Ironic because it might sound, luxurious automakers are fairly often the perfect at pulling off the entire “much less is extra” factor. So typically, it is the less-powerful, less-expensive variations of superlative vehicles that I take pleasure in most. The Bentley Bentayga SUV is an ideal instance.

Two years after its introduction, the Bentayga is not an solely 12-cylinder affair. A plug-in hybrid is on the horizon, and patrons outdoors the US are handled to a torque-tastic diesel choice.

But it surely’s the gasoline V8 choice examined right here that I discover notably attractive. With robust energy, and a sound and character all its personal, this engine transforms the large Bentayga right into a extra rewarding driver’s automotive. Bentley’s SUV is not excellent, thoughts you, but it surely’s definitely no fault of its V8.

Much less energy, however extra pep in its step

This V8 is not distinctive to the Bentayga — it is the identical four.Zero-liter, twin-turbocharged engine you may discover in different high-output Volkswagen Group merchandise (the Porsche Cayenne Turbo involves thoughts). It affords more-than-ample output of 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, even when these are decreases of 58 and 96, respectively, in comparison with the Bentayga W12. That stated, the V8 model of the SUV is lighter, with some 115 fewer kilos to lug round. Bentley says the V8 mannequin is ready to dash to 60 miles per hour in four.four seconds, which can be Zero.four seconds slower than the W12, however continues to be rattling spectacular contemplating the lightest Bentayga nonetheless ideas the scales at 5,264 kilos.

Numbers do not actually inform the entire story. Bentley calls the V8 mannequin the Bentayga’s “most sporting guise,” and whether or not cruising round city or out on the canyon roads north of Los Angeles, the large B definitely delivers a extra enthusiastic character than you may initially count on. Off-the-line acceleration is hearty, with a loud, throaty growl from the model-specific exhaust. The eight-speed computerized transmission is greater than keen to kick down with a easy provocation of your proper foot, delivering mid-range punch that’ll embarrass many different sports activities vehicles as you fly by them on the freeway.

On extra technical roads, the Bentayga’s measurement and weight are definitely obvious, however the V8 model feels a bit extra keen to spherical corners with gusto, the 285/40-series Pirelli P Zero tires providing commendable grip as I tear alongside my favourite stretches of winding asphalt. There’s nice heft to the steering, an acceptable tune that precisely conveys the sheer mass of Bentley’s SUV.

The times had been golden, and the Bentayga’s Orange Flame paint lit up within the solar.

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Physique motions are acceptable for such a high-riding SUV, and should you’re the type of aristocrat who plans to drive your Bentayga in a spirited trend on the common, you may wish to go for the $5,235 Bentley Dynamic Trip choice. That is the flowery identify for Bentley’s 48-volt lively anti-roll tech, holding the large physique composed and managed, returning spectacular experience consolation whereas permitting the Bentayga to be somewhat extra playful in bends. In fact, should you pony up for the Bentayga W12, this characteristic comes normal.

In reality, there is not a complete lot of normal driver help tech on this lower-price Bentayga. If you need issues like parking help, a top-view digicam, site visitors signal recognition or metropolis braking, you must go for the $three,855 Metropolis Specification bundle. Need adaptive cruise management, a head-up show, lane-keeping help and site visitors jam help? That is all bundled within the $Eight,435 Touring Specification.

The brand new entry-level

At $165,000, the Bentayga V8 serves as a lower-cost entry level into the world of Bentley. For 2019, a couple of new choices can be found, together with a fully large set of carbon-ceramic brakes, with 15.7-inch-diameter entrance stoppers which can be the biggest fitted to any manufacturing automotive, based on Bentley. A brand new Blackline Specification, seen on this check automotive (and priced at $7,000), replaces among the exterior chrome particulars with better-looking black bits. New wheel designs can be found, as properly, together with the 22-inch rollers fitted right here, a part of the $15,800 Mulliner Driving Specification pack.

In fact, none of this actually adjustments the truth that the Bentayga is… not very fairly. It rides on the identical VW Group MLB platform that underpins the Audi Q7, Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg, and whereas it definitely has presence — particularly right here in Orange Flame — there would not appear to be a superb angle from which to view Bentley’s beast.

Wealthy leather-based, stunning distinction stitching and unbelievable consideration to element. It is a Bentley, alright.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Fortunately, the inside is as snug and wonderful as any Bentley. Plush leather-based seats have diamond distinction stitching on the bolsters, and each inch of conceal and veneer contained in the cabin is of the very best high quality. General ranges of match and end are Bentley-spec wonderful. The buttons and knobs all really feel premium to the contact and have satisfying motion (these air vent plungers, particularly so). From the tender headliner to the deep-pile carpeted floormats, the Bentayga’s cabin is supple and serene.

There are many accessible techy inside goodies, together with the completely sweet-sounding (and horrendously costly) $Eight,910 Naim audio system, and secret agent-spec $2,600 biometric storage field. Rear-seat occupants even get in on the high-tech choices, with a detachable, 10.2-inch Wi-Fi-equipped Android machine that Bentley calls its Leisure Pill.

Three completely different rear seating preparations can be found. There’s the five-passenger structure you see right here, with a three-across bench within the again. If you need extra consolation, you may choice captain’s chairs with a console between the seats, or you may even spec a 3rd row, with what I can solely think about are two very cramped way-back thrones, leading to seating for seven. Wealthy mothers, rejoice.

The Bentayga runs Bentley’s older, outdated infotainment system.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Outdated tech

Inside, each Bentayga will get an Eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with embedded navigation and Apple CarPlay (however not Android Auto). In comparison with the spectacular, Porsche Communication Administration-based system discovered within the new Continental GT, the Bentayga’s interface appears and feels outdated. There’s numerous performance discovered inside, however the graphics may stand to be of upper decision, and responses to inputs may definitely be quicker.

The instrument cluster includes a digital central display screen, however once more, it is a related story of low-resolution graphics and fonts, and never lots of performance. Contemplating the proliferation of totally digital gauge clusters — within the Continental GT, to not point out far inexpensive VW Group merchandise — this might stand to be up to date, and shortly. A $27,000 Jetta SEL Premium affords a richer suite of in-car tech.

It ain’t fairly, but it surely certain is fast. If you happen to’re purchasing Bentayga, the V8 is the one to get.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Getting what you pay for?

The massive problem I’ve with the Bentayga is that, even in least expensive $165,000 spec, it would not completely really feel definitely worth the cash. Vehicles are getting actually, very nice as of late, and most different luxurious SUVs supply related ranges of area and luxury, with loads higher tech. Have you ever pushed an Audi Q7 these days? It is rattling good.

Nonetheless, there isn’t any arguing with the type of panache a Flying B badge buys you. And whereas I usually like to incorporate a “how I would spec it” part to those opinions, the reality is, with the Bentayga, the world is your oyster. As with all Bentleys, you may personalize the Bentayga in myriad methods, with seemingly limitless shade choices, to not point out a equally lengthy record of obtainable choices.

The 2019 Bentley Bentayga V8 might begin at $165,000, however the check automotive pictured right here has $63,915 price of optionally available extras. Add in a $2,725 vacation spot cost and the worth because it sits is $231,640 — about the identical as a base W12.

The V8 mannequin is totally the Bentayga to get. The added dynamic verve of its four.Zero-liter engine is one thing to be admired, and you do not lose something by way of look or luxurious. I can not say my private lux bucks can be spent on a Bentayga, however for hifalutin patrons who will not accept much less, a minimum of relaxation assured figuring out the “entry-level” model is simply as wealthy.

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