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Josh Miller/CNET

Bentley Continental GT: The 1 percent has it good

With understated styling, the Bentley Continental GT shows true refinement, and can roar through turns like a car half its weight.

2012 Bentley Continental GT
Josh Miller/CNET

With a cabin that abounds in leather and metal, the Bentley Continental GT shows true luxury coachwork. Double-paned windows and excellent engineering insulate passengers from the outside world, making the cabin of this tourer a cozy room on wheels.

All this luxury makes this coupe weigh over 5,000 pounds, but the twin-turbocharged W-12 engine does not strain even when running uphill. A six-speed automatic runs smoothly, making for effortless driving. However, put the car in sport mode, and it suddenly changes from meandering bison to swift-footed cheetah. It seems almost miraculous how this car deals with winding roads, given its size and luxury accouterments.

The sound of the engine will be largely muted by the sound deadening of the cabin, which makes the Naim audio system stand out all the more. This 1,100-watt system produces true audiophile sound, and ranks as one of the top two audio systems we have heard in a car.

Of course, the $200,000 price tag cuts out all but a very few people as potential buyers. But take heart, you can experience a little bit of Bentley in a Volkswagen Passat, as the two cars use the same navigation system.

Check out CNET's review of the 2012 Bentley Continental GT.