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2017 Bentley Bentayga

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2017 Bentley Bentayga Expert Review

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If your idea of a premium-luxury vehicle is a classic sedan, coupe or convertible, the 2017 Bentley Bentayga will come as a big surprise. Bentley's first-ever sport-utility vehicle, the Bentayga is everything you’d expect from the British brand -- but capable of taking you just about anywhere you could imagine going, on- or off-road, in the quiet, powerful splendor a wealthy motorist is likely to be accustomed to. With the arrival of the Bentayga, Bentley is helping redefine the ultra-premium segment, though it won’t have this niche to itself for long, with new utility vehicles coming from high-line competitors as diverse as Maserati, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and even Rolls-Royce.

You'll Like This Car If...

Look no further if your demands for a luxury vehicle combine an elegantly appointed interior, great power and the muscle to tow with the ability to challenge the toughest roads and weather.

You May Not Like This Car If...

…you’re looking for a vehicle that offers less traditional, boxy SUV styling, or don’t want to stretch your budget into the $250,000 range when reasonably well-equipped.

How It Ranks
What's New for 2017

For 2017, Bentley will unleash both the 8-cylinder Bentayga Onyx and -- for those who don’t feel the Bentayga First Edition reached far enough upscale -- the top-line Bentayga Mulliner with standard 2-tone paint, lower chrome grille, special wheels and optional adaptive cruise, night vision and the 1,950-watt Naim audio system.

Driving the Bentayga
Driving Impressions

They may seem to go together, but “sport” and “utility” are really an oxymoron. Sports cars are seldom very functional and utility vehicles rarely offer much in the way of...

... on-road driving fun, Bentley has brought the two words into surprising harmony with the Bentayga. It’s not just the world’s quickest SUV, capable of hitting 60 in barely four seconds -- with a top speed of 187 mph -- but it also offers plenty of cargo capacity, towing power and with an adjustable air suspension offering up to 9.2 inches of ground clearance. What that translates into is a 5,672-pound behemoth that is surprisingly nimble to drive on-road, with neutral handling and the smooth and stable feel you’d expect from a Bentley. Yet it also offers the ability to handle some of the roughest trails you might encounter -- as long as you’re willing to risk a few scratches.

FRONT-FACING PARKING CAMERA
For the serious off-roader, this system allows you to skip the spotter, even on the toughest trails. Switch it on for a bumper-level view and, like the regular rear camera, it features lines that bend to show where the vehicle is aiming.

MULLINER HAMPER
Whether you’re a serious off-roader or a tailgater, Bentley has you covered -- for an extra $32,000. This 3-box system tucks neatly into the cargo bed, rolling out on tracks when needed. One box is refrigerated, the others store dry food and your crystal, china and silverware.

2017 Bentley Bentayga Details
Interior

Close your eyes and let us help you slip inside the Bentley Bentayga. Now open them up. You’d never guess you were in an SUV. The British marque’s first SUV boasts a cabin easily as lavish as any of its more traditional sedans, coupes and convertibles. Outfitted as either a 4- or 5-seater, it envelops you in supple leather, available in 15 different hues, as well as four different veneer trims. Bentayga gets Bentley’s newest infotainment system. Options include a rear fridge, a 3-compartment picnic basket in the rear and the $170,000 Breitling Tourbillon self-winding clock.

Exterior

Bentley delivered something of a surprise when it pulled the wraps off its first-ever SUV, the Bentayga adopting a relatively conventional SUV design, rather than the more swoopy sheet metal many manufacturers are opting for. That approach has been called out by some critics, but to our eye it’s fitting for a vehicle that really can handle serious off-road driving. The upright grille, massive air intakes and broad shoulders underscore the power of the Bentayga’s 600-horsepower W12 and the ute’s dramatic capabilities.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Bentayga comes with a mix of features balancing its on- and off-road capabilities, including all-wheel-drive, trailer-sway control, a 4-corner auto-leveling suspension and electronic brake controls that largely cover for its lack of locking differentials. The base infotainment system offers a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and an impressive, 700-watt, 12-speaker package, though the 1,950-watt Naim system is a must option for audiophiles. There are 14 different leather options to envelop the 16-way-adjustable front bucket seats.

Optional Equipment

From a purist’s standpoint, there’s the 1,950-watt Naim audio package. For safety and long-distance cruising, the Touring Specification adds active cruise, night vision, lane-keeping assist and other technologies. And for bragging rights, go for the $170,000 self-winding Breitling Tourbillon clock.

Under the Hood

When nearly three tons of SUV can go from a dead stop to 60 miles per hour in four seconds, everybody notices and most people smile. The new Bentley Bentayga sprints that good, launched by its 600-horsepower twin-turbo W12 engine matched lively to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy takes a hit, but you're certainly not paying six figures to scrimp on performance.

6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12
600 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
664 lb-ft of torque @1,350 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/19 mpg

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

The Bentley Bentayga W12 starts with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $231,825, with the better-equipped Bentayga W12 First Edition pushing to $300,125 -- both figures including $2,725 in delivery fees. The British maker allows for a wide range of customization, so add features like the $170,000 Breitling Tourbillon clock, the Mulliner Hamper and special paints and you’ll nudge $500,000. On the flip side, Bentley will add the 8-cylinder Bentayga Onyx for 2017, a veritable bargain at $197,725.00. There’s really no direct competition yet. Luxury SUVs currently on the market -- like the Porsche Cayenne, the new Maserati Levante -- play in decidedly lower-priced niches. But look for more direct comparisons in the near future as we see ute offerings come to market from top-line marques like Lamborghini, Aston Martin and even Rolls-Royce. Do check KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price to see what the Bentayga is going for in your area.

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