Luxury SUV gets down and dirty to prove its worth in the SUV segment

A little over a decade ago, the thought of putting the words “Bentley” and “SUV” in the same sentence would’ve been tantamount to heresy. But what was at least ironic 10 years ago is now a reality with the arrival of the Bentley Bentayga, the British luxury brand’s first foray in the auto industry’s fastest growing segment.

So what exactly led Bentley to this path? There are multiple layers to that question, but the short of it is demand. With the global economy largely in the upswing, more and more customers are looking for cars that serve the dual purpose of being highly functional and status-validating. Before the Bentayga broke into the scene, the SUV ladder didn’t have a complete hierarchy with models like the Porsche Cayenne and the Range Rover Sport representing the pinnacle of what that market had to offer. All that changed with the arrival of the Bentayga because, well, it’s a freakin’ Bentley!

Granted, the Bentayga still hasn’t earned the reputation of being a segment-changer because, as Carfection puts it, there are still some concerns about the SUV and how it translates to the company’s closely-guarded reputation. Is it as good as Bentley makes it out to be? Does it justify the $229,100 base price? Most importantly, does it come at the cost of Bentley losing its own identity in the pursuit of economic growth?

Carfection sought to answer those questions in the only way it knew how: it gave the Bentayga the kind of off-road exercise that all other SUVs are subjected to. In a lot of ways, the Bentayga is the four-wheeled embodiment of irony. Nobody thought that Bentley would go down this path, but now that it’s here, maybe it’s time for all of us to embrace the change as much as the company has.

Bentley Bentayga

2017 Bentley Bentayga High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Bentley Bentayga here.

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