Is Now the Time to Buy a Bentley Continental GT?

All signs point to yes.

Too good to be true: It’s an axiom that has steered many folks away from disastrous decisions or investments for as long as people hav acquired things.

Every once in awhile, though, the thing that seems great is actually true. Take, for instance, the Bentley Continental GT, a worldwide symbol of opulence and lack of concern with balancing a checkbook. What if The Drive told you it can be had for roughly half the price as a decently equipped new BMW 7-Series?

Of course, there’s a caveat. I’m not talking brand new Conti GTs—only first generation examples from between 2003 and 2007 (although the end of the first generation was in 2011). Combining values from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), eBay Motors, and Cargurus, prices for the early Continentals with decent mileage are roughly between $40,000 and 55,000. Sure, you could have a nicely optioned new Ford F-150 or Nissan Armada, but we’re talking about owning a Bentley for around the same price. A Bentley, dude.

For this low price, not only do you achieve the Bentley Driving Status, but you also acquire an atomic bomb of a powerplant under the hood—a hand-built 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 that pushes out 552 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of twist—a sumptuous leather interior that you know required the death of dozens of prize cows, and enough wood to build a weekend house in Aspen. Combined with a smooth six-speed automatic, the Continental GT is one of the finest GT cruisers out there.

A 10-year old Volkswagen Group-built W12 may not sound like the most reliable powertrain around, but apparently even high mileage examples cope well. Keep in mind this Volkswagen Group W12 was found in the Audi A8L, Volkswagen Phaeton, and is still used today in most new Bentleys—so parts aren’t hard to come by, although they and labor will likely be a bit pricey. That’s the price you pay for owning a Bentley, though. No one said the cost of ownership would be low.

Even though the holidays are on their way out, a new old Bentley Continental whose price is right would make for an excellent daily for those who want to ball on a budget. Check out these listings below.

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