Bentley: What Makes it a Good Car?

Always curious , what are the major differences between a Bentley and a roughly comparable high-sales-volume car like a Camry?

  • engine power?
  • transmission?
  • suspension?
  • interior materials?
  • any systems less failure prone or more robust in some way?

Anybody here ever owned a Bentley? Bought used or new?

Apparently the early 50’s Bentley was the fastest 4-seat car on the road. Is that still the case? Is that why folks like them, b/c they can get where they are going really fast?

Well, comparing a Bentley to a Camry is like comparing a thoroughbred race horse to a mule.

When you slap down big $$ for a car you expect the best leather and wood in the interior. A premium sound system. Super sound insulation. Multi-way power memory seats. Power recliners even in the rear. AC that can cool a sheik and 3 wives in Saudi Arabia in the summer. A powerful engine you can’t feel vibrate. A transmission that shifts seamlessly. More speed and acceleration than you need. A suspension that rides so smooth you feel like you are driving a bank vault but will control the car on tight twisty roads. An exceptional traction control, ABS and stability control system. A ton of the best options available. More electronics than the Space Shuttle.

That makes it expensive, expensive to repair and expensive to maintain.

It is not the fastest 4 seat car…and Bentley builds 5 models, 2 SUVs, One sedan, a coupe and a convertible. It is made by VW-Audi Group.

I’ve ridden in a 6 year old Bentley. It was very nice. Nicer than an S class Mercedes (that I drove…did NOT like its ride!) or a 7 series BMW.


About 25 or so years ago there was a guy here who owned a Bentley and he used it strictly as a rental option. He would chauffeur kids to proms, adults to various special events, and so on. He actually stayed pretty busy with that car.

I assume his operating cost per mile was a bit high and similar to another local who had a near new Porsche 911 Carrera which was used to deliver Domino’s Pizza.
One would think the 911 guy would have snagged an old beater Neon for grunt work like that.

That’s just like asking about major differences between a 1980 Cadillac Eldorado and a 1980 Chevrolet Chevette.
The Chevette was the best selling small car for 1980

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Each aspect of the Camry is as good as it needs to be, while each aspect of the Bentley is as good as it can be.


That sums it up succinctly!

Additionally, ultra-luxury models like Bentley offer an incredible number of choices when it comes to paint color and the color of the leather interior:,incredible%2088%20exterior%20color%20options.

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Some of the options are custom order as well, like you could have wood hand-carved or your name engraved. Options like this are available when you pay $200,000 for a car. Rolls Royce is the same way.

I personally wouldn’t want to have to worry about owning a car like this. If given to me, I would sell it, buy a Camry if that was the only option I had, and keep the rest of the money. Think about worrying about getting a scratch. Then there is the insurance, taxes, etc. If you own something like this, those costs are hopefully not even a concern.

Repairs, parts, etc. will also be expensive and custom. Some of these high end cars have special services for oil changes that are different than a regular street car. I remember reading about a Bugatti oil change a while back and it cost more than many cheaper new cars.

I was at a fancy restaurant and someone had one of these parked right where the trash truck would normally back up to the side of the building during the day. It was at night so he was using this spot as a place to show off his car. It was right where you had to see it to go inside the place. It definitely caught my eye and I looked it up to find out it was a $200,000 car. Based on where it was parked, it was definitely a status thing for him.

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Another fun way to spend imaginary car money is to go to the Porsche 911 configurator page, and start adding options, lots of options. How about leather trimmed air vents?

Can you get a crushed velour interior or am I dating myself?

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Yes (with enough money, I bet) and yes :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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To me, the most beautiful interior was on the 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman. The exterior styling was gorgeous as well, and the engineering was solid as well.

Well, if someone is a big fan of velour, then I guess… yes.
But, was it available with shag carpets, in order to complete the theme?

Sure was. Weighed 5,000 labs and the 500 cu. Inch V8 kept it moving nicely. That car really deserved a V16.

No offence Mr. Mopar but that 1975 Cadillac is not something I like . Just another glitzy Land Barge to me .

Powerful, quiet, smooth ride, what’s not to like?

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… Ummm… probably the handling and the fuel economy, and–possibly–the brakes.
I don’t recall offhand if these cars had front disc brakes, or if they were still using “superior” drum brakes.

A 75 Caddy had front disks and 15 inch wheels… which mean those disks were 12 inches in diameter. Not nearly enough brake for 5000 lbs.

They also got about 9 mpg highway a 7 city. And they were slower 0 to 60 than a modern Corolla. THAT is what’s not to like.

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I have done this on a few cars myself. It is amazing how a relatively inexpensive new car price can jump to the price of a nice house pretty quickly on some of these things.

I did this once at an Apple store for a top of the line iMac Pro or whatever it was and remember the price topping out at that similar to a Bentley for the most high end configuration. It is bad enough for a car but that much for something that will be basically worthless and obsolete in 3-5 years is insane.

I am not sure how it is now but before all the pandemic madness, there was a guy who worked at my local AutoZone who would pickup a 10 year old car that ran $90-100K new for about $1000 or so. He seemed to do this like clockwork. Some costly system would fail on the engine and he would just sell it or keep it for parts if he got another similar model. Why spend $6000 fixing a $1200 car? Examples seemed to include a lot of BMW 700 series and similar class cars. I guess part of the deal with a “status car” is that you have to have the newest one so used examples depreciate far faster than an ordinary car such as the Camry mentioned. It is crazy that a 10 year old Camry is worth more than some car like this. I am sure part of the reason for the depreciation is that the repair and maintenance costs climb dramatically with age.

I talked to someone else who had similar experiences buying these types of cars for a song at about 10 years of age. That is just as bad as computers and other electronics.

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I don’t know about them but a friend of my bil back in the 60s had a rolls. Spun an axle one night. They came out to fix it no charge. Warranty and customer service.

One of the brands in Europe, Citroen or something, does the same thing no matter what country you are in. That’s important to some and are willing to pay for the service.