Build it yourself? No, the Bentley Continental isn't a do-it-yourselfer. But it is as close to handcrafted as you can come, with choices for interior trim and colors that can personalize any coupe or convertible right from the factory.
All Continentals offer standard electronic climate control; soft-close doors and decklid; Bluetooth connectivity; bi-xenon headlamps with washers; a full leather interior with a choice of primary and secondary hides in 17 colors; 14-way power heated front seats; 19-inch wheels; multi-zone automatic climate control with rear-seat controls; a 10-speaker stereo with Sirius Satellite Radio and a six-CD changer; and a DVD navigation system that also controls climate and audio functions. The collision of controls for the systems leads to confusing inputs and lots of frustration.
Bentley Continental GTC convertibles add a power folding fabric top. MotorAuthority says the top "folds in 25 seconds and has indulgent feel and great sound-damping ability; you'll want to exercise it as least as often as the redline, if not more." Automotive reports, "Luxury and labor-saving devices are abundant, with trunk, folding roof and door-sealing all performed at the touch of a button."
Bentley offers an upgraded 1,000-watt Naim audio system with 14 speakers for a mere $6,000, but TheCarConnection.com's editors couldn't recommend its thin sound and lack of user controls for audio quality. "Also surprising are the sluggish operation and limited assistance features of the navigation system," Car and Driver observes, "a glaring symptom of the Continental's technological age."
On the recommended list: a Mulliner package of quilted leather, knurled chrome, and turned aluminum trim, as well as the optional lambs-wool rugs and the available iPod interface. Be prepared to consult a colorist before ordering, too; all Continental GTs can be specified with a choice of lambs-wool rugs, 17 shades of leather, and five grains of wood trim. Edmunds says the options list is "virtually limitless (though you'll pay handsomely for them)." The Speed offers its own set of paint and trim options, to go with a new finish for some of its chrome trim, and all versions have new available colors this year.