This year Bentley is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. On 10th July 2019 Bentley will reach its Centenary, an achievement most definitely worth celebrating. As part of this celebration, I am driving the brand new 5 seater Bentley Bentayga V8 an SUV priced at £198,000 with the £65,000 of optional extras. Previously I had driven the diesel versions of the Bentayga so I was keen to find out how the petrol V8 would perform.
Inspired by the exquisite metalwork found in vintage Bentleys (like the copper detailing featured on the new Bentayga Hybrid), Centenary Gold is a lustrous metallic gold with a contemporary edge. It honours Bentley’s rich heritage and symbolises the transition into an exciting new era, and has been specifically crafted to shine and reflect light like jewellery.
It will be used in Bentley’s Centenary logo, and will be synonymous with Bentley’s celebrations it felt and looked stunning.
Centenary badging, unique treadplates will identify each car as part of the celebrations ensuring they become true collector’s items. This was amazing to open the door look down and be reminded of the Bentley celebration of 100 years.
I have reviewed many of Bentley’s since 2015 and this is my third Bentayga experience, so I decided for the first time to get my family involved. For the most part, it is no easy task taking the family on long driving trips, it can be very stressful. I was however determined to make them understand that when sitting in a Bentley the driving experience is luxurious, comfortable and unique.
Bentley Bentayga – Where Does It Belong?
This Bentayga V8 review is all about where does this SUV belong regarding lifestyle? How much luggage as a family of four can we fit into this 5 seater Bentayga. What effect would this V8 £198,000 Bentley have regarding car sickness for children? What were the most talked about conversations as a family regarding comfort whilst travelling long distances? How easy was this 2388kg/5265lb in gross weight it to handle through the narrow windy roads of Wales, Lancashire, and the Lake District? How agile and fast was is it to reverse under pressure in restricted areas and narrow roads? What effect did this V8 have on the public looking at this Bentayga family? Finally, what did the public think of the colour Dove Grey?
I have to be brutally honest the Dove Grey was not my cup of tea, the colour never grew on me no matter the location. However, my husband had a different opinion, he loves it, especially with the black carbon spoiler and skirting and the black wheels. Colours for Bentley’s are endless and very personal. The public throughout the week on most parts thought it was different. Males seem to like to colour and most females did not like it.
Bentayga Black Specification
A lot of thought has gone into the extra total black options which will set you back £61,000. The prominent rear spoiler was like icing on the cake. The carbon fibre that was fitted to the exterior of the car gave it a sporty edge. The gloss black finish to the exhaust was very sexy and matched that V8 engine. The front bumper splitter gave the Bentayga a more aggressive edge. The gloss black finish to the tailpipes exhaust was beautifully created and gorgeous to look at. The 22″ black alloys with the Pirelli P zeros made up for £19,500 of the options.
The interior colour design was called cricket ball and it shocked me totally. It was a Bordeaux red throughout, even the carbon elements. The choices of Bentley leathers are endless and this was a real let down, I could not appreciate the craftsman details especially regarding the cross stitch elements because it was all one colour. I also thought the Bordeaux red did not match the Dove grey externals well. But as this was a press car, and this Bentayga can be heavily personalised it will not represent a problem for would-be owners.
Generally, the public feedback regarding the interior was dead silence and a confused one at that. Regarding my mood board, this interior made me feel very edgy and I could not entirely relax which has not been the case regarding the many Bentley’s I have driven.
The mood lighting was always my favourite, I loved everything about it. I liked how I could match my high heel trainers. A unique touch is that centenary badging style welcome lamps will identify each car as part of the celebrations ensuring they become true collector’s items.
It is so much easier travelling on your own so when the family rejoins it takes me a while to adjust. As we packed the luggage the first issue was boot stress or lack of boot space. I was shocked to find out that the boot space at this price level was only 484l. I have to say the gorgeous leather boot cover started to become annoying as it is not easy to take out and you can’t roll it up. If I took it out it would give me up to 590l. Would Bentayga drivers go to Gstaad to ski with their families, I am not sure if it would all fit?
This Bentayga is all about luxury travelling so I had to adjust. We managed but the Beluga Bentley travel Soft bag valued at £1250 had to be slotted into the back seat which is very spacious but it looked messy. I like my cars to be in pristine order and extra stuff belongs in the boot, tucked away. I then had to carry it around everywhere I went as I did not want the car to be broken into, it was a stunning bag to walk around with though.
I was so excited to get behind the wheel when I noticed that my husband had already adjusted the many car seat options, put his massage chair on and activated the heated seats ready to go. I started to become really stressed, it is the first time I am sharing any Bentley driving reviews with anyone, especially my other half.
What a great week to show off this Dove Grey Bentayga than during the Easter break in where all sorts of traffic and cars come out in full force for a holiday in the UK. This all-new 4.0 litres twin-turbocharged V8 SUV made an unbelievable difference to my journey and the only way to explore Wales, Lancashire and The Lake District.
I encountered all sorts of challenges and drivers during the week. So being stuck in massive traffic jams was very posh in one of the fastest SUVs in the world. Heated seats went on, massage chair options went into overdrive and the stereo was tested to the maximum.
Adaptive cruise control
I loved this feature as it allowed me to soak up the stunning views in the UK. This feature when used well also takes out the stress of not getting a speeding ticket. A quick look on the HUD also showed me the speed limit. On long distances with my children, they could chat and get my attention on demand as this tech was very responsive regarding keeping its distance between other cars.
Bentley is all about speed and this new V8 version is only marginally slower than the W12 versions. I just was taken back with regards to the power of the all-new 4.0 litre twin-turbo engine with 543 bhp. I just handed back the keys to a Ferrari GTC4Lusso T and didn’t think anything would match that feeling and emotion. I could not get enough of this speed and nor could the kids.
The kickback and rapid speed take off are why it’s one hell of a rocket SUV and the perfect companion for an evening commute overtaking everyone.
The Reverse Challenges
Wales, Lancashire and the Lake District have the most narrow road challenges for any large SUV to take on. Plenty of Audi’s, BMW, Range Rovers and Jaguars are lining up along the route. It takes reversing skills to a whole new level in the Bentayga. The horror on other driver’s faces when I turned up is why I tested this massive heavy and wide SUV to the maximum test. I have to say it was tough going and very stressing. Wheel curbing alone would set me back a whopping £4800 per wheel and with rocks and unknown obstacles in the way, the sensors in this Bentayga drove me mad. In this environment, the city specifications are way off keel. In fact, even generally the park assist was way off. Every single time I got out I had plenty of parking distance before I would hit a wall, better to be safe than sorry.
This is a city SUV car for open spaces stick to the main roads and chill.
Avoid Narrow Roads
Don’t take the Bentayga on narrow roads unless you have Formula One reversing skills the oncoming drivers are aggressive, impatient and the local people living in the villages are the worst offenders. People that don’t own luxury cars have no respect regarding the value of a car like this. They don’t get it when it comes to hedge scratches left on my pristine £198,000 Dove Grey Bentayga.
Being a woman I found I even got abuse, as a calm gesture I would put the 86 LEDs high beams on to kindly remind them who was the bigger beast, it worked every single time.
I tried reversing into a car park space near any of my favorite cafés to discover the nose was sticking out too far for comfort. It is a luxury problem with this Bentley Bentayga and again around these areas my parking skills developed into overdrive. With an additional £61,000 of extras, I had to opt for large spaces which were time-consuming and stressing when I was having coffee withdrawals.
These are what I define luxury problems and well worth dealing and putting up within a Bentley.
Gear Stick Frustration
The most important buttons in any car are a park, reverse and drive and here is where the problem lies. The parking button is in the wrong spot and it gets in the way every single time you want to put the car either in reverse or drive. The Bentayga is heavy so having the gear changing issues especially reversing in steep decline could have gone horribly wrong. My husband was a professional truck driver for the United Nations and there were times when he was bombed at. In these moments he had to think and work fast under pressure regarding survival. The point I am making is he can reverse fast under pressure in any SUV. So the gear changing issues he had with the Bentayga is a big problem.
My husband struggled with it all the time, I lost count how many times he revved the car in park mode when it should have been in reverse.
The children and my husband loved the Bentayga, my children were very calm all week and it is down to the Bentley driving experience. The children loved the heated seats and their favourite was the electrically operated blinds for rear side windows and popping out of the sunroof for a better view of the most amazing scenery in the UK.
The Best Of Great Britain
Great Britain is blessed with many remarkable buildings where history still breathes within the fabric of the walls, castles, cathedrals, mansions and manor houses and colleges.
I grew up in rural Australia on a farm with an Italian heritage. So I decided to take it off road and do what I always have done as a little girl. Play dress ups, this time in stunning Great Britain and enjoy this gorgeous SUV.
I am a big Bentley fanatic and was thrilled my family could finally understand why I keep raving on about this car brand. This driving experience was like a game of chess for me overall not sure what my next move was regarding the thrill, speed and emotions this V8 had on me.