Premium SUVs from BMW, Lincoln, Cadillac, and Mercedes-Benz offer plenty of comfort and convenience, but don’t serve up luxury like the 2022 Bentley Bentayga. With either a V-8 or W-12 engine under the hood the Bentayga has the muscle for sustained high-speed cross-country touring. And behind its rear seat is a cargo hold with enough square footage for a high-speed shopping spree. The posh cabin is lined with supple, aromatic leather, gorgeous wood- and-metal accents, and every modern infotainment feature buyers expect of a cutting edge motorcar. The Bentayga’s class-above intentions—and six-figure price tag—put it into competition with the equally princely Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
What’s New for 2022?
A sporty-looking S model joins the range for 2022 that incorporates many of the top-end Speed model’s design cues but is powered by the 542-hp V-8 that serves as the Bentayga’s base engine. A sport-tuned suspension, 22-inch wheels, and a sport exhaust system give the S model an edge over the base V-8 trim. Elsewhere in the lineup, a set of carbon fiber rims is a new standalone option through the Mulliner personalization program; the plug-in hybrid powertrain will skip the 2022 model year and return for 2023.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We like the V-8 model best. Even though the Speed’s powerful W-12 engine puts more pep in this big SUV’s step, its price premium over the V-8 is substantial. We’d suggest sticking with the eight-cylinder model and adding some niceties to it, such as the adaptive suspension, the rear-seat entertainment system, and the 20-speaker Naim stereo. And choosing the Touring Specification package will give you a suite of driver-assistance features.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Since the Bentayga’s 443-hp hybrid powertrain is on hiatus for the 2022 model year, the 542-hp twin-turbo V-8 is the entry-level engine. The Bentayga Speed ups the ante with a 626-hp W-12. Back in 2017, when the Speed made 600 ponies, this supersmooth powerhouse delivered a 3.6-second result in our 60-mph test. The W-12’s power delivery is creamier than the V-8’s, and its performance felt more robust during passing maneuvers. Bentley claims that the Bentayga Speed, with a claimed top speed of 190 mph, is the fastest SUV in the world (although the Lamborghini Urus might have something to say about that). Regardless of what’s under the hood, all Bentaygas utilize an eight-speed automatic transmission and come standard with all-wheel drive.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The V-8-powered model’s ratings of 14 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined aren’t bad for a large SUV, but the W-12’s are. It earns estimates of 12 mpg city, 17 mpg highway, and 14 mpg combined. That said, on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, the 12-cylinder Bentayga surprised us with a 23-mpg result. For more information about the Bentayga’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Filled with rich-smelling leathers, real wood trim, and glitzy metal accents, the Bentayga’s cabin stays true to its luxury branding. Bentley allows buyers to customize just about everything. Buyers can opt for front and rear buckets, seating four, or they can select a three-across second-row bench and a pop-up two-seat third row to seat seven. While the rear seat doesn’t feel as lavish as that of the Bentayga’s key rival—the Rolls-Royce Cullinan—it still offers plenty of space for adult passengers to stretch out. Several different colors of leather upholstery are available, as are two different mother-of-pearl-faced Breitling dash clocks, a bottle cooler for rear-seat passengers, adjustable ambient interior lighting, and even a safe with a biometric lock and fingerprint reader. The Bentayga’s cargo area is generous, at least in two-row versions; we were able to fit nine carry-on suitcases back there.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All Bentayga models come standard with a 10.9-inch infotainment screen with navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The optional entertainment system consists of two 10.2-inch displays mounted to the front-seat headrests. With it, rear-seat passengers can browse the web, interact with the Bentayga’s infotainment system, or play movies. A 12-speaker stereo is standard, but you can opt for Naim’s 20-speaker premium audio system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Bentley offers several driver-assistance features, but unfortunately, almost all of them cost extra. Paradoxically, buyers of “lesser” luxury SUVs such as the BMW X7 or Cadillac Escalade will find many of these features come standard. For more information about the Bentayga’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control and night-vision system
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Like all other Bentley models, the Bentayga comes standard with a three-year warranty that has no mileage expiration. Also, the first maintenance visit is free. The Cullinan offers more value here in the form of a four-year warranty package and four whole years of complimentary maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers three years, unlimited miles
- Powertrain warranty covers three years, unlimited miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 miles
2019 Bentley Bentayga V8
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
$243,325 (base: $167,725)
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
244 cu in, 3996 cc
542 hp @ 6000 rpm
568 lb-ft @ 1960 rpm
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 15.7-in vented disc/15.0-in vented disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero, 285/40ZR-22 (110Y) B
Wheelbase: 117.9 in
Length: 202.4 in
Width: 78.7 in
Height: 68.6 in
Passenger volume: 109 cu ft
Cargo volume: 17 cu ft
Curb weight: 5438 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 3.6 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 9.0 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 16.1 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.7 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.3 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 12.1 sec @ 115 mph
Top speed (mfr’s claim): 180 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 168 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.91 g
Observed: 16 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 17/14/23 mpg
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