You want a new ride. So, should you buy a brand new car, fresh out of the factory and with a nice warranty, or something vastly superior but much older and pre-owned? That’s an age-old question that, alas, doesn’t have a simple answer.
Take this Bentley Continental GT, for example: at only $55,000, it costs as much as a well-specified BMW 3-Series.
When new, it had a sticker price of $160k that, with some options thrown in, could easily nudge the $200k mark. These cars depreciate like hell, though – but one man’s (that is, the original buyer’s) loss is another man’s gain.
Now, with premium or luxury models, people tend to be fearful of maintenance costs. A 6.0-liter twin turbo W12 engine, all-wheel drive and all kinds of bells and whistles can drive many prospective buyers off, no matter how much car you get for your money. And rightly so: if something goes wrong (and, inevitably, something will), it can burn a huge hole through your pocket.
However, what Doug DeMuro found during his time with this blue on blue 2005 Continental GT is that if you purchase a properly cared for example in good condition, you’ll end up with a lot more than just a posh badge and a comfortable interior.
Raving about the cabin while going through all the useful and impressive quirks and features is to be expected. What he didn’t expect, though, is the way it drove.
That’a because, despite being large, heavy two-door luxo barge, this Bentley is actually surprisingly agile and rewarding to drive – and, with 560 PS (552 HP) very, very fast. DeMuro found the steering light but quite sharp, while the suspension made the car feel planted and sporty.
In the end, he gave it a very high “DougScore”, placing it above the likes of the BMW 850CSi and the Phaeton W12 and just short of a Mercedes SLR.