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2017 Bentley Mulsanne

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2017 Bentley Mulsanne Expert Review

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Costing over $300,000, the opulent 2017 Bentley Mulsanne is more than the legendary brand’s largest and most expensive sedan, it’s a handcrafted status symbol that reigns supreme high above the world’s luxury-sedan masses. Updated for 2017, the new Mulsanne is a throwback to a time when hand-assembling automobiles was an art form, and it remains the pinnacle of British automotive pomp and circumstance. Each Mulsanne takes over 400 man hours to create and the result is a 6,000-pound, 500-horsepower leviathan of elegantly hand-stitched leathers and the meticulously handcrafted timbers that can out-accelerate many sports cars. Available in three trim levels, including a new extended-wheelbase model, the Mulsanne’s highlights include a massive twin-turbocharged V8 and a seemingly endless options list.

You'll Like This Car If...

 When a supercar like the Ferrari F12berlinetta is only for the weekend and a Mercedes-Benz S-Class is just too common and a BMW 7 Series just too mundane and a Rolls-Royce Phantom is just so gauche and a Maserati Quattroporte is far too embarrassing, you’ll like the 2017 Bentley Mulsanne.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If the Mulsanne’s exclusivity and winged-B hood ornament just aren’t worth that much of your hard-earned capital gains, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus and even Cadillac offer large luxury sedans with as much or more performance for under $100,000. Also, there’s Bentley’s own Flying Spur, which costs half as much.

How It Ranks
What's New for 2017

For 2017, the Bentley Mulsanne has a more refined appearance with new bumpers and a wider, more muscular grille. Its round headlamps have also been tweaked for a cleaner look. The changes are subtle but good plastic surgery is supposed to be. Bentley also retuned the suspension for a smoother ride.

Driving the Mulsanne
Driving Impressions

This is the car you drive to Wrigley to take in a ballgame…from Los Angeles. Sure, you could take the Gulfstream and have the Sikorsky warmed up and waiting for...

... you on the tarmac at O’Hare, but trust me, bombing cross country in this big and stately twin-turbocharged Bentley is the experience you’re looking for. Supremely spacious and comfortable, the Mulsanne’s gorgeous handcrafted interior will pamper you through 10 states as you enjoy its impressive handling, acceleration and smooth ride. Its ability to cruise at over 180 mph will get you there for the first pitch. The Mulsanne’s 6.75-liter V8 produces an impressive 505 horsepower and 752 lb-ft of torque. In the Speed, horsepower increases to 530 while torque is an outrageous 811 lb-ft. Zero-to-60-mph runs for the Mulsanne are just a hair over five seconds, while the Speed drops the time to just under five seconds. Play ball.

BOTTLE COOLERS
Bentley offers three optional bottle coolers on the Mulsanne, each elegantly located between the rear seats. The first cooler can hold two water bottles. The second can swallow champagne bottles and two flutes. While the third brings the party, it can chill spirit bottles, crystal glasses and a Bentley hip flask.

MULLINER CUSTOM FINISHES AND ACCESSORIES
Paintwork and the sedan’s leather hides can be matched to any color you wish, yes, even to her alabaster complexion. You can spec the wood, maybe from your favorite shade tree, add a jewelry tray or a humidor for your Montecristos, but the ultimate is the jeweled gas-filler cap.

2017 Bentley Mulsanne Details
Interior

Over a dozen hides from Scandinavian bulls line the Mulsanne's interior. Why Scandinavian? The region's cool climate means fewer insects, and that means fewer hide blemishes. Abundant wood and stainless steel highlight this luxurious cocoon, though the latter has been polished to a state that can be blinding when hit by sunlight. Rear-seat legroom comes in spades and the outboard seats, like the front seats, offer heat and ventilation. Unlike ultra-luxury sedans including its own little brother the Flying Spur, individual rear seats are no longer available in the Mulsanne, but this Bentley does offer rear footrests and motorized picnic tables.

Exterior
2017 Bentley Mulsanne photo

Some cars make a statement; the 2017 Bentley Mulsanne makes a declaration. It says, “Life is good.” For 2017, the massive 18-foot-long Bentley Mulsanne has a more refined appearance with new bumpers and a wider, more muscular grille that is reminiscent of Blower Bentleys from the 1930s. Its round headlights have also been tweaked for a cleaner look. The changes are subtle but good plastic surgery is supposed to be. Like the interior, fine exterior touches abound. The doors offer opening and closing assistance, and when parked the side mirrors fold inward to prevent being damaged.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

There’s no such thing as a bare-bones Bentley, and the new 2017 Mulsanne comes with heated-power front seats, heated -power rear seats and an 8-inch infotainment screen, which is disappointingly small for a car in this class. , Also standard are navigation, a sunroof, quad-zone climate control, power-operated trunk and voice control for many operations. The standard audio system boasts 14 speakers and a 6-disc CD changer so you can party like it’s 1999. Interior and exterior color choices abound, down to the seatbelt hue. Bentley's flagship sedan rides on 20-inch alloy wheels, and an air suspension.

Optional Equipment

Most likely, the Mulsanne you want is the Mulsanne you'll get. These handmade vehicles take 400 hours to assemble and are tailored to their customers' desires. Among additions are a 2,200-watt/20-speaker Naim audio system, heated and ventilated front and rear seats with massage, and 21-inch wheels. The Entertainment Specification includes electrically deployed rear-seat picnic tables optimized for iPads and Apple keyboards. The option features a rear-seat entertainment system and in-car Wi-Fi. Driving and safety features include adaptive cruise control and rear- and side-view cameras. For serious rear-seat indulgence, a refrigerated bottle cooler with champagne flutes is offered for a cool $10,970.

Under the Hood

The Mulsanne gets its muscle from a big, 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V8. The engine's 505 horsepower is impressive, but even more so is its prodigious 752 lb-ft of torque, which help off-the-line performance. The 2017 Mulsanne Speed increases both those numbers via engine tweaks that include a new cylinder-head design and higher compression ratio. The 2017 Mulsanne can go 0-60 mph in just over five seconds and has a top speed of 184 mph, while the 530-horsepower Mulsanne Speed goes 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 190 mph. All Mulsanne models are rear-wheel drive and feature an 8-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is not a strong point, reflected in its 13-mpg/combined EPA rating and $3,700 gas-guzzler tax.

6.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8
505 horsepower @ 4,200 rpm (530 horsepower in Mulsanne Speed)
752 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750 rpm (811 lb-ft in Mulsanne Speed)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/18 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.

A 2017 Bentley Mulsanne isn't bought so much as it is "commissioned." So while the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at just over $309,000, options and custom touches can drastically increase that figure. Paint options alone can run $30,000, while the rear-seat iPad picnic tables are nearly $13,000. At its base price, the Mulsanne is slightly above the Rolls-Royce Ghost sedan and below the $400,000-plus of a Rolls-Royce Phantom sedan. For just about any other car, we would now direct your attention to the Fair Purchase Price so you could see what others are paying and get the best deal. But we don't expect much haggling when it comes to the Mulsanne. Due to this vehicle's extreme niche, the Mulsanne's resale value is difficult to predict. Even with the best residuals, at the Mulsanne's starting price you're likely to lose many tens of thousands in the first couple of years alone.

To find out what consumers are really paying for this vehicle, first select a style to see the Fair Purchase Price| Calculate payments for this vehicle

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