Bentley Bentayga Review
Car Tested: Bentley Bentayga V8; Road Test No. 1180; Test Location: Dubai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 4,17,12,420/-
A splendid balance between practicality and performance, the Bentley Bentayga is the most luxurious driver's SUV
The ultra-luxury SUV race is so fierce, it is easy to forget which car started it all. The Bentayga was the first true super-luxury SUV which effortlessly combined performance and comfort. Introduced in early 2016, the Bentayga faces stiff competition from brands like Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin and Mercedes-Maybach. We find out if the original luxury-SUV has what it takes to go head-on with newer rivals and still make a place for itself in this competitive segment.
Motor Quest: Bentley showcased the EXP 9 F concept at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The concept car was the company's idea of what a super-luxury SUV would be like. In less than four years, Bentley launched the Bentayga. The SUV instantly received great popularity from all major markets including India. Initially, it was also dubbed to be the fastest production SUV before the title went to some other car. Bentley provides the Bentayga with a host of engine options including a V8, a W12 and even a Hybrid V6. In some markets, the Bentayga is also sold with a V8 diesel – the first for the company. Having pioneered the ultra-luxury SUV segment, the Bentayga is increasingly facing competition from other famous marques.
Exteriors - The Bentayga has a very understated look. It has great road presence, yes but the design has that 'Blink it and you will miss it' appearance. At the front, the SUV features a large grille which can be had in black or chrome. The size of it is the only truly dominating design feature on the front of the car. The Bentayga gets circular lights, with the upper-ring doubling up as the turn-light. We love how cleverly the headlamp-washer is flushed between it. The headlights are a work of art in themselves with intricate patterns all over.
Unlike other luxury SUVs, the Bentayga boasts of a minimalist yet classy design language with great attention to detail
The side profile is simple with minimum lines. But the strong crease at the back gives it that vintage car look. The alloy wheels we had on our test car looked great. The rear is not the best angle of the car with a very ordinary design. Still, details like the flying B which has a concealed boot opener and the well-styled LED tail lights make the car feel premium. Overall, it is not a very attractive design and a bit polarising as a result. Some people may prefer it simple and classy while others may want more flash to reflect the money they have paid for it. Mention must be made that the Bentayga boasts of a very high degree of customisation options. In fact, the Bentayga has more paint options to choose from than any other SUV. Even more than the Rolls Royce Cullinan!
Interiors - Step inside and you'll be soothed by the classy and upmarket cabin that the Bentayga features. Even the interiors of our test car which were black and red felt strangely comforting. The level of customisation is insane and we suggest you go on the car's configurator to try some stuff out yourself! Because of the vast personalisation on offer, you can make the interiors looks sporty and athletic by adding a carbon-fibre trim or make it very gentlemanly by choosing one of the many veneer options available. Either suits the SUV's split persona.
Built using the finest quality of materials with insane attention to detail, the interior justifies the Bentayga's price
Speaking of options, the craziest we have ever seen is the Breitling clock on the dashboard. It costs, hold your breath, a whopping Rs. 1.5 crores and only four cars get it in a year! The company has a special customisation department named Mulliner for clients who want to go to the next level with their personalisation.
The front seats are nothing short of thrones giving you ample support. You can electrically adjust them and the seating position is terrific. You get the sense of sitting high-up and the visibility is pretty good. The dashboard has everything minus the drama. The layout is simple and the controls are effectively laid-out. The buttons are great at many places but some of the switchgear feels like it could've done with better quality. The 8.0-inch infotainment screen is decent to operate and features all the latest in connectivity and technology. We were blown away by the sound from the Naim audio system. The 18-speaker, 1950 watt audio system is probably the best in the business.
Both rows of seats are supremely spacious and have tons of insulation to cocoon you from the outside world
The attention to detail is fantastic. From the beautifully crafted steering wheel to the touch-sensitive reading lights, one can instantly sense the care that has gone into making the interiors. The backseats offer very good comfort and can be had in a bench or a lounge set-up. Options also include rear-entertainment screens and a fold-out table. For the more practical-minded, Bentley gives an option for adding the third row. But one must remember that the last row is best suited for kids. The boot space is generous.
The cabin of the Bentayga shouts luxury in bold letter. It is an amazing place to be and rich details, exotic features and limitless customisation options make it one of the finest car interiors in the world today.
Performance - The Bentley Bentayga comes with a slew of engine options but the car we are testing here is the petrol V8 (there is a diesel V8 too with triple charging) that uses the 4.0-litre bi-turbo unit to output 542 HP of power and 770 Nm of torque between 1960 to 4500 RPM. 0-100 km/hr comes up in 4.5 seconds and top speed is 290 km/hr, meanwhile, the Bentayga Speed with the W12 engine is the fastest SUV in the world with a top speed of 306 km/hr (just 1 km/hr up on the Lamborghini Urus which has 4-cylinders less). However, the Bentayga petrol V8 strikes the best balance between performance and frugality as it is not only ample fast but quite efficient too (the engine shuts 4-cylinders at low speeds to reduce consumption and there is a start-stop system too)!
Refined yet punchy when you need, this Twin-Turbo V8 motor has dual personalities & stupendous pulling power
The motor is very refined and smooth, lag is well contained and the punch is strong in the mid and top-end of the rev range. In fact, the exhaust note is very sporty and the Bentayga picks up pace swiftly to reach high speeds in no time at all, this in spite of it just being a V8! Simply put, the Bentayga is a very fast and exciting SUV to drive with more than enough performance you would ever need. The 8-speed automatic gearbox is fast with shifts and you can manually take control of the cogs too. Fuel efficiency is decent at 4-7 km/l which coupled with the 85-litre tank, gives the Bentayga a good driving range.
Driving Dynamics - The Bentley Bentayga weighs 2395 kgs but doesn't feel its weight at all. Bentley claims a weight saving of 236 kgs thanks to the light-weight aluminium structure. Handling is excellent as the Bentayga feels agile and sure-footed with plenty of grip, great feel and feedback from the steering wheel, inspiring you to push this rather heavy and high-riding vehicle around the corners, this is aided by the electric anti-roll bar with a 48V system that curtails body roll to a great extent. The great handling and excellent powertrain performance give this British SUV a very fun to drive feel.
Despite its weight, the Bentayga feels very agile around the corners, has sensational ride quality & superb brakes
In spite of the stiffer suspension and handling oriented set-up, the ride quality is nothing short of fantastic - what a balanced set-up! Using air suspension with continuous damping control, the Bentayga takes bad roads in its stride with utmost confidence and composure. There are 4 ride height settings and the Bentayga has a comprehensive mode for off-road driving where its ample ground clearance and a slew of electronics highlight its off-road prowess. The Bentayga's red brake callipers are temperature resistant and the front brakes are the largest of any production car, ensuring excellent stopping power.
Safety and After Sales Service - The Bentayga gets up to 8 airbags and other safety aids commonly found in luxury cars. The strong build and good dynamics are an added assurance. Being an exclusive brand, the service is likely to be top-notch. However, the Bentayga is very pricey to maintain, something we can say about all cars in this segment. The Bentayga commands a yearly insurance of Rs. 15-17 lakhs.
Verdict - The Bentayga is a finely balanced SUV. It is big on performance and equally big on comfort and luxury. And this dual personality is what we absolutely love about the Bentayga. It can take you across continents fast and in utmost comfort. It also stays true to its luxury positioning in other areas like build quality and interiors. Sure, it could've done with less ordinary design language but the biggest concern is the price. With a starting price of Rs. 3.77 crores, the Bentayga costs a king's ransom. This is the introductory price for the V8 petrol excluding the taxes and options. Basically, Bentley gives you a cheese Margherita and you could choose your toppings which can go so expensive that they could cost as much as half the price of the car! But the high sticker price is justified by how well-rounded the Bentayga is. If you want a luxury SUV that can entertain you behind the wheel and impress you with its performance, the Bentayga is hard to resist.
* Uncluttered and edgy styling
* Spacious and remarkably comfortable interior
* Punchy and frugal engine
* Good ride and handling balance
* Comes with all the latest safety features
What's Not So Cool
* Design is a bit disproportionate
* Some of the interior bits are shared with other Audi cars
* Some of the options are very expensive
Alternatives: - Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Lamborghini Urus, Aston Martin DBX, Maserati Levante, Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600
Bentley Bentayga Specifications
* Engine: 3998cc, Twin-Turbo, V8, Petrol
* Power: 542 HP @ 6000 RPM
* Torque: 770 Nm @ 1960-4500 RPM
* Top Speed: 290 km/hr
* 0-100 km/hr: 4.5 seconds
* Transmission: 8-Speed MT
* Fuel Consumption: 4-7 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Tyre Size: 285/40/22 (Front & Rear)
* Suspension: Air Suspension (Front & Rear)
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front & Rear)
* Safety: 8 Airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP, Blind Spot Monitoring
Bentley Bentayga Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 5140 mm X 2224 mm X 1742 mm
* Wheelbase: 2995 mm
* Turning Radius: 6.2-metres
* Boot Space: 484-litres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 85-litres
* Kerb Weight: 2395 kgs
Bentley Bentayga Review
The Bentley Bentayga is a luxury SUV that leaves you spellbound with the amount of attention to detail that it offers. The SUV is loaded to the brim with technology, you get three really powerful engine options and the vehicle offers an excellent driving feel. The Bentayga makes a strong case for itself in the ultra-luxury SUV segment.