Bentley Bentayga review

Category: Luxury SUV

Section: Performance & drive

Bentley Bentayga S 2022 rear left tracking
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 front left tracking
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 rear left tracking
  • Bentley Bentayga 2022 interior dashboard
  • Bentley Bentayga 2022 interior rear seats
  • Bentley Bentayga 2022 interior infotainment
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 rear right tracking
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 front right tracking
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 front tracking
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 left static
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 alloy wheel detail
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 headlights detail
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 interior front seats
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 interior driver display
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 interior detail
  • Bentley Bentayga 2021 boot open
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 front left tracking
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 rear left tracking
  • Bentley Bentayga 2022 interior dashboard
  • Bentley Bentayga 2022 interior rear seats
  • Bentley Bentayga 2022 interior infotainment
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 rear right tracking
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 front right tracking
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 front tracking
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 left static
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 alloy wheel detail
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 headlights detail
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 interior front seats
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 interior driver display
  • Bentley Bentayga S 2022 interior detail
  • Bentley Bentayga 2021 boot open
What Car?’s Bentayga deals
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Target Price from £155,665
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From £199,950

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

If you’re disappointed that the Bentley Bentayga’s flagship engine is now the 4.0-litre V8, not the discontinued 6.0-litre W12, don’t be. For one thing, the V8 sounds better, emitting a pleasingly subtle woofle from its two oval exhaust pipes, plus it sounds even fruitier if you opt for the Bentayga V8 S with its bellowing sports exhaust.

Thanks to a whopping 542bhp, you also have plenty of power. Despite this luxury SUV weighing the best part of 2.5 tonnes in V8 guise, it will sprint from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds, matching the Aston Martin DBX

A big part of that is down to the silky-smooth eight-speed ZF-made gearbox. When you push on, it always seems to be in the right gear at the right time, rendering the column-mounted paddles redundant.

That said, we should also point out that it can be a little hesitant around town – a problem that also afflicts the Audi SQ8, which shares the same ZF 'box. If you’re looking for the ultimate, smooth, chauffeur-driven vehicle, we’d advise you to take a look at the Rolls-Royce Cullinan instead.

The changes made in 2020 brought improvements in steering precision and made the standard car fractionally keener to turn in to a corner, but if you value a truly engaging driving experience we’d recommend the V8 S. It comes with tweaked suspension, a more dynamic stability control (ESC) tune and a revised torque vectoring system. Small dynamic tweaks, you might argue, but they all add up to deliver a surprisingly entertaining package. 

The stiffer 48-volt anti-roll bars, for example, do a stellar job of propping up the body in quick bends, while the more lenient ESC allows the car to flow more naturally down a technical stretch of road. Factor in steering with a more natural weighting than the standard car and we reckon this is the first Bentayga that can confidently stand toe to toe with performance-focused rivals such as the DBX and Urus without having to make excuses. 

The best bit about the V8 S package is that the tweaked suspension settings haven’t compromised the Bentayga’s wonderful pliancy. In Comfort mode, the ride is relatively sumptuous, and you only feel occasional disturbances over sharp-edged bumps. Even if you ramp it up to Sport mode, it never becomes to firm, which can’t be said of the DBX. 

New car deals
Target Price from £155,665
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £199,950