2009 Bentley Azure Review


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2009 Bentley Azure Overview

The 2009 Bentley Azure, a four-seat convertible and close relative of the Arnage sedan, offers up a potent and intoxicating mixture of image, power and pampering to the folks fortunate enough to do their car investing – shopping seems like such a pedestrian term - in this decidedly high-end, uber-luxury neighborhood. While some reviewers rave about the classy style and elegant nature of the Azure, others, while acknowledging its old-school charm and flair, find it outdated.

A pair of engine choices handles, in most effective fashion, the getting around town or tooling down the highway piece of the equation with the Azure, and then it’s on to the fit-for-royalty cabin.

The 2009 Bentley Azure has long teamed a twin-turbocharged 6.75-liter V8 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission to get 450 horsepower with 645 lb-ft of torque. Those are impressive enough numbers, and then Bentley added an updated twin-turbo to the mix with a 2009 Bentley Azure T, bumping the figures up to 500 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. Bentley reports that the base Azure goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds with a top speed of 171 mph and that the Azure T pops in at 5.2 seconds and 179. Fuel mileage estimates come in at 9 mpg city/15 highway.

The Azure’s adaptive sports suspension and transmission can be adjusted easily and smoothly to three different settings - drive mode, sport mode and semi-sport mode – depending on road and driving conditions. The 2009 Bentley Azure’s large, three-layer top operates hydraulically, and Bentley reports it can be put away at the touch of a button in less than 30 seconds.

The 2009 Bentley Azure is big – it tips the scales at close to 6,000 pounds and, at 212 inches long, is about 10 inches shy of a Chevrolet Suburban – and not particularly aerodynamic, nor is it overly nimble on the road. On the flip side, one reviewer notes an “undeniable stateliness” about the ride it offers and its ability to limit road noise and eat up bumps.

Bentley encourages buyers to customize and personalize their Azures, letting them pick from more than three dozen color matches, carpet colors, veneers with matching upholstery and pinstriping.

The 2009 Bentley Azure, which has the Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe as a rival, features among its many highlights massaging heated seats, a navigation system, front and rear parking sensors, deep-pile carpets, umbrellas that fit into holders in the doors and tri-zone automatic climate control.

Experts appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into the Azure’s cabin, the leather and wood trim and those plentiful opportunities to customize the interior with its choices of carpets, wood and leather colors. But some complain, on the other hand, that the steering wheel does not telescope and that stereo and navigation systems are not the most easy to use. An available “Naim for Bentley” 1,100-watt stereo system with up to 13 speakers is a suitable match for the vehicle, it should be noted, and was designed to exclusively pair one British high-end name with another.

The 2009 Bentley Azure comes standard with side airbags in the front and rear and offers traction and stability control, front and rear parking sensors, antilock brakes and roll bars that come up from behind the rear seats in the event of a rollover.

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