Bentley Continental GT Convertible Review 2023 | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Subscribe to Top Gear magazine
Sign up to our Top Gear Magazine
Thursday 28th September
Car Review

Bentley Continental GT Convertible review

£167,000 - £231,080
Published: 17 Feb 2023
A brilliant GT, now with a bit more headroom

Good stuff

Massively fast and surprisingly fun to drive, excellent interior

Bad stuff

It'll be ruinously expensive to run and the image is still rather Cheshire


What is it?

A Bentley Continental GT - surely one of the world's finest grand tourers - with a limitless amount of headroom, thanks to a z-fold fabric roof that can be stowed or erected in 19 seconds at up to 30mph. It competes with the Aston Martin DB11 Volante and Ferrari Portofino, among others.

Indeed, there aren’t many differences between the Continental GT Convertible and the coupe on which it’s based. Except the roof, obviously, which brings with it strengthening in the form of much bracing and metalwork. The structure is five per cent stiffer than before, while aluminium panels mean the body is 20 per cent lighter.

Advertisement - Page continues below

And better looking, right?

Oh yes, substantially better-looking. The old Continental GT was not an unattractive car, but this new one moves things on. Bentley’s moved the front axle forward, improving weight distribution by shifting the engine lower and further back in the chassis. This means the front overhang can be much shorter, which together with the longer rear overhang gives the GT a much more aesthetically pleasing profile than the car it replaces.

Any progress under the bonnet?

Things have moved on mechanically, too. Engine wise, you've still got a choice of a 4.0-litre V8 or 6.0-litre W12 - each with a couple of turbochargers for good measure - but now there’s more power and torque, plus cylinder deactivation for better economy. The GT still drives all four wheels, but now through an eight-speed DSG rather than a torque-converter automatic, and up to 100 per cent of power can go to the rear wheels.

And in smooth, unruffled driving it often does, to save fuel. Three-chamber air suspension aims to give a silky smooth ride, while a 48-volt active roll control system is tasked with keeping the GT’s substantial mass in check through the corners.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Our choice from the range

What's the verdict?

The drive systems give it an athleticism that a car of this size, type and mass ought not to have

Just like the coupe, this is a massively more dynamic car than the one it replaces. All the drive systems give it an athleticism that a car of this size, type and mass ought not to have. And of course it’s hugely fast in a straight line. So fast and so refined, you never feel as though you're going as fast as you really are. It's a licence loser, that's for sure, with an uncanny ability to carry speed cross country without getting all out of shape. 

Good convertible too: while it's plainly not as stiff as the coupe, the soft-top GT doesn’t shudder or shake like big, luxury convertibles of even just a generation ago, while with all the wind brakes in place there’s virtually no turbulence in the cabin. Which will please potential customers no end. A deeply satisfying car in which to cover lots and lots of miles, and we suspect own. At a price. 

The Rivals

compare car finance
Powered byZuto Logo
more on this car
Take one for a spin or order a brochure
Powered byRegit Logo

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

Get your first 5 issues for £5