The new Azure is a delightful cruiser and in a market of one until the open-top Rolls arrives next year
  • First Drive

    Bentley Azure

    The new Azure is a delightful cruiser and in a market of one until the open-top Rolls arrives next year

What’s new?

On the surface, not much. Apart from a slight redesign of the wheels, you’d be hard pushed to tell it apart from the previous Azure visually. It’s the gearbox that’s the big news. Gone is the ancient three-speed US-sourced auto; in comes the same snappy six-speed auto as used in the Continental GT/GTC.

What’s it like?

In a word, wonderful. And, more to the point, notably better for the new gearbox.

In the old Azure there were occasions on which you had to contemplate your navel while the auto gearbox worked out what it wanted to do. Not any more. Now there’s a gear for every event, and no delay whatsoever in response. We did notice a tiny hiccup when downshifting, but this was almost certainly a software glitch, rather than a common fault. Overall, it’s amazing how much difference a decent auto ’box can make.

Should I buy one?

Yes, of course. However, unless you are a premier league footballer, landed gentry or extremely good at robbing banks, the Azure is probably a bit out of your league. Not that this can stop the rest of us dreaming about the world’s most delightful convertible.

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