• 2017 Bentley Bentayga

The company’s first-ever SUV!

LISTEN 17:22

The Bentley Bentayga is the company’s first SUV. It’s also the most luxurious and the second-most expensive hauler on the market as of 2019. It’s also one of the fastest, being second to only the Lamborghini Urus in terms of top speed. Originally offered with a W-12 engine, the Bentayga is also available with a V-8, a diesel, and a hybrid drivetrain.

Even though it has a history spanning almost a century, and some of its earlier models were nicknamed by Ettore Bugatti as "the world’s fastest lorries," Bentley has never manufactured an SUV. Its Continental GT lineup is almost exclusively all-wheel-drive, but far from meeting the criteria for being called an SUV. Those three letters have actually given nightmares to traditional Bentley enthusiasts since 2015, when Bentley officially announced that it will launch a full-size SUV called the Bentayga by the end of the year. Based on the same platform as the new 2016 Audi Q7, the Bentayga is also the first Bentley powered by a diesel engine and a hybrid drivetrain.

Update 04/04/2019: We’ve updated this review with new drivetrain information. Check out our revisions below!

  • 2017 Bentley Bentayga
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    W-12(Est.)
  • Transmission:
    ZF eight-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    600 @ 5250 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    664 @ 1250
  • Displacement:
    6.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.0 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    187 mph
  • Price:
    229100 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

left right

Despite being previewed by the 2012 Bentley EXP 9 F Concept at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the production Bentayga doesn’t feature a similar design, especially since the concept car’s front end was almost universally panned.

Bentley decided to play it safe by transplanting the same design language found on the top-selling Continental GT, only modified to fit an SUV body.

Bentley decided to play it safe by transplanting the same design language found on the top-selling Continental GT, only modified to fit an SUV body. So the front end features the traditional matrix engine grille and four round headlamps. Even the bumper is similar to the updated 2016 Continental GT, sporting the same large side intakes and a slimmer grille that covers the entire width of the apron below.

There are, of course, a few details that set it apart from the grand tourer. The grille is significantly larger, the engine hood is taller, while the outer set of headlamps are not only smaller then usual, but mimic the LED circles we saw on the 2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept.

2017 Bentley Bentayga
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The side view is similar to the EXP 9 F Concept, which from some angles gave me a Range Rover vibe. Fitted with large wheels ranging from 20 to 22 inches and the iconic rear haunches found on other Bentley models, the Bentayga looks pretty imposing from the side, especially since the model’s dimensions are a bit bigger than the already-big 2016 Audi Q7.

Around back, the concept’s split tailgate was dropped for a more conventional lid. A pair of nearly oval-shaped taillights larger than the Continental’s and a sturdy bumper with big exhaust outlets round off the rear fascia’s design.

To add a bit of sportiness to its massive SUV, Bentley also placed a large spoiler atop the tailgate.
2017 Bentley Bentayga
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Several body panels are made from aluminum, including the rear haunch panel, which Bentley claims it’s the largest single-piece aluminum pressing in the industry. The extensive use of aluminum and state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies enabled the company to save 520 pounds compared to a traditional body construction. With a panoramic glass roof offered as standard equipment, 60 percent of the Bentayga’s roof surface is made from glass panels.

2017 Bentley Bentayga
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Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 2,992 MM (117.8 Inches)
Overall length 5,141 MM (202.4 Inches)
Width (across body) 1,998 MM (78.7 Inches)
Width (inc. mirrors) 2,223 MM (87.5 Inches)
Overall height 1,742 MM (68.6 Inches)

Interior

2017 Bentley Bentayga
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Much like the exterior, the Bentayga’s interior shares a lot with the Continental GT’s. Although many features have been updated to SUV specifics, including a wider center console and raised armrests in the door panels, the dashboard, the center stack, and even the steering wheel are similar to what we get in the Continental GT.

The roomy cabin is packed with handcrafted leather, wood, and metal trim, and equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen and a large dial in the center console that enables the drive to control most of the SUV's features.

The roomy cabin is packed with handcrafted leather, wood, and metal trim, and equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen and a large dial in the center console that enables the drive to control most of the SUV’s features, as well as drive modes and traction management.

2017 Bentley Bentayga High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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The front seats are adjustable 22 ways and come with heating, ventilation, and massage functions.

The Bentayga can seat either four or five people, which means customers can choose between a traditional bench or two individual seats in the rear. In the four-seat version, the rear seats are adjustable 15 ways. A seven-seat version is also underway, but Bentley has yet to reveal details about it. Rear-seat entertainment includes a 10.2-inch Android tablet, while the audio system can be had in one of three configurations, including a range-topping 1,950-watt, 18-speaker combo by Naim.

The Bentayga is as customizable as they get, as clients will be able to choose between 15 shades of leather, seven wood veneers, and 15 carpet colors. Buyers looking for more options can take it to Mulliner, Bentley’s bespoke division.

2017 Bentley Bentayga
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Legroom and headroom seems generous both front and rear. Same goes for the trunk, but only as long as you don’t go for the optional event seat, a feature unique to the Bentayga. Tech includes predictive and adaptive cruise control, hill descent control, electronic night vision, and head-up display systems.

Headroom front/rear inches 40.3/38.0
Legroom front/rear inches 41.7/40.9
Boot volume cu. ft. 15.2

Drivetrain

2017 Bentley Bentayga High Resolution Drivetrain
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The W-12 mill cranks out 600 horsepower and a whopping 664 pound-feet of torque

The Bentayga is Bentley’s most diverse vehicle to date in terms of drivetrain options. Unlike its other nameplates, which feature W-12 and V-8 gasoline engines, the Bentayga is also available with a diesel and a hybrid.

Bentley launched the SUV with a 6.0-liter W-12. Although similar to the company’s old mill, this W-12 was actually a brand-new design in 2015 and it features friction reduction, cylinder deactivation, and new fuel injection tech. The mill cranks out 600 horsepower and a whopping 664 pound-feet of torque, which at the time of its introduction made the Bentayga the most powerful luxury SUV on the market.

2017 Bentley Bentayga High Resolution Drivetrain
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But this statement is no longer valid in 2019. Not only Bentley introduced a more powerful Bentayga Speed, but Lamborghini launched the 650-horsepower Urus, while Porsche’s Cayene Turbo S E-Hybrid packs a 671-horsepower punch. Despite this, the Bentayga remains a solid option in the performance department, especially since it can hit 60 mph from a standing start in only four seconds. Its top speed is also impressive at 187 mph.

The engine mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a permanent all-wheel-drive system. It also has an electrical active anti-roll bar system controlled by a 48-volt electrical system for quick response against body roll.

The SUV hits 60 mph from a standing start in only four seconds and tops out at 187 mph

Bentley also introduced a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 alongside the massive W-12. Also shared with a range of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche models, the V-8 delivers 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. But despite missing 58 horsepower and almost 100 pound-feet, the Bentayga V8 isn’t massively slower than the W-12. Hitting 60 mph from a standing start takes only 4.4 seconds, four tenths slower, while top speed comes in at 180 mph, only seven mph less than the W-12 version. The V-8 variant is also around 115 pounds lighter than the W-12 SUV, with half of these savings coming from the lighter powerplant.

2017 Bentley Bentayga
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Just like the W-12, the V-8 mates to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and a permanent all-wheel-drive system. Of course, both were revised to match the performance of the smaller unit.

Bentley’s first-ever diesel vehicle, the Bentayga is also available with a 4.0-liter oil burner. The twin-turbo mill generates 429 horsepower and an impressive 664 pound-feet of torque. The latter enables it to hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, only two tenths slower than the gasoline V-8 version. Top speed is notably lower though at 168 mph.

Finally, Bentley introduced a hybrid model in 2018. This SUV shares its drivetrain with the Porsche Panamera, so it features the same 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine paired to an electric motor that also acts as a generator. Output is identical to the Panamera hybrid as well, so the Bentayga Hybrid hits the street with a combined 456 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The sprint to 60 mph takes an impressive 5.2 seconds, while top speed is rated at 158 mph. The Bentayga Hybrid can travel on electric power alone for 31 miles.

2017 Bentley Bentayga High Resolution Drivetrain
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Drivetrain Specifications

Bentley Bentayga V-8 Bentley Bentayga W-12 Bentley Bentayga Diesel
Type 4.0-litre, 32-valve, twin-turbocharged V8 6-litre twin-turbocharged W12 TSI triple-charged 4.0-litre V-8
Max Power 542 HP @ 6,000 RPM 600 HP @ 5,250-6,000 RPM 429 HP @ 3,750-5,000 RPM
Max Torque 568 LB-FT @ 1,960-4,500 RPM 664 LB-FT @ 1,250-4,500 RPM 664 LB-FT @ 1,000-3,250 RPM
Transmission ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, permanent all-wheel drive with 40:60 front to rear torque split ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox
Top speed 180 mph / 290 km/h 187 mph / 301 km/h 168 mph / 270 km/h
0-60 mph 4.4 secs 4.0 secs 4.6 secs
0-100 km/h 4.5 secs 4.1 secs 11.5 secs

Suspension

2017 Bentley Bentayga
- image 833867

Like its sibling from Audi, Volkswagen, and Porsche, the Bentayga can actually go off road. Enabling it tackle rough terrain is a four-mode adjustable air suspension, the electronic active roll control, and the new Responsive Off-Road Setting. The latter allows the customer to select the appropriate vehicle settings for a wide range of off-road surfaces, while the Driver Information Panel displays information on pitch, roll, wheel articulation, steering angle, compass bearing, and altitude.

Safety

2017 Bentley Bentayga High Resolution Interior
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The Bentayga comes with numerous safety features, including a wide range of airbags and state-of-the-art tech and driving aids. Highlights include Traffic Sign Recognition, Rear Crossing Traffic Warning, Around-View Monitor, Park Assist, and Electronic Night Vision, which uses infra-red technology to identify potential obstacles ahead.

Prices

2017 Bentley Bentayga High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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The Bentayga starts from $170,000, but this amount will get you the V-8 version. If you want the range-topping W-12 model, you’ll have to pay in excess of $230,000. This sticker makes it the second-most expensive SUV on the market, after the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, which retails from a whopping $325,000.

Competition

Rolls-Royce Cullinan

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Exterior
- image 780061
Which is what makes all-whee-drive possible

Rolls-Royce unveiled plans to offer an SUV only a few months after Bentley said it will join the market. It took a few years for the Cullinan to arrive, but the wait was definitely worth it if you’re into massive vehicles packed with the world’s most expensive luxury features. While the Bentayga has a slightly sportier stance thanks to sharing its design DNA with the Continental GT, the Cullinan is boxier, as it borrows styling cues from the Phantom. It’s just as fancy as the Bentayga inside the cabin, but it’s far more customizable. The lounge-style interior is fitted with genuine wood, water-resistant leather, a drinks cabinet, and it can take up to 68 cubic feet of luggage in the trunk. Power comes from a 6.75-liter V-12 engine rated at 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. It’s the company’s first AWD vehicle, it has four-wheel steering, and a suspension system tuned to handle off-road duty. The Cullinan starts from $325,000, making it almost $100,000 more expensive than the range-topping Bentayga.

Read our full review of the 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

Conclusion

2017 Bentley Bentayga
- image 833890

Love it or hate it, the Bentayga is a success story for Bentley, especially since it was launched exactly when the SUV boom was at an all-time high. While I’m not entirely at ease with Bentley going this route simply for the sake of increased sales, the truth is that for a small carmaker there is always a dire need for a best-seller, and with the market demanding it, I don’t see too many problems with the Bentayga existing. With Rolls-Royce also offering an SUV, the ultra-luxury hauler market is a much more interesting place to be in right now.

  • Leave it
    • It is a Bentley SUV
    • Very expensive

Rendering: Added August 5, 2015

2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 639048

Leaked Images

2017 Bentley Bentayga
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Update History

Updated 11/30/2015: The first Bentayga SUV left the assembly line at Bentley’s iconic headquarters in Crewe, UK. The model is painted Anthracite and was handcrafted across 130 hours during which period it passed through a new bodystore, a new paint shop and a new assembly line.

Updated 09/24/2015: Bentley dropped a new video of its latest Bentayga, this time highlighting the optional Styling Specification package. The latest one adds carbon fiber on the front fascia, fender vents, the upper half of the side mirror caps and on the rear spoiler which also gets a little bit more prominent for optimized downforce.

Updated 09/21/2015: We’ve added a series of new images we took at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Find the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

Updated 09/16/2015: The new Bentley Bentayga made its official debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, and the debut comes with great news for Bentley: the first year of production is already sold out!

Updated 09/09/2015: Bentley dropped the official details on the new Bentayga, with just a few days before the car’s official debut in Frankfurt.

Updated 09/04/2015: Bentley announced the Bentayga’s top speed, a figure that makes it the fastest SUV in the world. Also, the Brits confirmed it will use a new W-12 engine. Find out more in our review.

Updated 08/12/2015: The upcoming 2016 Bentley Bentayga SUV just leaked in China as a 1:18 model car (see pic below). The real car will be unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but assuming the model is an "official" replica, it looks like our artist got it pretty well spot-on.
What do you think?

Updated 08/05/2015: Our artist came up with a new rendering after talking to well-informed internal sources. Check out our exclusive preview of the Bentayga below.

Updated 07/31/2015: Bentley unveiled a new video showing the off-roading capabilities of the upcoming Bentayga. Enjoy!

Updated 02/03/2013: Volkswagen Group has finally given the green light to the EXP 9 F super-luxury SUV unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The production version is internally known as the "Falcon" and is expected to be unveiled in the upcoming three years. The good news is that reports are pointing toward that the production version likely dropping the controversial design of the EXP 9F concept and will adopt a more conventional Bentley look. When put on sale in will be priced at about 200,000 euro - about $271,000 at the current exchange rates. Additionally, Bentley plans to sell about 5,000 units of its new SUV per year. (Automotive News)

Updated 07/23/2013: It’s official... No more speculation, no more reports and no more rumors; Bentley has officially given the green light to the yet-to-be-named SUV. Bentley claims that this will be the most luxurious and powerful SUV on the market. As expected, Bentley will not stray from the automaker’s current design language. Bentley has announced that its new SUV will hit showrooms in 2016, will be built in Crewe and will create over 1,000 new jobs.

Updated 1/8/2014: During an interview with Auto Express, Bentley Chairman Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber confirmed that the upcoming Bentley SUV will be available as a hybrid model with a plug-in system similar to what we saw in the Panamera S E-Hybrid. Schrieber also confirmed that the standard SUV, which already has over 2,000 pre-orders, will arrive in 2015 as a 2016 model, and that the the hybrid will arrive a year after the standard Bentley SUV. (Auto Express)

Updated 3/19/2014: Bentley just released the first teaser image of its new SUV, which is rumored to be called the Falcon. You can see the image after the jump.

Teaser Images

2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior
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Spy Shots

March 10, 2015 - Bentley Bentayga starts dropping camouflage

2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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February 23, 2015 - Bentley Bentayga caught testing in the snow

2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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October 07, 2014 - Bentley SUV testing close to Nurburgring

2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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August 6, 2014 - Bentley SUV caught testing in Southern Europe

2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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June 12, 2014 - Bentley SUV caught in production form

2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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May 21, 2014 - First mule spotted on the road

2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Bentley Bentayga Exterior Spyshots
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Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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