Image 2016 Bentley Continental Gt 2 Door Coupe V8 Angular 2

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The 2016 Bentley Continental GT blends world-class craftsmanship with new-age tech. It's an ultra-fast and ultra-luxurious grand tourer for those of the highest discerning taste.

Pros

World-class interior craftsmanship; powerful engines; standard all-wheel drive; extensive customization possibilities; easy and comfortable to drive.

Cons

Cramped rear seats; heavyset, so most competitors handle better.

What's New for 2016

There are no significant model changes for the 2016 Bentley Continental GT.

Introduction

It's a mile-long stretch to try and equate Bentley with Burger King. But in the sense that you can "have it your way" with both the famous burger chain and the 2016 Bentley Continental GT, we could very well be right. Would you like pickles and onions on your burger, or would you like carbon-ceramic brakes on your Conti that cost as much as a new Nissan Versa? See? Same thing.

The point is that you get plenty of choice with the 2016 Continental GT. A quick look at the numbers makes a compelling case for the "base" V8 car, with just a few tenths of a second separating it and a W12-powered Continental GT, sprinting to 60 or 100 mph. The V8 car is roughly 55 pounds lighter and averages about 4 mpg more in combined city and highway driving. Also, the sound and character of the V8 are excellent and very much befitting the character of a Bentley. That it costs about $20,000 less doesn't hurt, either.

If you simply must have 12 cylinders, though, then Bentley will not deny you this luxury. There are still two versions of the brand's signature W12 engine: one powering the traditional Continental GT and making 582 horsepower, and a hopped-up version with 626 hp sitting under the hood of the Continental GT Speed, the latter capable of exceeding speeds over 205 mph. These larger-engine cars don't really offer much usable benefit in day-to-day driving, but for the discerning luxury car buyer, a 200-mph W12 car is a great conversation-starter.

Regardless of the engine camp you belong to, the interior of every Bentley Continental GT boasts exceptionally high-quality materials and exquisite levels of craftsmanship that stand out even among other high-end luxury cars the GT competes with. Advanced German electronics technology and reliability combined with classic British style results in a cabin fit for royalty, and buyers can further customize it with a seemingly endless array of materials and color choices.

Depending on your needs or desires, there are some competitors that are worth considering. If it's true handling and performance you're concerned with, the 2016 Porsche 911 Turbo is an appealing -- if much more pedestrian -- pick. For some Italian sound and style, the 2016 Maserati GranTurismo will likely turn heads wherever you go. Much of the same could be said for the 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT, which gets you the restrained style and beauty that Aston Martin does so well. But the 2016 Bentley Continental GT covers many bases well in terms of sport and luxury, and for some will continue to be the only choice when it comes to a proper grand touring car that you can have your own way.

Safety

The 2016 Bentley Continental GT comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, side airbags for all seats and a driver knee airbag. 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.

Interior Design and Special Features

Bentley has a reputation for beautiful interiors, and the Continental GT's cabin represents this well. They use some of the finest materials available, from rich supple leather to real wood veneers hand-crafted in Bentley's dedicated woodworking shop. It's a level of skill and attention to detail that defines the term "world class."

The fusion of high-tech convenience and classic charm keeps the Continental GT competitive in both function and form with its high-end contemporaries. The infotainment touchscreen interface is clear and intuitive to use, and the instrument panel features a sharp digital display flanked by analog gauges that are easy to read.

Space up front is abundant, as is seat comfort, but trying to accommodate rear-seat adult passengers will be a compromise for everyone. However, we'd expect most owners will more often carry the overflow from the 13-cubic-foot trunk than passengers. Of note, the convertible GTC's trunk is even smaller, holding only 9.2 cubic feet, but will still accommodate a standard golf bag with the woods removed.

Driving Impressions

If you're looking for a uniquely exotic driving experience or one that is best received in small doses, the 2016 Bentley Continental GT is not your car. The Continental GT is a car that you can get in and drive with no special instruction, as well as a car you'd want to drive every day or cover some good distance in on a weekend road trip. It's deceivingly fast because of how quiet the cabin is, with little audible difference between 60 and 160 mph. And despite its size and weight, it'll handle curves with surprising deftness and composure.

No matter the engine choice, a torrent of propulsion is available anywhere in the rev range, pushing the car past extralegal speeds with ease. The 6.0-liter W12's horsepower is impressive. But it's the 516 lb-ft of torque available from just 1,700 rpm that is truly awe-inspiring. The V8 is fantastic as well. It manages to improve fuel economy by a generous 30 percent, and its performance is just as lively as the W12, but with a dynamic weight advantage. All things considered, the V8 is our pick.

As capable and comfortable as the Continental GT is, it's also not a sports car. Those looking for exotic style as well as incredible handling will be better served by a more purpose-built machine from the likes of Aston Martin, Ferrari or McLaren.

Source : http://autoweek.com/buyers-guide/bentley/continental-gt/2016

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