Pros: New V8 brings down the pricing and ups the gas mileage; excellent torque and power at all speeds; practical enough to drive every day; nice to have all-wheel drive

Cons: Pricey compared to rivals from lesser brands; design starting to get old after a decade; you have to get the Flying Spur sedan to get any sort of rear seat room

What's New: The 2014 Bentley Continental GT and GTC are largely unchanged after major updates over the last two years.

The Bentley brand has long been synonymous with walking the fine line between opulent luxury and high-performance driving capabilities. Nowhere is that more true than with the Bentley Continental GT and GTC, which combine upscale touches with truly excellent performance. They also boast a handsome look, with the GT offering a 4-seat coupe body style and the GTC featuring a folding convertible soft-top.

That performance comes from one of two powertrains, which shoppers can choose between when picking their Bentley. For drivers who don't need the biggest and best, the base model Continental GT and GTC trims use a 500-horsepower turbocharged V8. Drivers who want a little more grunt can opt for a 567-hp twin-turbo W12, which can be tuned for 616 hp in the high-performance, coupe-only Speed model. All Continental GT and GTC trims use standard all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Of course, nothing comes cheap in the world of Bentley, and that very much includes these cars. A base-level, V8-powered 2014 Bentley Continental GT starts at around $178,000 with shipping, while the Continental GT Speed hovers around $216,000. Drop-top Continental GTC models range from $194,000 for a V8 to $217,000 for a W12.

But with that high price tag comes a long list of standard luxuries, ranging from a navigation system with Google Maps to dual-zone automatic climate control, 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers and wood-veneer trim. A long options list includes adaptive cruise control, a rearview camera and massaging front seats, along with an assortment of customization options and accessories.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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