2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S

2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S

Episode 3338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The Brits may drive on the wrong side of the road and call soccer, football, but they sure know what they’re doing when it comes to building sporting upper-crust rides. That know-how is best experienced in the Bentley Continental GT, the brand’s sexy superstar. But that nasty streak of performance that has long been lurking beneath its sensuous sheet metal is now even wider.

When Bentley broadened the Continental GT lineup with a V8 model last year, the reasons were simple. Downsizing from a W12 to an eight means better fuel economy and less tax in certain important markets like China. An added no-cost benefit was less weight over the front end that gives the GT V8 a more nimble nature. The 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S looks to build on that by adding a little more performance back into the mix. 

For starter, the 4.0-liter V8 gets a boost, or more boost out of its twin turbochargers. Output increases 21-horsepower to 521, torque spins up 15 lb-ft. to 502. The attached ZF close ratio 8-speed automatic transmission with sport mode and steering column-mounted shifters needed no upgrades as it already handles much more power from the W12. 

From there, the ride controlling hardware also gets a “tending to” for a lower ride height and even greater agility. Brake size stays the same, but calipers are now dressed up with red paint. 

Now, a few more horsepower and some suspension tweaks don’t necessarily make for drastic changes in performance. But, there’s only one way to be sure…

With the GT’s rear biased all-wheel-drive, there’s plenty of hook up and go at launch. Power is smooth and plentiful, but there wasn’t quite enough extra thrust to better the standard GT V8 0-60 time of 4.2-seconds. Still that’s only two tenths slower than the last Continental W12 we tested. 

The power never seems to let up, as you smooth shift your way down the track, clearing the ¼ mile in 12.4-seconds and 112 miles-per-hour. Braking power is just as impressive bringing a hasty halt to things in only 118 feet from 60. While piloting some luxury liners through a slalom course does resemble steering a cruise ship from a recliner, this 5,000 pound GT has always been a capable carver.

And while you still feel all of the heft, the V8 S’ spring rates have been increased to keep the transfer in check a bit more, bushings stiffened to quicken turn ins, and damping revised to take out more of the float. Steering feel is still pretty dead, but the chassis seems to shed weight as you go, responding better the more you push. 

When you’re driving an updated version of anything, you want people to know, of course. And specific upgrades to the V8 S include a black gloss treatment to the grilles and a front splitter low in the fascia. Side sills get discreetly extended between the standard 20-inch or upgraded 21-inch alloy wheels, and there’s a tasteful V8 S fender badge. Astern, the diffuser also gets a glossy finish, nicely integrating the figure 8-shaped exhaust tips. 

Leather wrapped and comfortably numb is how you feel inside the cabin; and as always, the sky is truly the limit when it comes to materials and color choices. Keep them tasteful, please! The traditional touches like knurled metal, glossy finishes, and organ stops are all still terrific; and most interior controls have a German feel and precision. 

And if open air motoring is more to your liking, just as in other Bentley Continental GT offerings; you can get a convertible as well. The appearance with the top up is not quite as classy or dynamic, but those shortcomings are short-lived as you lower the top into the boot, hit the road, and enjoy some warm spring weather, or even maybe some traditional British gloom. 

Ride quality seemed just as good in the Convertible as the Coupe, despite our Glacier White example riding on limited edition 21-inch Black 7-spoke alloys. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings come in the same as the standard GT V8, at 15-City, 24-Highway, and 18-Combined. We averaged 17.8 miles-per-gallon of Premium in mixed driving. 

You have to know that this much luxury and fun come at a price, $199,225 for the Coupe and $219,925 for the Convertible. With options, this pair was pushing a cool half-mil, but who’s counting?

The Bentley Continental GT has always been one of our favorite big buck sporting coupes, and this 2014 GT V8 S only reaffirms why we love them so much. But there may be troubled waters on the horizon, with Rolls-Royce offering more technology features and wow factor with their Wraith Coupe, and a “smashing” S-Class Coupe coming from Mercedes-Benz, this Continental GT’s time as lead vehicle might be running out. 

Specifications

  • Engine: 4.0-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 521
  • Torque: 502 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 4.2 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 12.4 seconds @ 112 mph
  • EPA: 15 mpg city/ 24 mpg highway
2024 Subaru Outback 1

2024 Subaru Outback

The Outback Continues To Deliver

Episode 4324
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

In a world that’s SUV crazy, it’s easy to forget that the Subaru Outback has been delivering capable and comfortable all-weather and all-road capabilities to adventure-loving Americans for years. In fact, it’s now well into its 6th generation. So, it’s time for us to check in with the latest Outback and find out what’s new.

Almost 50-years ago, long before all-wheel-drive became an option for just about every car on the road, Subaru released the first four-wheel-drive passenger car in the U.S. Immediately, they knew they had a good thing going with that wagon, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the marketing folks got on board and helped launch the Subaru Outback Sport Utility Wagon.

While the 2024 Outback is approaching the end of its 6th generation, its not slowing down when it comes to delivering tons of value to adventure-minded families.

The Outback is the sole remaining wagon available here in the U.S. from a mainstream brand, though even Subaru doesn’t use the “W” word anymore.

2024 Subaru Outback Front
2024 Subaru Outback Profile
2024 Subaru Outback Rear
2024 Subaru Outback Dead Front
2024 Subaru Outback Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Outback Wheel
2024 Subaru Outback Front2024 Subaru Outback Profile2024 Subaru Outback Rear2024 Subaru Outback Dead Front2024 Subaru Outback Dead Rear2024 Subaru Outback Wheel

Now strictly referred to as a mid-size SUV, when it comes to selling any vehicle, attractiveness is always a bonus, and the Outback’s unique blend of rugged and refined has set the tone for many followers over the years. The exterior was recently updated, and while it looks big and more like a true SUV than ever, it’s only about 5-inches longer than the 1990’s original.

Some trims do get additional standard content for ’24, but our top Touring XT showcases everything Subaru has to offer, with an 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment screen that controls more features than ever, includes navigation, and pumps tunes out with Harmon Kardon sound. EyeSight Driver Assist Technology remains an Outback standard.

Cargo capacity is a great 32.6 cubic-ft., 75.6 with rear seatbacks folded, and despite the high ground clearance, the floor is lower than SUV typical, which makes for easier loading.

Outback seat comfort has improved greatly over the years, and despite the increased reliance on the touchscreen, everything about the cabin is simple to operate and logically placed.

The XT part of our Touring XT means there’s extra power under the hood with a 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo engine which rates 260-horsepower and 277 lb-ft. of torque. It’s a big upgrade over the standard 182-horsepower naturally aspirated 2.5-liter.

Both engines are unchanged and work with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT; all-wheel-drive is of course another Outback standard.

2024 Subaru Outback Dashboard
2024 Subaru Outback Center Display
2024 Subaru Outback Front Seat
2024 Subaru Outback Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Outback Trunk
2024 Subaru Outback Engine
2024 Subaru Outback Dashboard2024 Subaru Outback Center Display2024 Subaru Outback Front Seat2024 Subaru Outback Rear Seat2024 Subaru Outback Trunk2024 Subaru Outback Engine

At Mason-Dixon Dragway, our XT had plenty of grip off the line, hitting 60 in 6.0-seconds flat. That’s a couple of tenths quicker than our last time out with this turbo-4. We’ll chalk that up to better weather this time around.

Like many Subarus, it doesn’t feel overly fast but it’s snappy off the line, and perfectly adequate from there.

Power delivery stayed very consistent down the track; the CVT definitely keeps engine revs maxed out the whole time, but noise is far from annoying. Our best ¼-mile time was 14.6-seconds at 97 miles-per-hour.

The Outback boasts 8.7-inches of ground clearance, which is more than many mid-size SUVs; and while it felt plenty competent through our slalom course, there was noticeable body roll and understeer to deal with. Yet steering was light and predictable, plus Active Torque Vectoring and Vehicle Dynamics Control are hard at work to keep you stable and safe no matter what.

In panic braking, there were only moderate amounts of nosedive, and mild ABS pulsing. Stops averaged a fine 115-feet from 60 miles-per-hour.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-City, 29-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a great 27.9 miles-per-gallon of Regular; a feat most SUVs can only dream of.

That’s an average Energy Impact Score; with use of 11.9-barrels of oil yearly, with 5.9-tons of CO2 emissions.

Base Outbacks have plenty of standard content, and remain a real bargain, starting at just $30,240, top trims, including Wilderness, take you into the low 40s.

Decades of loyal Outback owners have helped Subaru grow the 2024 Subaru Outback into what it is today; a highly capable and comfortable, thoughtfully designed, adventure-ready family truckster that’s as adept at backwoods exploring as it is soldiering through the daily grind. Your family activities may not take you far off the beaten path, but life itself is an adventure, and the Subaru Outback is outfitted for your adventure better than ever.

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo
  • Horsepower: 260
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking (avg): 115 feet
  • MW Fuel Economy: 27.9 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: CVT
  • Torque: 277 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.6-seconds at 97 mph
  • EPA: 22 City | 29 Highway | 25 Combined