Bentley. Top speed is reported at a breathtaking 195 mph. As expected, fuel economy is decidedly low, registering an EPA-estimated 10 mpg city/17 highway and 12 combined.

safety

Standard safety features for the 2010 Continental GTC include stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags and antilock disc brakes with brake assist. Also included is a rollover protection system that automatically deploys from behind the rear seats.

driving

Despite the Continental GTC's portly weight and plus-sized dimensions, it is surprisingly well-mannered in terms of performance. Acceleration is authoritative and handling is decent, though hardly sporting. In all likelihood, GTC buyers are more interested in its smooth ride and its road presence, and in these respects, the drop-top Bentley should delight.

interior

Even with the lofty expectations that come with any Bentley, the Continental GTC's interior does not disappoint. Metal accents, rich wood trim and soft leather are beyond reproach, with the added old-world charm of push-pull vent controls, a Breitling timepiece, and metal switches and levers. Regrettably, the infotainment and navigation system is old-world as well -- Bentley hasn't changed it since the Continental GTC's 2004 introduction, and it shows in the undersized display screen and non-intuitive interface. Mercifully, the optional iPod interface is easier to use.

Front passengers will undoubtedly be pleased with their leather-swaddled thrones, but the backseat is a different story -- there's room for two shorter passengers, but only if those in front are in a generous mood. The 9.2-cubic-foot capacity of the trunk isn't impressive given the GTC Speed's outsized proportions, but it's enough to 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.