The 2018 Bentley Bentayga takes what you think you know about physics, comfort, and speed, and quickly sets a new highwater-mark for each.
Looks alone don’t tell the story of the 2018 Bentley Bentayga.
From the outside, the automaker’s first SUV appears to fit with the stable of high-priced, high-luxury coupes and sedans. From the inside, the Bentayga relays the same opulence of the Continental and some of the ceremony of the Mulsanne.
Start up the twin-turbo, 600-horsepower W-12 and forget it all. The Bentayga marries abundant speed with excessive leather and wood in a way we haven’t seen before. Its construction requires 130 hours—six times longer than an average car—and features one of the largest single pieces of aluminum in the car business. It’s no surprise that the Bentayga earns an 8.6 in our overall rating. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
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This year, the Bentayga doesn’t change much from last year. A third row is newly available, and an available appearance package adds a layer of chrome—if that’s your thing. A Mulliner specification, added last year, takes the Bentayga to new luxurious heights for hundreds of thousands on top of the already-staggering $229,000 starting price.
The small things add up in the Bentayga. A mandatory air suspension damps out road imperfections but also features an active anti-roll bar system that keeps the Bentayga so flat through cornering that engineers had to dial it back some.
The 8-speed automatic seamlessly fades into the background but manages to keep pace with a throttle so free of any regulations between driver and engine that we’d call it laissez-faire.
The possible combinations for each Bentayga are beyond comprehension. Buyers can select from more than 100 paint swatches, 15 different shades of leather, countless interior trim configurations, seven wood veneers, and 10 different wheel combinations. The possibilities reach into the quintillions.
It’s more than a wealth of options; the 2018 Bentley Bentayga is a wealth of being wealthy.