Depreciation is the bane of many car owners, especially those who drive luxury cars. However, for those buying used, it’s a great opportunity. Given enough time, even Maybachs and Rolls-Royces become relatively affordable. And the same goes for Bentley models, especially the Continental GT. But automotive technology and design aren’t static. Can a decade-old used Bentley Continental GT really go head-to-head against a brand-new one? YouTube team Throttle House attempted to find out.
2020 Bentley Continental GT V8 vs. 2007 Continental GT Mulliner: specs and features
Since its 2003 debut, the Bentley Continental GT has become the British marque’s best-selling model, Motor Trend reports. The luxury coupe is now in its 3rd generation, and it’s not quite the same as it was then.
The used Bentley in Throttle House’s video is a 2007 Continental GT Mulliner Edition. As a 1st-gen model, it’s powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12, rated at 552 hp and 479 lb-ft, Car and Driver reports. And while it weighs roughly 5300 pounds, thanks to standard AWD and a 6-speed automatic, it can go 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, MT reports.
The 2020 Bentley Continental GT still offers a W12, Car and Driver reports, but it’s now joined by a V8 option. As a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, it’s smaller than the 2007 model’s W12. However, with 542 hp and 568 lb-ft, it’s torquier and almost as powerful. Plus, unlike the 1st-gen model, which rides on the Volkswagen Phaeton’s platform, the 2020 GT uses the same engine and platform as the Porsche Panamera Turbo. It also uses the Panamera Turbo’s 8-speed dual-clutch and AWD system, Road & Track reports. As a result, it’s over 400 pounds lighter, with a 3.4-second 0-60 time.
Naturally, the 2007 Bentley Continental GT doesn’t have all the features the 2020 model does. For example, it lacks Apple CarPlay, WiFi, and ADAS features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist, Roadshow reports. However, by 2007, the Continental GT offered Bluetooth, GPS navigation, and soft-door closure, Autocar and Robison Service report. That’s on top of features like heated massaging seats, a heated steering wheel, stability control, traction control, and adjustable air suspension, CBC Auto reports.
How does a used Bentley Continental GT drive compared to a brand-new one?
Inside, the 2007 Bentley Continental GT is noticeably dated compared to the 2020 model, Throttle House reports. Especially when it comes to infotainment and electronics. The new GT, for instance, has a digital gauge cluster, as well as a rotating center display. You can have either the infotainment screen, 3 analog gauges—including a compass—or just the veneer on display. And it has ventilated seats as well as heated ones.
However, in terms of material quality, the 2007 model isn’t bad. Bentley famously only uses leather from cows raised in areas without barbed wire, Drive reports, so the hides aren’t marked. Everything that feels like metal is made out of metal, the wood trim is gorgeous, and there’s a Breitling clock in the dashboard. Plus, the Mulliner package adds drilled alloy pedals, Top Gear reports, as well as two-tone quilted leather upholstery. And unlike the 2020 Bentley Continental GT, it still has mechanically-operated climate control vents.
However, between the two, the 2020 Continental GT has better handling, especially with that lighter V8. The used Bentley still has a comfortable ride, but it feels less stable, especially in the corners. The steering is also fairly light, and the 6-speed transmission, though smooth, is slow to shift.
In contrast, MT reports the 2020 model might be one of the best-handling Bentleys ever. The coupe still rides well, but with significantly less body roll. And not only is it lighter, it feels lighter and smaller. Plus, the transmission is less jerky at low speeds, but still responds quickly to the paddle shifters.
Should you buy the used one?
At the time of recording, the used 2007 Bentley Continental GT Mulliner was listed for the equivalent of $37,960. That’s roughly the same price as a 2020 Honda Civic Type R and a base 2021 Audi A4. And that’s not a weirdly-low price, either. CarsandBids recently sold a 31,000-mile 2004 used Bentley Continental GT for $32,257. But even pristine 1st-gen models rarely cost more than $40-$50k, Bring a Trailer and Hagerty report.
In comparison, a new 2020 Bentley Continental GT V8 starts at just over $200,000. The First Edition Throttle House drove retails for the equivalent of $279,000. And given the new Mulliner Edition’s interior has over 400,000 hand-embroidered stitches, The Drive reports, it likely costs the same or more.
However, while buying a used Bentley may seem affordable at first, it doesn’t always stay that way. As with many high-end luxury cars, parts and labor can be expensive. That’s particularly true of the electronics and air suspension, Euromotive Performance reports.
However, used Continental GTs tend to be fairly reliable, provided they’ve been properly maintained. Getting a 2007 model, though, can be dicey, as they’re known to suffer vacuum line failure, 6SpeedOnline forum members report. The post-2007 models have a more robust metal one. And if you want to avoid potential W12-related headaches, the later V8 Continental GTs are better, if pricier, buys.
Between the 2020 and 2007 Bentley Continental GTs, the former is clearly the more modern, sharper car. But if you’re looking for a luxurious low-speed cruiser, the used car still has a lot to offer. Particularly at its asking price.
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