2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Review: Luxury You Can Live With

by Belinda Anderson

The Continental GT is known for being the reason why Bentley was able to make a comeback in the early 2000s, by cleverly offering a lower entry price than was expected for the brand. Now, in the wake of the Bentayga, the Continental GT is the brand's second-best seller, with the drop-top version earning high praise for its liveable, yet luxurious nature. The GT Convertible comes with a hard-to-swallow, pricey options list and a hefty MSRP, but it compares favorably against even big names like the Rolls-Royce Dawn and Aston Martin DB11 for driving pleasure. Has Bentley truly mastered the art of merging old-school charisma with modern technology in the Continental GT Convertible, or is it better to save yourself the cash and opt for a Mercedes S-Class Convertible instead? In our opinion, this third-gen luxury grand tourer is intent on not only flying the Bentley flag high, but it's hell-bent on keeping it there.

Read in this review:

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Continental GT Convertible?

While the Continental GT Convertible was fully new for 2019, 2020 sees the addition of the V8 engine to the suave cabriolet lineup, and, together with the unique anniversary models from the previous year, effectively means there are two new trims, namely the Continental GT V8 Convertible and the V8 First Edition. The V8 brings a twin-turbo 4.0-liter motor to the proverbial tea party, with 542 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque as another option to the standard W12. The V8 trims have their own unique styling accents, although the overall profile of the GT stays the same.

Pros and Cons

  • Two brilliant powertrain options
  • Sublime drive that's actually fun, too
  • Top-up is as good as top-down
  • Extensive customization options
  • Driver aids must be optioned on - at a hefty price
  • Our pockets aren't deep enough to afford one

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
V8 Convertible
4.0-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$222,700
W12 Convertible
6.0-liter Twin-Turbo W12 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$240,800
V8 First Edition Convertible
4.0-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$271,555
W12 First Edition Convertible
6.0-liter Twin-Turbo W12 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$289,655

Continental GT Convertible Exterior

Describing the aesthetic pleasure of the Continental GT Convertible would take up far too much space here, so suffice it to say that the sleek two-door drop-top is both beautiful and bold. The wheelbase was extended for the 2019 redesign, and the long, shapely hood and almost eccentric body lines show off improved aerodynamics and oodles of class. To this end, the 2020 variants have a lower-than-usual coefficient of drag for a convertible, according to Bentley, at 0.29 to be exact. The Z-fold roof can be had in seven different fabrics - including a very English authentic Tweed, which is surprisingly sexy - and features a heated glass window. The fabric roof is reportedly two decibels quieter than that of the previous generation model, and can open or close in 19 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. The V8 trims come standard on 20-inch wheels, while the W12 variants have 21-inch items filling the wheel arches. Quad exhaust pipes feature in the rear on the V8, and twin ovals on the W12, and the rounded headlamps are much more than just functional with an LED Matrix design meant to imitate crystal glassware - how much more like British royalty could it get?

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Front View Driving Bentley
2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Rear View Driving Bentley
2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Front View Driving 1 Bentley
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Dimensions

The convertible is 190.9 inches long, and, with its increased wheelbase of 112.2 inches between the axles, offers a buttery ride and massive amounts of stability. It stands 55.1 inches tall, and measures 76.9 inches wide without taking the exterior mirrors into account. The use of more aluminum in the third-generation Continental GT Convertible means that it has slimmed down a little, and - although around 375 pounds heavier than its Coupe counterpart - is all of 5,322 lbs in W12 trim. V8 models are a slightly less chunky 5,148 lbs.

  • Length 190.9 in
  • Wheelbase 112.2 in
  • Height 55.1 in
  • Max Width 76.9 in
  • Front Width 65.8 in
  • Rear Width 65.5 in

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Exterior Colors

  • Glacier White
  • St James Red
  • Thunder
  • Windsor Blue
  • Anthracite
  • Anthracite Satin by Mulliner
  • Beluga
  • Black Crystal
  • Onyx
  • Royal Ebony by Mulliner
  • Spectre
  • Storm Grey by Mulliner
  • Titan Grey
  • Black Sapphire
  • Blue Crystal
See all 85 colors

Continental GT Convertible Performance

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Front View Driving 2 Bentley
2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Side View Driving Bentley
2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Badge Bentley

Engine and Transmission

The 2020 range has been expanded to feature two powertrain options; the brilliant twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 still crowns the range with 626 hp and 664 lb-ft on tap, but a 4.0-liter V8 with 542 hp and 568 lb-ft now brings up the rear in the lower end of the range. The W12 remains in a league of its own as it is - according to Bentley - designed and hand-built in the UK, despite the German engineering behind the product. Still, it adds an extra layer to the enigma that is the Continental, but also for its rhapsodic power. Both powertrains are paired to an eight-speed DCT dual-clutch transmission that results in unruffled power delivery to all four wheels. The gearbox is rapid and responsive, picking the right gear and downshifting without hesitation when the accelerator is floored. All of this works in harmony to create a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds for the W12, while the V8 takes just about four seconds to get there. According to Bentley, the Continental GT Convertible has a top speed of 207 mph in W12 trim, while the smaller engine tops out at 198 mph.

While some may feel that the V8 is a step down from the almighty W12, it has its own merits. The V8 offers rapid acceleration and keen responses to driver input, especially when taking into account the hefty bodyweight. Selecting Sport mode helps the V8 feel closer to its partner engine's capabilities, and loosens up the Bentley's vocal cords, too, sounding arguably a little more assertive than the almost considerate rumble of the bigger motor. So, while the W12 remains the preferred option for the sheer hell of having so much power on hand, you won't be sorry for picking the V8 either.

  • Engines
    4.0-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas, 6.0-liter Twin-Turbo W12 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

This is the most agile GT ever - at least according to Bentley. Fitted with three-chamber air suspension, the Continental GT Convertible offers a well-damped ride that is almost reverential. A 48-volt dynamic ride system has been implemented to mitigate body roll by means of actuators in the roll bars that work to level the chassis into, and out of, corners. Additionally, there are four modes to choose from - Comfort, Bentley, Sport, and Individual - which changes up the spring stiffness and damping, engine responses, transmission shift ratios, and the weighting of the steering wheel, as well as torque distribution, to give you the most effective ride depending on your whims and wishes.

This generation of Continental GT has some German roots, too, which contribute to that well-balanced ride. The Porsche-derived platform also makes for eager and athletic handling at speed. The front axle has also been moved forward in the design, to make for a more compliant drive. Still, the car is heavy, and it feels heavy from behind the wheel - but that's not necessarily a bad thing, and with such hearty powertrains beneath the hood, actually creates a nice, engaging balance. As a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system mated with a darned good suspension setup, you get lightning-fast take-offs, superb cruising and absolutely effortless overtaking, while when pushing on the general sensation and handling balance errs towards the sensation of a RWD car. The pleasure of driving this car is not limited to feeling the wind in your hair, simply because the sheer delight of driving this beauty is almost all-encompassing.

Continental GT Convertible Gas Mileage

Gas mileage is really a non-issue if you can afford a convertible of this caliber, but we'll tell you about it anyway. The new V8 powertrain earns EPA estimates of 16/26/19 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles, although real-world trials have shown the highway figure to be closer to 28 mpg. The W12 engine is understandably thirstier, with the figures estimated at 12/19/15 mpg. With a 24-gallon gas tank, this means that the V8 Convertible should be able to cruise for around 456 miles before running on empty.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    24.0 Gallons
* 2020 Bentley Continental V8 Convertible

Continental GT Convertible Interior

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Central Console Bentley
2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Interior Overview Bentley
2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Rear Passenger Seats Bentley
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Seating and Interior Space

Slipping into a Bentley is so special that it almost seems to happen in movie-like slow motion with a soundtrack in the background, and rightfully so - the interior is as magnificently-styled as we'd expect. Characterized by premium leather and fine wood veneers such as the Crown Cut Walnut trim on the console fascias in the V8 and Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus on W12 variants, almost every aspect of what you see in the cabin can be hand-picked and individually customized to suit your dreams and desires - if you have a hefty bank balance, that is. Bentley proudly proclaims that all-natural materials are used in the cabin, including a range of beautiful hides and rare, yet sustainably sourced, wood trim. The seats can be had in one color, or in four split-color designs that feature contrast stitching, unique piping, or hand-stitched quilting.

Seating four passengers in a two-seater is an expected stretch, with rear-seat passengers not as well catered for in terms of space. Yet somehow we can forgive this, especially when cradled in the lap of luxury up front - the twenty-way power-adjustable seating is well-bolstered and comfortable, meaning long, meandering drives through the countryside won't be a problem, especially with heating, cooling, massaging, and neck-level heating, courtesy of the Comfort Specification package, which is optional on lower trims, and standard on the higher-spec models.

  • Seating capacity
    4-seater

Continental GT Convertible Trunk and Cargo Space

Only 8.3 cubic feet is available in the trunk, sufficient for one large, or two medium-sized suitcases - luckily this is all you'll really need when whisking your partner away for the weekend. Still, there is a pass-through available in the highly unlikely event you will be using your magnificent GT to haul longer objects. Trunk space really doesn't matter when purchasing a lifestyle tourer like this, but it's there should you need it.

Small items can be stored in the cabin in the center console bin, as well as in the slender door pockets and smartphone-sized storage tray up front. There are cupholders in the center console, as well as a secondary storage area with cupholders in between the rear seats.

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Top View Bentley
2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Soft Top Bentley
2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Rear View Driving 1 Bentley
  • Trunk Volume
    8.3 ft³

Continental GT Convertible Infotainment and Features

Features

For the eye-watering price of such a luxurious vehicle, one would expect it to be jam-packed with features. And you'd be right - and wrong. While there are a ton of standard conveniences - such as integrated navigation, leather seats, a heated steering wheel, twenty-way power-adjustable front perches, keyless entry and start, and automatic LED lights - there's also a ton more that could, and should, be added on by means of the optional packages. This includes such niceties as a heated armrest, ventilated front seats, as well as a neck-warmer for when you have the top-down. The basics are covered, at least, with the likes of dual-zone climate control, heated seats, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring. Optional driver aids include lane assist, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, an integrated traffic sign recognition system, and night vision.

Infotainment

All models across the range feature a ten-speaker Bentley sound system and a 12.3-inch high-resolution capacitive touchscreen front and center. The infotainment offering includes digital or satellite radio, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Wi-Fi, two SD card slots, and an old-school CD player slot. Two upgrades are available on the lower end of the range, to either a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio setup at $6,700, or an 18-speaker Naim for Bentley system that will set you back $8,800 - First Edition W12 trims comes standard with the glorious B&O setup.

Typical British sensibilities mean the infotainment system is well thought out, but it offers convoluted lists of menus that can be a little overwhelming. A nifty add-on is the rotating display (standard on First Edition trims) which can be specced for $6,270, and adds a three-sided rotating panel with the display screen on one side, three analog gauges for temperature, a compass and a chronograph on the second, and a smooth veneer panel on the third side. Although gimmicky, this certainly feels James Bond enough to make the price worthwhile.

Continental GT Convertible Problems and Reliability

The Continental GT Convertible has no recalls issued for the 2020 model year, nor are there any issues reported for the 2019 version. Bentley offers a three-year/unlimited-mileage basic warranty, as well as coverage for the drivetrain and corrosion for the same period. With such care and precision taken in the design and build, our money's on Bentley's ability to keep you content.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    3 Years \ 500,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ Unlimited Miles

Continental GT Convertible Safety

As is expected, neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS have any contributions to make in terms of safety ratings, not having flung the beautiful convertible at any walls for crash test purposes. While there are a few standard safety features onboard, much of the safety equipment available to the Bentley comes as optional on the lower trims, including the likes of adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and night vision, which only come standard on the elusive First Edition trims. At a quarter of a million dollars, we'd expect these to be standard, but, to be fair, if you're at this point in the purchasing process, what does an extra $20 - $50k spent on options matter? Simply buy one of the top-end trims instead.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible a good car?

The Bentley Continental GT Convertible is something truly special - as much of a mouthful as the name is, so much more is there to say about its charm, and undoubtedly, its legacy. While we aren't fans of the excessive need for adding optional extras on lower trims, we'd have to be particularly fervent in our nitpicking to find something to complain about. Both available powertrains are superb, the drive is nothing short of heavenly, and the interior is superfluous luxury, to say the least - but there is a limit to how practical this vehicle is in terms of space for more than two passengers and their cargo. These gripes don't really matter in the grand scheme of things, though, as neither these issues - nor the painful price tag - should be considerations for purchasing a Bentley. W.O. Bentley's objective of creating "a fast car, a good car, the best in its class", is almost nonchalantly checked by the Continental GT Convertible, even though some brand-believers may prefer the hallowed Rolls-Royce marque above it.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible?

If the V8 Continental GT Convertible could in any way be considered a base model, it serves as the entry-spec trim solely due to its price. At around $220,000 without options and a $2,750 destination fee, the V8 is the cheapest model in the range. Moving up to the W12 asks for $236,100. For the privilege of driving one of the First Edition models, we expect you will have to lay out upwards of $275,000 for the V8 variant, and in excess of $300k for the W12 - although official pricing has not been announced.

See All 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Trims and Specs

🚗What Bentley Continental GT Convertible Model Should I Buy?

A loaded question if there ever was one, as the most instinctual answer to this question is 'any model' - but, truth be told, we'd love to have one of the collectible First Edition trims for the extra standard features it comes with, as well as bragging rights. However, for the sake of prudence and proper sensibility, and in the spirit of all things British, we'll opt for the new V8-powered model - a grand tourer deserves to be driven with aplomb, and the V8 is more than sufficient. We'd spec it with all of the plush, opulent features possible, though, including the Naim for Bentley sound system, the Touring Specification (for lane assist, adaptive cruise control, night vision, and the head-up display), the City Spec package (for the surround-view camera, traffic sign recognition, and other driver aids), the Comfort Package (because we want our front seats ventilated and with massage function), the 007-like Rotating Display (because, why not), and we'd crown it all with the magnificent Tweed rag-top.

Check out other Bentley Continental Styles

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Comparisons

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible Mercedes-Benz
Rolls-Royce Dawn Rolls-Royce
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Bentley Continental GT Convertible542 hpTBC$222,700
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible 255 hp21/29 mpg$53,950
Rolls-Royce Dawn 563 hp12/18 mpg$356,500

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible vs Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible

While this may seem a chalk-and-cheese comparison, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Convertible should not be discounted from the equation simply because it costs almost $80k less. In all honesty, the brilliance of the S-Class Cabrio lies in precisely that - offering a phenomenal package at a much more palatable price. For $138,600, the S-Class offers a similar engine to the Continental GT Convertible - it's own 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 makes 463 hp and 516 lb-ft to Bentley's 542 hp and 568 lb-ft, unless you opt for the more powerful AMG S63 Cabriolet with a more punchy 603-hp motor (at $183k). But the S-Class weighs almost 540 lbs less, and this shows in the brilliant ride and handling. Both convertibles offer superlative driving experiences, and Mercedes has done a phenomenal job of bringing the interior of the S-Class as close to the Bentley's heels in terms of luxury cabins as is possible for the price bracket. While the S-Class has even poorer trunk space than the Bentley, and redundant rear seats drag it down, it will still remain an excellent option for those who want a Bentley Continental GT Convertible, but find themselves having to budget. Naturally, if money weren't an option, the Bentley would win, every time.

See Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible Review

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible vs Rolls-Royce Dawn

At the more bourgeois end of the spectrum, the Rolls-Royce Dawn offers an even more posh experience to the Bentley; the mere fact that you don't just simply configure a Dawn online - you have to commission one, if you're worthy - speaks volumes. Priced upwards of $345,000, the Rolls-Royce Dawn is something the Bentley isn't: a car for special occasions. Not just because of its price tag, it's imposing presence, or it's unmatched looks, but because of the emotional and psychological weight of the Spirit of Ecstasy mounted on the hood. And, it's this very impressive pedigree that makes its rival, the Bentley, so much more approachable as a lifestyle grand tourer. While both are supremely luxurious, and both can be customized to literally pander to your wildest notions, it's not the Rolls that we'd imagine ourselves cruising down mountain passes in. Of course, we'd love to own a Rolls-Royce - but to be chauffeured about in when gas mileage, cargo space, and how many features we need to add on to be safe just don't matter. To truly feel the joy of driving and the way a machine responds to your touch - we'll take the Bentley.

See Rolls-Royce Dawn Review

Bentley Continental GT Convertible Popular Comparisons

2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Video Review

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