2018 Bentley Bentayga Test Drive

Jerry Reynolds | November 15, 2017
2018 Bentley Bentayga Test Drive

This will be my shortest review ever. All you need to know is that this is the most expensive, fastest, most luxurious SUV sold in America: The 2018 Bentley Bentayga.  That’s all I got.

Just kidding, this ultra-luxury SUV sets a new standard for horsepower, luxury, and on and off-road capability.

Let’s start under the hood, or bonnet as they say where the Bentley is made.  This Bentley has a-get this-600-horse W12 engine, with twin-turbos putting out 663 pound-feet of torque.  It is hooked to an 8-speed transmission and a full-time all-wheel-drive system that carries this big SUV from 0-to-60 in just 3.5 seconds.

This 5600-pound beast has a top speed of 187-miles per hour, making it faster than the Corvette Z06 and the Ferrari F-12, all the while letting you sit in the lap of true luxury.

It’s clearly a Bentley from the front, which is always a good thing.  From behind, it’s hard to tell what it is, but from the side, the all-aluminum lines are truly beautiful, and the optional 22” wheels are among the prettiest I’ve ever seen.

Then you open the door and it is Disneyland for adults. 

Then you open the door and it is Disneyland for adults.  The interior almost takes your breath away with the two-tone styling cues, starting with the steering wheel, the prettiest one I’ve ever seen.

The tops of the seats are pillowed as are parts of the door panels.  The blue dash with stitching is amazing and detailed, and from the driver’s seat, the instrument panel and head-up display is vibrant.  All the interior wood, which is a LOT, comes from the same tree to complete the “wood ring” of the interior.

My tester is a 5-passenger but you can get it as a 4-passenger with a refrigerator as a middle console, or even 7-passenger if you wish.

In fact, you can pretty much have anything you wish inside or outside.

If you choose the factory offerings, there are over 100 different exterior colors, 11 different black hues, and you can choose from 15 different interior color choices, or you can go to the Mulliner experience center and get what you want, no limitations.  Odds are overwhelming; you’ll never see a Bentayga anything like yours.

Odds are overwhelming; you’ll never see a Bentayga anything like yours.

As you can imagine, the Bentayga comes super-loaded with a ton of standard features, including a Breitling clock which sits center dash.  You even get night vision and a head-up display, a panoramic moonroof.

Head room, back seat room, and cargo area is more than ample and all the seats are extremely comfortable.

It has all the safety features you can imagine and comes with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.  The navigation system has Google street view.

This particular Bentley has just over $30,000 in options including the stitching you see for a little over $2200 (including the steering wheel), the $8200 Touring package, an $1165 trailer hitch, and the outstanding $8500 22” polished aluminum wheels.

When behind the wheel, you can choose drive modes of Comfort, Sport, Custom, and Bentley-which is a mix of Comfort and Sport.

From a performance standpoint, this Bentley amazes.  Jump on the accelerator and the nose rises, the rear end squats, and it just goes.  I didn’t take it off-road, but you can tell it would be awesome no matter the terrain, thanks to 90 onboard electronic control units constantly monitoring and adjusting the powertrain, suspension, climate, safety, and other systems to make sure the vehicle performs to its max.

As you get comfortable taking tight turns at higher speeds, this SUV really becomes enjoyable.

In tight turns, there is zero body lean and the handling is superb.  As you get comfortable taking tight turns at higher speeds, this SUV really becomes enjoyable.

Fuel economy is not great as you would expect, it’s rated at 12 in town, 19 on the highway, but at a constant 75, it got 23 consistently, with the help of the seamless cylinder deactivation system.  It has a handy button to turn off the start/stop system, and it comes with the brake hold system, which I love.  When you come to a complete stop, it holds the big SUV stopped until you hit the gas pedal.

MSRP on this one, as equipped, is just over $260,000, which is a ton of money for a vehicle, but it’s an extraordinary vehicle all the way around.

Bentayga is a mix of the word Bentley and Taiga, which is the world’s largest snow forest.  No matter what the terrain, this SUV is unstoppable and will make you smile every time you get behind the wheel.


2018 Bentley Bentayga

  • What I liked most:  Exterior and interior looks, and performance.
  • What I would change:  Not a single thing.
  • MSRP: Base price $229,100, as equipped $260,387.
  • Fuel Economy: 12 City/19 Highway, 15 combined, doing slightly better.
  • Fuel Tank: 22.5 gallons with filler on the passenger side.
  • Dimensions:  202.4” long/78.7” wide/68.6” high.
  • Weight: 5340 Pounds.
  • Trailer Towing:  7700 Pounds.
  • Miles When Tested:  4200 miles.
  • Official Color: Marlin Blue exterior, Camel & Imperial Blue interior.
  • Spare tire:  Temporary spare.
  • Final Assembly Point: Crewe, England, United Kingdom.
  • 2018 Bentayga in a few words:  Just a beautiful SUV, extremely capable, and luxury beyond comprehension.  
  • Warranty:  3-year/unlimited mileage with roadside assistance.
  • Manufacturers website: 


Tags: 2018, bentayga, bentley, reviews, test drive
Jerry R.
I’m guessing it is in the gearing. The Bentley will also tow 7700 pounds. It may be Chevy limits the speed on the Vette to 185, a lot of vehicles do that. I agree on paper, it makes no sense, but the numbers don’t lie. Thanks for listening. - Jerry
Darrell .
Tell me how on top end this SUV which weighs in at 1800 lbs, heavier than a Z06which also has better arerodynamics for less drag and has 50 more h,p, to boot going to be faster than a Z06 at top speed?
Ron E.
I was looking forward to seeing a picture of the "W" engine. Good article... thanks

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