Currently reading: Bentley Continental GT long-term test review: a stylish match for Porsche?
We're halfway through our time with the preowned Continental GT; the miles are racking up and its executive styling is a hit

We’re at the mid-point of our time with the 2013 pre-owned Continental GT and everything is going swimmingly, except for two rather important matters.

First, the 5000-mile ‘mileage budget’ agreed with Bentley Birmingham is under strain; we’ve already added 3800 miles to the 21,000 showing when we collected the car.

Second, just about every preconception I had about the GT has been turned on its head. I once thought the GT unfashionably tall against the Astons and Porsches of its price range.

Now, I revel at its businesslike squatness — to the extent that although we’ve agreed to sample the bespoke aftermarket exterior changes Bentley can offer even pre-owned customers, I’m not sure that there’s another look that will outshine the car as it is, with its carbonfibre sills and seven-spoke, 21in alloys.

In the beginning, I reckoned I wouldn’t drive this car much in the city. It’s expensive, it’s relatively wide and you sit low in a high-sided car.

But two things have become apparent: as long as you don’t presume on their goodwill, people appreciate the car and give you space, while the fine control afforded by its controls allows the car to be driven with satisfying precision.

A third concern was over rear accommodation, but with a bit of give and take between front and rear you can carry any kid and most adults in the back, and they report decent seat comfort and tolerable visibility.

My record for an uncomplaining rear traveller so far is 120 miles.

This Bentley has brought feelings of deep contentment, to the extent that I wouldn’t change a hair on its head.

Change is coming, though, and I’m curious to see what it brings.

Suspension settings

Evaluation of our Conti’s four shock absorber settings on a recent trip to Cornwall has encouraged me to opt most of the time for the setting one above Comfort.

It makes the suspension supple but tames body motion, which otherwise borders on the bouncy.

The second-to-top setting is also a viable road choice; Sport really only suits a track.

Mileage 24,100 Price new (2013) £125,000 Price now £85,000 Economy 23.3mpg Faults Exhaust rattle, broken tyre valve Expenses None

Read our previous Bentley Continental GT report here

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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