Among the pioneers of luxury SUVs when it launched in 2016, the Bentayga now faces stiff competition. It therefore receives a serious aesthetic and technological facelift.
At its birth, the Bentayga had to face many criticisms concerning the adequacy between the big SUV and the Bentley philosophy, but also as for its look, considered very massive. This in no way prevented him from meeting success. On the contrary, since the Bentayga now represents 45% of the manufacturer's sales.
The designers, however, seem to have listened to criticism, and worked to refine the style of their creation. Once is not customary, it is the rear part that is most affected by this face-lift. The designers did not stop at just a few strokes of the pencil, but completely redeveloped the tailgate, which widens to the shoulders and incorporates all new oval lights, the design of which is inspired by the new Continental GT.
The license plate descends into the shield, and only the winged "B" now sits on the tailgate. If the changes are less obvious, the front end has also changed quite noticeably, with a grille placed more vertically and the lights enlarged, again for the sake of aesthetic harmony with the coupe and convertible of the brand. And if you always say to yourself "yeah, blah", believe us: in 3D, when the two models are side by side, this restyled version puts a real aesthetic slap on the old model!
The aesthetic customizations are obviously still numerous and sometimes surprising, like the Black Specification pack of our test model, which adds large 22-inch rims, bumper lips, a rear diffuser and the black chrome set. The highlight of this version is the side sills and the imposing carbon fiber spoiler, elements that you don't necessarily expect to find in a Bentley.
A matter of screens
The interior changes much less. Bentley, however, appears to have corrected a few minor quality flaws that could disrupt the impressive cocoon of luxury that is the interior. The Breitling watch arranged at the top of the center console overlooks a new 10.9-inch touchscreen for the multimedia system, which takes the opportunity to fill up with connectivity. The driver now also has a "Virtual Cockpit", with dials displayed on a customizable screen.
Screen, it is also a question in the rear seats where the occupants now have a small removable tablet to control the air conditioning (four zones), blinds, navigation and various vehicle settings, or simply keep an eye driving data.
Passengers in the five-seater version (with a rear bench seat) will be delighted to take advantage of heated and ventilated seats previously reserved for the four-seat configuration. The latter offers an additional 100mm of legroom.
On the technical side, the changes are more succinct. While waiting for the W12 engine of the Speed version and the plug-in hybrid powertrain, it is in V8 that we took charge of the new Bentayga. As before, the 4-liter twin-turbo engine delivers 550 horsepower and torque of 770 Nm. Enough to ship the large SUV to 100 km / h in just 4.4 seconds, a feat given the 2.5 tonnes of empty capacity. the machine! This weight is what hurts the Bentayga the most on the road, greatly affecting its agility. We weren't expecting much from that side of a 5.12-meter-long machine anyway. But we hoped for a little more dynamism by placing the sliders on "Sport", the chassis being shared with the Audi Q8, the Porsche Cayenne or the Lamborghini Urus.
But that was forgetting that it was a Bentley, and that sport has to be something quite cozy. With the possible exception of the eight-speed gearbox (supplied by ZF) which, when pushed a bit, becomes really brutal in the sequence of its reports, the reactions are never excessive, nor is the sound of the escapement which is more like civilized growl than bestial roar. The Bentayga is also equipped with a whole panoply of off-road driving settings which will – one can predict – very little used. It is therefore logically in Comfort mode that the large English SUV is most appreciated. This is how you get the most out of the breath of the V8, the comfort of the air suspension, the seats with multiple adjustments stretched with a magnificent leather with braces stitched by hand, all this with the prodigious sound of your favorite album reproduced at wonder by the Naim for Bentley audio system (which alone costs the price of a small car). In any case, a consumption of 15 l / 100 km seems to be an honorable average, despite the deactivation of four of the eight cylinders in the phases of low demand.
Which brings us to the price point briefly, although that will be a small detail for the buyer of this type of vehicle. The Bentayga has a base price of 156,900 euros. But of course, the endless list of options and the many possibilities for customization add considerably to the bill. So our trial version was equipped with nearly 75,000 euros of options, bringing the final price to 231,100 euros.
Restyled and updated, the Bentayga is ready to face its tough competition, which will soon be further enhanced with the arrival of the Aston Martin DBX and the Ferrari SUV.
The Bentayga in a few figures
Engine: V8, petrol, turbo, 3.996cc; 550hp at 6.000tr / min; 770Nm from 1.960 to 4.500tr / min.
Transmission: to four wheels.
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic.
L / W / H (mm): 5.125 / 1.998 / 1.742
Curb weight (kg): 2.416
Boot space (l): 484
Tank (l): 85
0 to 100 km / h (sec.): 4.4
Price: 156.900 € incl.
Power: 550 hp
V-max: 290 km / h
Conso. combined: 13.3 l / 100km
CO2: 302 g / km