Superb build quality, sophisticated image, refined driving experience, wonderful engine
Expensive to buy and run
Any fears that new owner Volkswagen wasn't going to deliver a proper Bentley with its first model in charge were instantly dismissed with the arrival of the Continental GT. This opulent coupé offers real 200mph performance and room for four at a pinch for just over £100,000. Not cheap, but less than half what Bentley had been asking for the old V8 Continental.
The four-wheel drive chassis and W12 engine are actually shared with the Phaeton, Volkswagen’s attempt at a BMW 7-series rivalling saloon, but the two cars are certainly not clones and the Bentley is far more opulent, faster and more satisfying to drive. A four-door saloon version, the Flying Spur, appeared in 2005 and the GTC convertible a year later.
Then in 2007 Bentley added the GT Speed, a more powerful version of the coupé, to combat the onslaught of more recent rivals, but the ordinary coupé continues also.