- Very quick
- Many customizable options and features
- Optional seven-seat configuration
- Pitches and dives when driven hard
- Resembles the Audi Q7 in some ways
- The second row doesn't have enough luxury and size
Bentley Bentayga Expert Review
Bentley added plenty of updates for the Bentayga's second model year including a seven-passenger seating option, new 21- and 22-inch wheel options, fluted seating, a Liquid Amber veneer option, an optional Breitling clock, a Blackline package, additional interior color options, and gloss black exhaust finishers.
The Bentayga is Bentley's only SUV and part of the automaker's lineup that includes the Continental GT coupe and convertible, the Flying Spur sedan, and the range-topping Mulsanne sedan.
2018 Bentley Bentayga: The Bentayga is powered by a twin-turbo W-12 engine and comes standard with black-painted brake calipers, an air suspension system with four adjustable heights, 21-inch wheels, full LED adaptive headlights with high beam assist, LED taillights, large oval exhaust finishers, a panoramic sunroof, a leather headliner, Burr Walnut veneer, a premium leather-trimmed steering wheel, a leather and chrome-trimmed gear shifter, Bentley embossed door sills, and an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with a navigation system and a 60 GB hard drive, SiriusXM satellite radio, a 10-speaker audio system, and the Mulliner Driving Specification package that includes diamond-quilted seats, drilled alloy pedals, Bentley emblems embroidered on the seats, and a full selection of leather, carpet, and color combinations.
The Bentayga can be customized or ordered in unique visual packages that include Molten Bronze, Big Skies, Quicksilver, Roulette, Stonecutter, and Alpine Air.
2018 Bentley Bentayga Mulliner: The very well-equipped Bentayga Mulliner adds the Color Specification (two-tone interior color options), the All-Terrain Specification (adds four off-road driving modes and underfloor protection), the City Specification (a self-parking system, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian detection, a surround-view camera system, rear-cross traffic alert, and an automatic emergency braking system), the Touring Specification (adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, lane keep assist, a semi-autonomous driving system, and a night vision system), and the Sunshine Specification (electric sun blinds on the rear side windows and double sun visors). The Mulliner trim also adds 22-inch Mulliner wheels, Ombre Burr Walnut fade veneer, LED welcome lights, a console drink cooler, and the Naim audio system.
Unique visual packages include Monsoon, Dusk, Flare, Bamboo, Sterling, Cambric, and Sirius. Additional options include ambient lighting, a rear entertainment system, front and rear-seat ventilation with massaging function, a two-tone premium leather-trimmed steering wheel, and veneered rear foldable tables.
The Bentayga is powered by a 600 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12 engine back by an eight-speed automatic that routes power to a standard all-wheel drive system. The powertrain delivers an EPA-rated 12/19 mpg city/highway. In Motor Trend testing, a European-spec 2017 Bentley Bentayga hit 60 mph in a quick 3.5 seconds and stopped from 60 mph in 119 feet. Look for an eight-cylinder model for the 2019 model year.
The Bentayga's driver assist safety features are found in two packages: The City package consists of a self-parking system, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian detection, a surround-view camera system, and a low-speed automatic emergency braking system. The Touring package includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, a semi-autonomous driving system, and a night vision system.
In the Bentayga's five-seat configuration, the SUV can hold 17.1 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seats, 15.2 cubic feet behind its four-seat configuration, and 7.6 when equipped with the seven-seat option. When the rear seats of the five-seat configuration are folded down, the Bentayga can hold 62.6 cubic feet of cargo.
The Bentayga's standard tech includes an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with a navigation system, a 60 GB hard drive, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a 10-speaker audio system. The upgraded audio system is a 700-watt, 12-speaker system. The top 1950-watt Naim system utilizes 21 speakers, including a 300-watt subwoofer and two super tweeters. The rear entertainment system features two 10.2-inch displays with two wireless headphones with USB and micro SD ports. Two packages of driver assist safety features are available.
In a First Test review of the 2017 Bentley Bentayga, we were very impressed with the SUV's very quick acceleration, the quickest we have ever tested at the time. The quiet interior is covered in premium leather and has a good driving position, outward visibility, and first-rate ergonomics. The transmission is "smooth as silk, but it lacks the quick-fire, perfectly imperceptible shifts that, for example,?BMW's engineers make [a similar transmission] accomplish." The W-12 engine is very smooth and delivers an exhaust note that "strikes the perfect balance of sporty and elegant." We also liked the Dynamic Ride feature that keeps the Bentayga flat through the corners.
Unfortunately, the Bentayga looks and sometimes feels a little too much like the Audi Q7 that it's based on. Because it's not based on another Bentley vehicle, the interior is missing "the massive width that defines Bentley's coupes and sedans," we said. "Although the rear buckets in our four-seat version, which are similar in design to the fronts, are comfortable, they present no luxurious sense of First Class." The large wheels and low profile tires send sharp impacts into the cabin and steering is absent of any feel. The W-12 engine is strong but "under full throttle, the Bentayga rears back on its haunches and sprays the cars in front with photons from its superbright LED headlights. Under braking, the front end dives significantly," we said.
"This might be the fastest, quickest internal-combustion SUV ever, but just like the ability to seat seven people, the 187-mph top speed is a marketing tool that most will never take advantage of. The reality is that the Bentayga isn't going to sell on its cornering behavior; it'll sell on its price and its looks," we concluded.
In a Second Drive review of the 2017 Bentley Bentayga, we enjoyed the SUV's ride so much that "on the pristinely paved, undulating, and winding byways snaking through the rocky hills above Málaga, Spain, this 5,400-pound brute felt virtually indistinguishable from a Continental GT W12 from a dynamic standpoint." The braking was "smooth, strong, fade-free whoa the whole way down out of the hills at the kinds of speeds one might expect with mobs of pitchfork-wielding commoners in pursuit, driving Grand Cherokee SRTs," we said.
"Another observation: The auto-start/stop and cylinder deactivation features are among the least noticeable in the biz," we added. Off-road, you probably won't go "far enough into the wilderness to escape determined?Land Rover?and?Jeep?pursuers, but with the wheel articulation afforded by those active anti-roll bars, plus 9.6 inches of max ground clearance and the ability to wade through 19.7-inch-deep water, this truck will go farther than its owners ever would of their own accord."
We concluded by saying, "Most of the gripes I was able to muster sound like plebian whining: Why must we pay an extra $7,870 for a package with active cruise control, lane keeping assist, a head-up display, and night vision? Why doesn't that lane keeping assist system work as well as a?Honda's? Why, with 17 standard paint colors, do all the cool colors cost between $5,715 and $12,530?"