City Rides: Bentley Bentayga
Bentley raises the bar again with sector-defining luxury SUV.

As fortunate as we at FACT magazine have been when it comes to test driving the finest motorcars on the market, we have not been fortunate enough to get behind the wheel of a Bentley. That is, until now. Designed, engineered, and handcrafted in Crewe, England, the extraordinary new Bentley Bentayga builds further on its predecessor’s outstanding success.

Combining the abilities of a performance grand tourer, a luxury limousine, a spacious family car and an off-roader, the car that established the luxury SUV sector has been enhanced to create the ultimate in power, luxury and usability.

Key to the new Bentayga is its strikingly dynamic look. The bold styling offers an imposing road presence, with every panel at the front of the car redesigned for a cleaner, modern look. The larger, assertive matrix grille is now more upright, while new, intelligent LED matrix headlamp technology includes the signature Bentley design inspired by cut crystal glassware. A more aggressive front bumper emphasises the car’s performance characteristics, while heated, wet-arm windscreen wipers are introduced for the first time, with 22 washer jets in each arm.

The new Bentayga has undergone a significant transformation at the rear, with a total redesign of the rear surfaces, including a new full-width tailgate with new encapsulated lamps. In contrast, the licence plate has been moved down into the bumper for a cleaner appearance. Wide, split tailpipes leave no doubt that this is a powerful performance car. A 20 mm increase to the rear track width brings dynamic benefit and repositions the wheels in their arches to improve the car’s stance. The wheels themselves are a new design, unique to Bentayga.

Introducing the latest onboard technology and an even more cosseting cabin, the new model is significantly revised both inside and out. The Bentayga’s highly praised interior has been considerably revised. Among the major changes are a new centre fascia and steering wheel, new door trims and all-new seats – now available with ventilation in the rear of the standard five-seat cabin option. An optional four-seat layout, featuring two individual rear seats separated by a centre console, and three-row, seven-seat configuration are also available. Passengers in the rear enjoy significantly more space, with legroom increased by up to 100 mm depending on the configuration.

A next-generation infotainment system is integrated seamlessly into the handcrafted, Bentley’ wing’ dashboard design and features a 10.9-inch display screen with edge-to-edge graphics. The all-new digital display includes super high-resolution and dynamic graphics which are configurable to suit driver preferences. Two audio system levels are offered: the Bentley Signature Audio and an optional Naim for Bentley system with no less than 20 speakers.

The latest hardware and software bring all-new navigation with satellite maps, online search and other features. Wireless Apple CarPlay is standard for the first time, alongside the existing wired system, along with Android Auto. Rear seat occupants benefit from the introduction of a new, larger touchscreen remote control tablet. Connectivity around the car has been significantly improved, with USB-C data ports and a wireless phone charger now standard. 

The luxurious interior can be further enhanced with the application of dark tint diamond brushed aluminium trim for the first time in a Bentley, as well as two straight-grained veneers new to Bentayga: Koa and Crown Cut Walnut. Mulliner Driving Specification adds a new quilting design, and micro piping detailing is a new option for the seats.

The new model offers supercar performance balanced with everyday usability. The V8’s 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged petrol engine develops an impressive 542 bhp (550 PS) and 568 lb.ft (770 Nm) of torque. Mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, the V8 offers supercar performance, resulting in a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h) and 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds (100 km/h in 4.5 seconds).

The class-leading performance is complemented by a range of 397 miles (639 km), with CO2 emissions of 302 g/km. This refined efficiency (21.2 mpg / 13.3 l/100 km combined) is partly due to the engine’s ability to de-activate four of its eight cylinders in suitable conditions, without compromising the drive.

The new Bentley Bentayga offers the most comprehensive range of on and off-road drive settings of any SUV, courtesy of Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Mode and the optional All-Terrain Specification. At the same time, the Bentley Dynamic Ride – the world’s first electric active roll control technology – has been further enhanced on the model.

In closing, we found the Bentley Bentayga to be a well-designed, aesthetically pleasing, high-performance, safe and luxurious vehicle that was extremely fun to drive.

GO: Visit bentleymotors.com for more information or to book a test drive.