Interior:Cricket Ball / Beluga
Twenty-plus years ago, the Bentley brand was bought by the Volkswagen Group. That same year Rolls-Royce was acquired by BMW. Since then, these iconic carmakers have been positively transformed while maintaining their respective personalities. The 2019 Bentley Bentayga is a prime example of this.
The Bentayga is the first SUV from Bentley and showcases how much refinement, performance and prestige can be packed into a single-vehicle. Add in some all-terrain abilities and German engineering and it’s difficult to find fault with the Bentayga. Difficult, but not impossible.
Compared to the few competing premium luxury SUVs, the Bentayga has quite a bit less rear passenger space. It also comes up short in regards to technology, with some VW Group components disguised as Bentley bespoke.
If you’re a Bentley purist, these missteps are easily forgiven since the brand’s vehicles are known as more of a driver’s car than a car to be driven in. For that, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is the likelier but more expensive choice. If you find yourself in the enviable position of having to decide between them, you’ll get no pity from us because you can’t lose with either.
The 2019 Bentley Bentayga is offered with either a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (542 horsepower, 568 lb-ft of torque) or a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 (600 hp, 664 lb-ft). An eight-speed automatic sends power to all four wheels.
Standard features include 21-inch wheels, automatic adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, power-folding and heated mirrors, a heated windshield, rain-sensing wipers, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, soft-close doors, a power liftgate, front and rear parking sensors, an air ride suspension, adaptive dampers, selectable drive modes, hill descent control, and keyless entry and ignition. A hands-free liftgate is standard on the W12 and an option on the V8.
Inside, the Bentayga comes complete with tri-zone automatic climate control, premium leather upholstery, 16-way heated front seats with memory functions, a heated second-row bench, wood veneer trim, a cooled glovebox, a universal garage door opener, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system with traffic and Google Earth functions, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay, and a 10-speaker CD/DVD player with satellite radio and 60 GB of media storage. Advanced safety features include a blind-spot monitor and passenger exit warning.
The Bentayga, and indeed all Bentleys, are noteworthy for their numerous customization options. Popular add-ons for the V8 include the City Specification (an automated parking system, the surround-view camera, a traffic sign reader, forward collision warning/mitigation, and rear cross-traffic alert) and the All-Terrain Specification (off-road drive modes, underbody skid plates, a surround-view camera system, and a cargo management system). These packages are standard for the V12.
Both the Bentayga V8 and V12 are offered with the Touring Specification (adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, cross-traffic collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist, a low-level automated driving system, and night vision).
Comfort and seating packages include the Front Seat Specification (22-way ventilated front seats with massage functions, power-adjustable seat-belt height, and comfort headrests with hinged wings), the Four Seat Comfort Specification (the Front Seat Specification plus two 18-way second-row seats with a fixed center console and comfort headrests), and the Seven Seat Specification (reverts back to the second-row bench and adds two power-folding third-row seats).
Bundled options continue with the Bentayga Styling Specification (racy carbon-fiber elements), the Blackline Specification (replaces the chrome exterior trim with dark finishes), the Event Specification (a retractable tailgate bench and overhead lighting), the Sunshine Specification (power rear window shades and twin sun visors), and the Mulliner Driving Specification (diamond-quilted upholstery, a knurled gas and oil filler cap, and embroidered Bentley emblems). The Bentayga V12 includes the Mulliner Driving Specification as standard equipment.
Also available are 20- or 22-inch wheels, retractable running boards, a premium Naim audio system, rear-seat picnic tables, interior ambient lighting, a heated steering wheel (standard on V12), lamb’s-wool carpeting, vehicle location monitoring, Breitling clocks, and a rear entertainment system. In addition to the seemingly endless choices of paints and interior materials, wealthy buyers can also specify custom features to their heart’s content.