A Bentley Bentayga Hybrid Tour around Bath in Somerset, Beachy Head in East Sussex, ending with a Tough Mudder assault course in Surrey. Thank heavens for the heated massage seats.
We toured the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid up to Bath in Somerset and then down to Beachy Head in East Sussex. And did a 15 km Tough Mudder with 30 world-famous obstacles.
We even participated in a 15 km Tough Mudder, complete with 30 world-famous obstacles. As we always say, to really get to know a car, you have to tour with it. It's not just about the specs; it's also about what it's like to live with daily.
Although this is a luxury SUV, not a sports car, the specs are respectable. It has a 3.0 litre V6 TFSI with 335 bhp and 94 kW electric motor (126 bhp), totalling 443 bhp, with a twin-scroll supercharger.
Some may miss the V8, but 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.2 secs is good enough, especially in such a large car. It also boasts a top speed of 158 mph or 254 Km/h and a range of 431 miles.
The electric power is supplied by a 17.3 kWh lithium-ion battery. The all-wheel drive is controlled by a Zf eight-speed automatic gearbox plus a Torsen centre differential and open rear diff with electronic diff lock.
At 3.2 tonnes, the car is a little on the heavy side, which can result in it rolling back sometimes when changing into forward drive, which is irritating. However, with 82 mpg, this Bentley SUV is a game-changer. It will save you a lot of money while touring and make it the greenest Bentley so far. You get 18 miles of range just on electric, which is enough for everyday errands, and the hybrid means you'll never have to charge at those awful independent electric chargers.
The rear haunches have been widened, which improves the look and stability. The bonnet is impressive with the large growling Bentley grille and the front diamond-cut lights, an attractive feature that glitters even in daylight. Overall, the exterior is suitably impressive and majestic, but it could do with greater differentiation. It needs a unique redesign that makes it stand out more, with Bentley DNA stamped larger, greater curves, and more overt references to Bentley's illustrious history in the haunches and bonnet. At present, there isn't enough to visually distinguish it from its competitors, who are all improving their models.
I also found the Light Sapphire paintwork too reserved, hiding many of the lines and features that a brighter colour would have brought out. Even a white, cream or grey would have worked. I did like the Blackline specification which includes; a black gloss finish to the matrix grille, black surround, roof rails, brightware, a discreet hybrid badge and an exhaust tailpipe.
The interior luxury and comfort are nothing short of magnificent. The duo-tone cabin is inlaid with Brunel and Saddle leather, piano black fascias, gloss wood veneers, and finished with contrast stitching. The Naim for Bentley audio system pumps out the clearest, sweetest sound I've ever heard, and the volume is sufficient to take out any pimped-up hot rod specced out with giant speakers that may pull up next to you.
There is ambient mood lighting and matching illuminated outer treadplates, perfect for stepping out onto a red carpet and lighting your shiny new shoes also comes as an extra pack. The panoramic roof lets in plenty of light and makes the cabin feel even more spacious.
Comfort in the rear is magnificent and the Mulliner specification includes drop-down picnic tables so you can spoon caviar and drink champagne without spilling a precious drop. Space in the back is lavish and the handcrafted Nappa full-grain leather hide on the seats, dash and doors is gorgeous. It smells amazing and I love the hand-crafted wood veneer that trims all the hard surfaces. There is an extended wheelbase version if you want more rear living space or simply to party on the move. You can also order a five or seven-seat version, which is useful if you were foolish enough have four or more children as I was.
Heads up display comes with the touring spec, so that’s worth getting, speed limits are getting trickier and changing faster over smaller distances, so keeping your eyeline (spell correct suggested eyeliner, which was tempting) steady is essential.
Would Sir and Madam like a massage during their long journey? Why thank you, it would be rude not to! All four seats have various massage settings, including Wave, Pulse, Stretch, Shoulders, and Lumbar. And you can adjust the strength. The rear also provides you with a small control screen so you can test the various settings quickly.
The Mulliner driving spec includes diamond quilting to seats and doors, jewel fuel and oil filler caps, sports pedals, embroidered Bentley emblems and the gargantuan 22-inch ten-spoke black painted and bright machined wheels.
And naturally, Mulliner's coach-building craftsman can also create a completely bespoke Bentley tailored for you, for a little extra.
The performance is good, and powerful enough for any situation that might arise. You don't really need a V8 in this and the added torque from the 94 kW motor makes it nippier than the weight would suggest. Talking of weight that adds balance so it rolls less than before and the Bentley real-time roll software keeps it surprisingly steady. Though you're not going to be throwing this around corners, it can handle itself pretty well.
Serene perhaps describes this car best, supremely stylish and serene. Drive like you're waving with one white-gloved hand at the crowds as you pass by. Arrive like you just walked out of a pampering hydrology spa, massage included. Feel good, look good.
The ultra-efficient fuel-saving ZF 8-speed gearbox manages the transitions smoothly enough, given the car's aforementioned weight and the steering is confident and controlled but not exactly sensitive. Nor would you want it to be as it almost drives itself. The gear paddles will probably never be used, but it's always good to have them just in case you need to keep the revs going longer.
I am genuinely impressed by the suspension, it is so smooth, perhaps again a function of the weight, but it cushions like a duvet whilst nimble enough over any road surface or speed bump. It does not get better than this, utterly excellent. Even without the table the caviar and champagne are safe.
The Touring spec adds Bentley Safeguard Plus, a heads-up display, night vision, traffic assist, lane assist and adaptive cruise control.
Like all Bentleys it makes you feel special, lushly enveloped by oodles of incredibly detailed craftsmanship, employing the finest leathers and materials in the world. Gleaming diamond patterned knobs and sweeping gloss veneers to mollycoddle you as you dash to Waitrose. We did 1200 miles and felt fresh as a daisy. I miss that leather smell.
The ride like the interior is supremely luxurious. If you have the extra cash, it must be very tempting to go Bentley Bentayga and the hybrid especially. Bentley Bentayga Hybrids sell well accounting for a major chunk of all SUVs sold, not surprising when you think you get a Bentley for £150K. The price jumps sharply for any other model. And let's not ignore the big rise in status the badge affords. Park up next to the Range Rover at the polo for that superior feeling. Though I'm sure no one buys them for that reason.
The Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is a touring masterpiece.
As mentioned, we ran a 15 km Tough Mudder, which included electrocution and an ice pond amongst other tortures. It was a great relief to sink back into those heated massage seats afterwards. Possibly the only reason I could walk the next day.
£157,800 with extras