2021 Bentley Bentayga V8 First Drive Review: Nipped, Tucked, and Still a Flying B

2021 Bentley Bentayga V8 First Drive Review: Nipped, Tucked, and Still a Flying B


This is greater than only a informal midcycle refresh of Bentley’s strong-selling SUV: Every single exterior panel of the 2021 Bentley Bentayga, other than the roof and the doorways, is new. So, too, is the infotainment system and all of the switchgear and vents on the heart of the sprint. And though a fast learn of the spec sheet suggests a lot of the {hardware} is carried over, our first drive of the 2021 Bentley Bentayga V8 reveals an SUV that feels subtly refined and improved all through.

The 542-hp V-Eight is the primary of what’s going to be a three-model Bentayga lineup revised and refreshed for the 2021 mannequin yr. It can be joined within the first quarter of 2021 by the top-of-the-range, 627-hp, 12-cylinder Bentayga Speed, and within the second quarter by the Bentayga Hybrid, whose PHEV powertrain contains a 335-hp single turbo 3.0-liter V-6 working with a 126-hp e-motor to supply a complete system output of 443 horsepower.

Although the U.S., together with Russia and the Middle East, stays a stable marketplace for the W-12 mannequin, the V8 will account for 70 p.c of the 5,000 or so Bentaygas Bentley hopes to promote worldwide subsequent yr. Of course, that quantity relies on how briskly the worldwide financial system recovers from the nightmare of 2020.

2021 Bentley Bentayga V8 Exterior

In the steel and out of the camouflage, the outside redesign provides the 2021 Bentayga a muscular, broad-shouldered look. In again, the broader rear observe—the wheels have been pushed out 0.Four inch both sides—and the brand new clamshell tailgate with broadly spaced oval back lights make it look much less over-bodied than the earlier mannequin. It seems broader and extra imposing from the entrance, too, because of a wider grille flanked by headlights located additional towards the corners of the redesigned entrance fenders and a entrance bumper with massive vents at its outer edges. It’s all a trick of the attention: The 2021 Bentayga isn’t any wider total than its predecessor.

The new bumpers entrance and rear trim 0.6 inch from the general size, however all of the exhausting factors are unchanged. Overall top remains to be 68.6 inches, and the wheelbase remains to be 117.9 inches. And the MLB Evo platform structure on which the Bentayga is constructed, initially developed by VW Group sister firm Audi to accommodate front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive with longitudinally mounted entrance engines, means the Bentley SUV nonetheless has a brief dash-to-axle and lengthy entrance overhang when seen from aspect on.

Standard wheels are 21 inches, with 22s out there, together with an all-new design that can be unique to Bentayga for the 2021 mannequin yr. Two new colours, Viridian, a darkish metallic inexperienced, and Patina, a mid-tone greenish beige, are actually out there as an possibility.

2021 Bentley Bentayga V8 Interior

The inside makeover is intelligent as a result of it delivers excessive visible influence for comparatively low price. The basic structure of the sprint—a big-ticket merchandise by way of tooling prices—is unchanged. The new 10.9-inch touchscreen, used within the Flying Spur and Conti GTs in addition to sundry Porsches, together with the redesigned central vents and new switchgear, occupy precisely the identical piece of actual property within the heart of the sprint because the outdated display screen, vents, and switches, obviating the necessity for costly tooling adjustments.

Other adjustments embrace a brand new configurable digital instrument panel rather than the outdated analog speedo and tach, and redesigned seats and door trims, all of which have remodeled the inside ambiance. Forget the stuffy English gentleman’s membership metaphors: Sliding behind the wheel of the 2021 Bentayga V8 is like strolling right into a renovated Georgian townhouse with temper lighting and fashionable furnishings.

Rear-seat passengers have been given barely extra knee room because of a rear seat that has been moved barely rearwards and has a extra upright backrest and might now management varied features by way of a distant touchscreen much like that used within the Flying Spur sedan. Apple CarPlay is now customary, and Android Auto is out there for the primary time in a Bentley.

How Much Does the 2021 Bentley Bentayga V8 Cost?

Offered with a alternative of seven customary exterior colours, 5 customary leather-based colours, and two customary veneers, the 2021 Bentley Bentayga V8 has a base worth of $177,000. But it would not take a lot taking part in with the sensible Bentley configurator to rapidly spend much more. You can choose from a staggering 85 optionally available exterior colours, 10 optionally available leather-based colours, and eight optionally available veneers, to not point out a collection of efficiency and look packages. None of that are low cost.

Our tester was fitted with the $42,430 First Edition specification bundle, which bundles collectively the optionally available energetic anti-roll suspension, the upgraded 1,780-watt, 20-speaker Naim audio system, and the heated and cooled 22-way consolation entrance seats and can be out there just for the primary yr’s manufacturing. Other choices included the $4,815 All Terrain bundle, which provides 4 off-road drive modes—Mud and Trail, Sand, Dirt and Gravel, and Snow, Ice and Wet Grass—and under-body safety; the $7,125 Blackline exterior trim bundle, which turns all of the shiny exterior chrome shiny black; the $2,250 Sunshine bundle, which provides a entrance aspect window solar visors and rear aspect window blinds; and the $11,220 4 seat inside bundle.

That’s a cool $67,890 in extras, sufficient to purchase a few two-door 2021 Ford Bronco Big Bends with change to maintain every of them gassed up for six months.

How Fast Is the 2021 Bentley Bentayga V8?

Under the hood of the 2021 Bentley Bentayga V8 is the versatile Porsche-designed 4.0-liter twin turbo V-8. Developing its 542 hp at 6,000 rpm and 568 lb-ft of torque from 1,960 rpm to 4,500 rpm and driving all 4 wheels by way of an eight-speed automated transmission, Bentley claims the engine will take the 5,400-pound Bentayga V8 to 60 mph in 4.Four seconds, to 100 mph in 9.9 seconds, and to a prime velocity of 180 mph.

It feels each bit that quick. A Bentley engine must be all about locomotive-grade torque, and the twin-turbo V-Eight would not disappoint. The Bentayga V8 wafts round city amiably at little greater than a whispery idle and rapidly slips into the very best potential gear whereas cruising on the freeway. Not that many Bentayga homeowners would fear about such particulars, however we noticed an indicated 22 mpg (U.S.) whereas cruising at 70 to 80 mph, which is affordable for an enormous, bluff, luxurious SUV. In Bentley mode, the default drive mode, the Bentayga will coast whenever you carry off the gasoline, the engine revs dropping because the automobile rolls on kinetic power.

Flex your proper ankle, although, and a deep purr, like an outdated lion sleeping off lunch, swells by way of the cabin because the Bentley surges down the highway at a outstanding tempo given its not inconsiderable mass. From 2,000 rpm to five,000 rpm the engine provides you all of the thrust you would need, whenever you need it.

How Does the Bentley Bentayga V8 Ride and Handle?

Bentley mode is one of the best all-round driving mode, and except you are in a playful temper on a playful highway, it is best to go away the Bentayga there. Depending on what number of tight corners there are, you would possibly need to tug the shifter on the middle console into handbook mode and use the paddles to pick the gear you need on nook entry moderately than look ahead to the eight-speed auto to determine it out when you go to throttle once more.

The journey would not have the plushness of a Range Rover, however there’s sufficient squidge within the suspension to take the sting off the larger vertical impacts, and the optionally available energetic anti-roll system retains the Bentley flat by way of the corners. The physique motions aren’t as deftly managed as they’re within the new Aston Martin DBX, which advantages from being 2.Four inches longer within the wheelbase and weighing 386 kilos much less. For that motive, if the highway’s just a little open, permitting you to keep up increased speeds by way of corners, you would possibly need to seize Sport mode to stiffen the suspension. You’ll often discover a contact extra side-to-side pitch, however it’s a trade-off value making to maintain that large physique on a tighter leash.

Although the Bentayga is, subjectively, quieter than the pre-face-lift mannequin round city, there is not any disguising the truth that it rolls on large wheels and low-profile tires. The wheel management is fairly good—our check automobile was not as pattery as some air-sprung rivals on 22s—however a contact of low-speed influence harshness from the 285/40 Pirelli P Zeros was evident over gnarly roads on our drive route. That mentioned, the Bentley’s low-speed journey refinement is healthier than that of any AMG-tweaked Mercedes SUV. Another low-speed niggle: The aggressive brake tip-in means you must study to modulate the pedal earlier than you’ll be able to constantly carry the Bentayga to a clean halt in stop-and-go site visitors.

The weakest hyperlink within the 2021 Bentley Bentayga’s chassis is the electrical energy steering. It’s gentle and comparatively direct, which is sweet for low-speed maneuverability, however, sadly, there’s not a ton of really feel as soon as cornering masses begin to construct. You can sense the variable ratio system is tough at work turning tires with an enormous contact patch and stiff sidewalls on a entrance axle that carries 56 p.c of the automobile’s weight—nearly 3,000 kilos. But you’ve little sense of what’s really occurring the place the rubber meets the highway, which is essential, as a result of it is from right here the Bentayga’s whole dynamic repertoire is outlined.

Yes, the Bentayga is effortlessly quick. But it would not actually stream down a winding highway, even with an completed driver behind the wheel. It’s not precisely point-and-squirt, however there is not any query the nose-heavy Bentley prefers to interrupt the highway down right into a collection of discrete dynamic issues and clear up them separately. There’s at all times the feeling that numerous laptop energy is working behind the scenes, stitching all of it collectively so ahead progress feels nearly seamless.

In reality, few Bentley Bentayga consumers will care too deeply concerning the finer factors of its dynamics. What’s most essential for them is that the Bentayga seems like a Bentley, particularly inside, and that it drives with the resolute thrust and imperious gravitas they anticipate of a car carrying the famed winged B badge. And the 2021 Bentayga V8 does precisely that.

2021 Bentley Bentayga Specifications
BASE PRICE $177,000
LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 4-7-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 4.0L/542-hp/568-lb-ft DOHC 32-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automated
CURB WEIGHT 5,400 lb (MT est)
WHEELBASE 117.9 in
L x W x H 201.Eight x 78.7 x 68.6 in
0-60 MPH 4.Four sec (mfr est)
EPA FUEL ECON 14/23/17 mpg (est)
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 241/147 kWh/100 miles (est)
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.14 lb/mile (est)
ON SALE Winter 2020



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