Bentley Bentayga

At the heart of the 2017 Bentley Bentayga is its engine. Other SUV's might make due with 6- or 8-cylinder engines, but nothing so pedestrian powers the Bentayga. Underneath the hood sits a 6.0L W12 engine fed by two turbochargers, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, sending power to all four wheels. Speaking of which, Bentley claims the sophisticated but huge engine makes 600 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. The sprint to 60 mph takes less than 4 seconds; reminding everyone on board that Bentley have won the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race on more than one occasion.

Picking out the right Bentayga is an exercise that can easily take up one's entire afternoon. So many options and colors are available for the big SUV that it's easy to get lost amongst the features list. And of course the standard features are just on this side of ridiculous. Virtually every car sold in the last forty years comes with a sound system with at least four speakers and at least a 100-watt amp. The Bentayga also has a sound system-- it has 20 speakers and a 1950-watt amp. Not surprisingly, Bentley claims it's the most powerful stereo ever sold in an SUV. Other cars might have a rear seat entertainment system, but the Bentayga has two 10.2-inch screens set into the headrests that are removable and can be used as tablets. There's also a touchscreen remote located between the rear seats to control that infotainment system.

The Bentayga is available in three distinct specifications, Touring, City and All-Terrain. All-Terrain Bentaygas come with a couple of unique driving modes, including a Mud and Trail mode and a Sand mode. Another nice little feature on the All-Terrain is a sump camera that could prove invaluable in helping the driver to avoid bottoming out on while off-roading. A compass, an altimeter and various other off road spec gauges come standard on the All-Terrain.

City specification includes Park Assist functions and a top view camera to make parking the admittedly large SUV significantly easier. The City specification also has the ability to detect traffic signs, displaying speed limits and other signs in the dashboard where the driver can see them. The City specification also has additional features to help avoid fender benders in urban areas. The Bentayga has an audible pedestrian warning system that will beep if someone steps into the vehicle's path, applying emergency braking if necessary.

The Touring specification adds adaptive cruise control and lane assist functions to the Bentayga. The adaptive cruise control can even be used in heavy traffic, allowing the Bentayga to come to a complete stop and then accelerate again as traffic allows. A night vision system can also warn drivers of potential hazards lurking beyond the view of the headlights.

Editors' Review

The new Bentley Bentayga S can't match the outright power of the Bentayga Speed, but trust me, this V8-powered SUV can more than hold its own. Plus, it's got added technology that makes it a veritable corner carver, not to mention all the luxury and amenities that come with the Bentley badge.

The S model has a few visual upgrades over the standard Bentayga V8. Notice the blacked-out trim, smoked headlight and taillight lenses, 22-inch wheels, larger rear spoiler and unique tailpipes. Overall, the look is good, though the Bentayga itself is rather polarizing. I think the more downmarket Audi Q8 actually looks better.

For the S, Bentley tuned its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 to produce 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. All of that is routed through a buttery-smooth eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive is standard.

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The Good ~ Excellent V8 powertrain ~ Luxury features abound ~ Exceptionally quiet

The Bad ~ Turbo lag ~ Driver-assistance features cost extra ~ Pretty spendy

The Bottom Line The 2022 Bentley Bentayga S is a rip-roaring SUV that is sure to keep you ensconced in luxury.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 9
  • Features 8
  • Design 7.5
  • Media 9

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