4.7 out of 5 4.7
Parkers overall rating: 4.7 out of 5 4.7

Bentley’s first SUV impresses with speed and comfort – at a price

Bentley Bentayga SUV (16 on) - rated 4.7 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £133,155 - £231,455
Used price £74,705 - £157,140
Fuel Economy 19.2 - 80.7 mpg
Road tax cost £330 - £580
Insurance group 50 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Spectacular W12 engine
  • Blend of comfort and handling
  • Cabin well-built and generously appointed
  • Lots of personalisation

CONS

  • Styling is divisive
  • Options can double price
  • No diesel version any more
  • High running costs

Bentley Bentayga SUV rivals

Written by Keith WR Jones on

When the Bentley Bentayga was launched it was met with scepticism from critics: here was the firm’s first SUV – shock horror – and just look at that garish front end!

It’s with great relief, then, that none of the core Bentley attributes are lost in the move to crossover construction. This car is still monstrously fast with a well-appointed cabin and levels of comfort and build quality that set it far above rivals, such as the upper echelons of the Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover line-ups, along with the Maserati Levante – another posh off-roader.

>> We rate the best hybrid SUVs for 2020

Incidentally, it’s based on the same platform as the Audi Q7, which is a good start, but you’d never notice unless you were the biggest fan of that brand. Bentley’s factory in Crewe applies a totally different set of skills and values to the cars it builds. We don’t think you’ll feel short-changed.

Typically plush interior

As with all Bentley models expect an interior lined with thick carpet, quilted leather and wood veneers. Racier models get the option of carbonfibre trims and eye-catching bright colours on the seats and dashboard.

2020 Bentley Bentayga interior

Although functional and undeniably well-assembled, the Bentayga's interior is starting to look a bit dated, especially compared with the manufacturer's new models like the updated Continental GT.

Anyone who's been in an Audi Q7 will also spot some familiar switchgear, although in this car it will have been covered in a knurled texture or otherwise made more glitzy with silver plastic.

W12 engine scores a home run

Under the bonnet of the most expensive Bentayga is a 6.0-litre W12 twin-turbocharged petrol engine, and frankly the Bentayga’s performance is startling. It’ll cover 0-62mph in just 4.1 seconds and will hit 187mph flat out, but it’s just as happy travelling at lower speeds in the city thanks to the flexible nature of such a large engine and the smoothness of the eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Arriving later in the Bentayga's lifespan, a V8 petrol with a more sporting character and a plug-in hybrid that combined all-electric range with powerful performance, were added. A diesel version has also come and gone.

In 2019, the Speed was added to the range with a greater focus on performance. This bumped up the power to 635hp, upped the top speed to 190mph and was enough for the 0-62mph time to dip down to 3.9 seconds. You can also option carbon ceramic brakes and a sports exhaust.

Whichever you choose Bentley’s trademark blend of speed and comfort is expertly applied through the use of four-wheel drive coupled to air suspension and an advanced anti-roll system that allows the driver the option of serious speed or sumptuous luxury.

It’ll even do off-road driving, with an optional All-terrain Specification package available to offer yet more capability in this regard. All that’s explained in the Handling section of this review.

Bentley Bentayga SUV rivals