Review: new Bentley Bentayga driven in the UK – Top Gear

A quick recap, please.

We’ve already driven Bentley’s brand-new über-SUV (as in top-end, pretty compared to made for purveyors of private hire), however this is the initial time we’ve managed to get hold of one on UK roads, in a slightly much less insane specification compared to the launch cars. Actual UK roads and a slightly much less ridiculous spec may show a little more.

Thus we’ve got hold of a dark blue example, on the slightly smaller sized 21-inch wheels and devoid of the £110,000 Tourbillon timepiece stuffed in to the dash adore some type of Fabergé investment timebomb. Cue clock investor confusion in 2035 as soon as they locate themselves buying a time-piece along with a free Bentayga as a box.

It’s all of relative, though. Even in a much less ostentatious format, this is still an SUV along with a simple fee starting north of £160k, whose ‘usual’ choices see it happily past 200, and along with an engine that is an unapologetic 600bhp/664lb ft 6.0-litre twin turbo petrol W12. Every one of the hardware means that even if you go light on the carbon fibre Mulliner gilding and bespoke leather tanning, a Bentayga will certainly still regulate 62mph from rest in 4.0-seconds flat and happily gallop to 187mph.

No a lot more variants on offer then?

For the moment, no. There is talk within the Bentley camp of a forth-coming V8 variant – as in the Continental GT – hybrid and even a diesel at some point in the furture, however for the moment, the W12 is where it’s at. This is a vehicle based on a similar platform to the Audi Q7, don’t forget, so there are engine choices aplenty – it’s simply figuring out just what the Bentley marque will stand.

What’s it adore on a typical B-road?

Bluntly, much better compared to expected. Remarkable, in fact. At obtaining on for two-and-a-half tonnes, the Bentayga actually need to be a bit of a messy landslide of woody marquetry and self-conscious bling, however it actually isn’t. The electric anti-roll control, which runs at 48 volts for faster responses compared to the routine 12v passenger vehicle applications, makes the Bentayga taut and interesting devoid of losing any type of of the ride quality. You’ll only hear the barest of thumps from big expansion joints – adore a cannon battle in the next county – and all of however mineshaft potholes are seen however not heard. Couple that along with an engine that’s possibly the quietest motor on sale this edge of a Rolls Royce, and driving one feels adore you’ve gone slightly deaf.

In fact, along with the endless swell of torque on offer – there’s 664lb ft from 1,350rpm – and the eerie quiet, the Bentayga does a fairly good impression of electric power. Seriously, the W12 drivetrain ends up feeling quite a lot adore a Tesla Model S P90d. You can easily likewise catch the 8-speed ‘box out and make a small stall of indecisiveness if you’re on and off the throttle a lot though, even in Sport mode, however the honest truth that you can easily hustle this slab down a backroad is testament to the package. It doesn’t even feel that big. Which it undoubtedly is.

So exactly how is it doing it?

Possibly witchcraft. however a lot more most likely those clever electronics. There are several road settings from the rotary switch in the centre console and a lot of suspiciously Land Rover Terrain Response-ish off-road menu choices, however you’ll probably end up using Sport and Comfort the most. Actually, you’ll end up using the compromise ‘B’ for ‘Bentley’ seeing as it’s the default, however actually the vehicle only calls for slow-moving and comfy or fast and anti-rolly.

The slightly smaller sized 21-inch wheels seem to recommendations along with everything, too: slightly much less edgy ride, a tad quieter, slightly a lot more communication concerning grip levels. And the Bentayga can easily do along with some recommendations along with that: the anti-roll can easily disguise the general physicality of the vehicle and make cornering at actually quite higher speeds feel a bit… fake. You may not be permanently aware of simply exactly how fast this thing is going. And due to the fact that it’s pretty straightforward to thread down the two A and B-roads, that may be irresponsibly fast. Allegedly.

Whatever, the transition to the UK’s horrorshow of tarmac hasn’t changed our mind that this is a quite finish and well sorted car, even if it is dealing along with a hysterical quantity of physics to deliver a driving experience that is endlessly impressive however essentially numb. You won’t be going for a drive in a Bentayga simply for the hell of it. Unless it’s to go drag racing – the all-wheel drive 0-60 drag doesn’t seem to ever get hold of boring, and it’s damnably repeatable. Plus, pulling from slip roads actually becomes a lot safer, due to the fact that you can easily fulfill already-moving traffic speeds within concerning forty feet.

It’s likewise got plenty of tech – definitely the most of any type of Bentley product I’ve ever encountered – though it’s all of very well hidden. Anti-collision, lane-keep, sort of semi-autonomous traffic radar cruise, night vision – all of the stuff you could reasonably expect on an S-Class Mercedes. however this is a Bentley, so it’s not pretty as obvious amongst the pretty lovely wood and quilted leather. Seriously – from the inside it still feels and acts adore a Bentley, simply … a lot more so. I’d possibly buy it simply for the Naim stereo. Turn that right up and you much better be ready.

This is likewise the initial Bentley I’ve ever steered that wantonly advertises a quite respectable 3,500kg towing capacity. Now a person pass me a trailer that can easily do 180+mph and I believe there’s a tape worth setting.

Does it look any type of less… er… ‘challenging’?

Well, as we’ve said in previous tests, you can easily make your very own minds ups on this one. Personally, I’m not actually a fan. As very a lot every-one has actually noticed, Bentayga is hugely colour sensitive. The Sapphire blue vehicle we had looked a bit sombre, however the colour likewise make the chrome grilles and front end look a bit overwrought. The body-colour headlamp washer in the centre of the second, smaller sized light on the front likewise looks odd, and there’s one or as well too lots of creases for comfort operating down the side. The spine is a bit humdrum and despite the wide, wide spadelike exhaust tips, you can easily plainly see the pair of small-er pipes attached to them as soon as following. And despite the 21’s ability to recommendations along with dynamics, there’s no doubting that the Bentayga can easily take an awful lot of wheel prior to calling time – this is one of the few where 22s look simply about right.

Verdict?

It’s a Bentley SUV. So it does precisely just what you expect, and levers open a brand-new niche for the brand. The tech is there, the dynamics are much better compared to expected – especially on rubbish UK backroads – the feeling of poshness is spot on. It’s a actually well-sorted vehicle. The only contentious bit for me is the styling, and maybe in China, Russia and North America, they have actually a various idea. however I can’t get hold of past that front end…

What’s the thinking on TG.com?

Specs:

Price: £160,200 (devoid of options)
Engine: 5950cc, W12 twin-turbo petrol
Power: 600bhp @ 5000-6000rpm; torque 664lb ft @ 1350-4500rpm
Efficiency: 21.6mpg (combined); CO2 296g/km
Performance: 0-62mph 4.0sec, top speed 187mph
Powertrain: 8-spd automatic, all-wheel drive
Kerb weight: 2,440kg