DRIVEN | Bentley Bentayga 2017SPECIAL FEATURE
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Video filmed by James Knott
I have experienced Bentley’s before, but this delivery was different. The pure mass of the vehicle commands attention before you see it and its ‘quiet-until-provoked’ W12 engine means that you won’t be ‘that guy’ unless you choose to. The Bentayga encompasses all the benefits of an SUV; space yes but also luxury. The boot has capacity the like of which will make you want to move in, with an expanse large enough to carry a small pony – not that you’d want to do that of course. I’d be more than happy glancing in my rear view mirror to see the entirety of my golf equipment – most of which I can’t use and don’t need – enjoying the same luxurious benefits that I do at the wheel.
Obviously this is just hearsay when describing an SUV and while much was said about the exterior design after the scare of the Bentley EXP 9 F, once you get into the Bentayga, the external visuals won’t even come into the equation. Yes the lines are elegant and the trademark Bentley façade has been intelligently translated from the saloon form into the SUV. But it’s in the interior and behind the wheel that the Bentayga really comes into its own. Never before have I encountered this level of luxury at such high elevation; I say luxury, but the shallow depth of the term doesn’t really do it justice.
BENTAYGA BRINGS TOGETHER OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE AND UNPARALLELED LEVELS OF LUXURY ON AND OFF-ROAD. IT IS ALSO THE FASTEST SUV EVER BUILT.
While the Bentayga does turn heads, it’s more of a gentle whisper in the ear rather than a slap in the face, due in part to the quiet efficacy of the engine. That said put it in sports mode and the true power of the W12 engine is unleashed, with the air suspension coupled with anti-roll giving you the confidence you need to drive the car in the way its Bentley heritage suggests.
Price: From £135,800 Engine: 6.0 litre W12 Top Speed: 187 mph 0-60: 4.0 seconds
Bentley have now introduced the Bentayga Diesel with an increased MPG 35.3 compared to the petrol version of 21.6 mpg, and you can see why that would be a tempting choice given the nature of SUVs. You do – understandably – lose some of the ‘punch’ with the Diesel, with a 0-60 of 4.6 seconds when compared to the Bentayga Petrol edition’s very impressive 4.1seconds.
However given the 2.4tonne mass of the vehicle, and the fact it’s an SUV, 4.6seconds is more than sufficient, especially when you consider that it only has a 4 litre engine. Whichever model you decide to buy, there is no doubting that the Bentley Bentayga is the King of SUVs; luxury embodied in the ultimate functional elegance.