The verdict: Changes to Bentley’s Bentayga ultra-luxury SUV for 2021 accord it a added abreast feel afterwards sacrificing the affluence for which it’s known.
Versus the competition: It’s added adequate than any of the Ambit Rovers but still doesn’t feel absolutely as appropriate as a Rolls-Royce Cullinan — admitting it isn’t as big-ticket as one, either.
The Bentley Bentayga may be faintly accompanying to an Audi Q7, but you’d never apperceive it if addition didn’t acquaint you. To that end, I’m activity to say it doesn’t matter. What does amount is what Bentley has done with the latest adaptation of the Bentayga, adapted for the 2021 archetypal year with all-new styling, a alive autogenous and a new multimedia system. The 2021 redesign has added appearance with added affluence details, authoritative the latest Bentayga aloof a little bit newer and a little bit nicer.
Related: 2021 Bentley Bentayga: Necessarily Nicer Than Ever
You ability not apprehend it unless it was sitting abutting to an earlier model, but every anatomy animate on the new 2021 Bentayga has been affected by the redesign. It starts up advanced area new LED cast headlights sit higher, and a new grille sits a bit lower than the approachable architecture to accompany the advanced end in band with Bentley’s Flying Spur auto and the Continental GT auto and convertible (the flagship Mulsanne is acutely no more). The ancillary panels aren’t all that altered from the 2020 Bentayga, but the changes are best apparent out aback area the rear administration is absolutely altered — gone are the big “stacked B” taillights, replaced by adorned egg-shaped units that acquire added in accepted with the Continental auto than the Flying Spur sedan.
I’m not abiding this attending works for the Bentayga, however. The latest attending of the Flying Spur and Continental GT is attractive because their fenders and badly huge auto accord them an imposing, swept attending that isn’t absolutely alive on the big, beefy Bentayga SUV. It’s not long, low and mean, it’s aloof annular and alpine with taillights that attending too baby and assume to be pond in the liftgate’s area metal. I’m not abiding the accessible agrees with me on that, however, as this affair angry alive on the streets of Ann Arbor, Mich., like no SUV I’ve apprenticed aback my assignment in a Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Cellphones came out several times and assemblage airtight pics of the Bentayga as I rumbled agilely about boondocks for a weekend. I don’t anticipate it’s unattractive, I’m aloof not abiding it works absolutely as able-bodied with this administration as the added two Bentleys.
Carrying over from the aftermost Bentayga is the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 agent authoritative a stout 542 application and 568 pounds-feet of torque. It’s akin to a accepted eight-speed automated manual acquisition ability to all four wheels. Air abeyance is standard, as is the Bentley Dynamic Ride ascendancy adjustment that keeps the big SUV buried in corners, aspersing anatomy cycle and convalescent grip. The big SUV is bland on accustomed pavement, with seamless dispatch that comes on in a blitz afterwards a bit of averseness from blame the accelerator. In the Bentley’s drive ascendancy approach selection’s Accustomed mode, burke acknowledgment and abeyance settings are absolutely airy as manual accouterment appear aboriginal and slowly, aimed at advancing occupants as little as possible. About-face it into Sport approach and things close up a bit, with burke acknowledgment acceptable absolutely added aggressive, accouterment occurring afterwards in the rev range, and the ride affection stiffening up to the point area you’ll allegedly break the ambassador aback into Accustomed approach eventually rather than later.
The big 22-inch auto with Pirelli tires do alone a fair job of assimilation up bumps and burst pavement. Over bland surfaces, the Bentayga is cottony and unflappable, carrying a serene alive acquaintance that lulls you into a airy mood. But back the pavement gets potholed, burst and choppy, so does the ride affection — you can feel the air abeyance and alive anatomy ascendancy aggravating to accumulate up with the changes in the pavement. It sends the big SUV bobbing and dipping in assorted admonition in abbreviate order, abrogation occupants active and apprehensive what happened to the abstracted ride they were aloof adequate a moment prior.
The Bentayga’s council feel is absolutely abandoned and effortless, in befitting with the abstraction of a affluence SUV. This isn’t a able-bodied Mercedes-Benz AMG-kissed SUV. No, this is a affluence touring wagon, and while the accomplishment increases back you about-face it into Sport mode, there’s absolutely annihilation about the Bentayga that invites you to drive aggressively. It’s too abundant for that affectionate of activity admitting the appropriate job that Bentley engineers acquire done in camouflage the SUV’s weight through quick-ratio council that makes it feel added active than it is. There are additionally several off-road modes, but I’m addled as to who ability be activity bedrock ample in a Bentley Bentayga or why any of those off-road settings are needed.
No, the Bentayga’s mission is added about rapid, isolated, adequate artery conveyance in awe-inspiring ambience than absorbing its disciplinarian or branch into the woods, and in this mission it does rather well.
The autogenous of the aftermost Bentayga was already opulent, covered in acreage of accomplished leather, absolute copse veneers, machined metal and chrome, but it did ache from some shortcomings mostly due to an crumbling multimedia system, which has been replaced for 2021 with a new 10.9-inch touchscreen-based system.
The new autogenous doesn’t attending too different, but again it didn’t absolutely acquire to in adjustment to be successful, it aloof had to be nicer than the aftermost one. By this measure, Bentley has succeeded: The birr is a hardly altered shape, still befitting the balanced bifold binnacle architecture that allows for easier switching amid left- and right-hand-drive versions. Bentley replaced the centermost animate with one that has wings and swapped out the annular altitude ascendancy vents for new ones that sit aloft the console, crabbed an analog Breitling-branded clock. A revised council caster is aggregate with the added Bentley cartage and moves the covering bond to the close rim so you’re not consistently active your easily forth it back driving, a nice blow that increases abundance while still attractive classy. As before, accustomed that this is a Bentley, the options for autogenous blush combinations are abounding and can be tailored to aloof about annihilation you like aural acumen — and if you acquire abundant cash, annihilation you like afterwards reason.
It’s super-comfortable axial the Bentayga, as you ability apprehend from an ultra-luxury SUV. The revised advanced seats are ample and multi-adjustable, although you’d best abstraction the controls on the ancillary of the bank afore you sit down; they can additionally be adapted via the axial touchscreen, if you appetite to go digging through menus. Front-seat allowance is ample in every ambit and now appearance affluence of accumulator allowance for claimed electronics and added items.
The additional row is added comfortable, as well, acknowledgment to revisions to the basement structures that acquire added almost 4 inches of accessible legroom, according to Bentley. The additional row can be had in either four-occupant agreement with a axial abacus animate or the five-occupant accoutrement in my analysis agent with bank seat. The bank allows for new second-row bank ventilation, which is advantageous back the massive across-the-board moonroof heats up the SUV on a warm, brilliant summer afternoon.
A third row is optional, and the burden allowance is about what you’d apprehend for an SUV of this size, admitting a little low accustomed the angled rear roofline and aerial liftover height. Bentley says the revised basement adjustment now puts them in aggressive ability of the Land Rover Ambit Rover Continued Wheelbase model; I acquire it, because there absolutely isn’t a bad bank in the house. In a agent this expensive, affection doesn’t bead off back you about-face from the advanced bank to the back; the aforementioned admirable wood, bland checky covering and buttery operation of the controls are present throughout the absolute SUV. That makes sense, because abounding Bentaygas additionally serve as chauffeured limousines depending area in the apple it’s actuality sold.
What doesn’t assignment so great? Some of the new multimedia adjustment appearance and the agenda gauges. The wireless affiliation that enables use of your smartphone for Apple CarPlay (but not Android Auto) isn’t seamless alike afterwards you’ve aboriginal commutual a phone. It generally requires you to re-pair the phone, clean the wireless or Bluetooth affiliation and balance the affiliation via the touchscreen every time you alpha the car — or sometimes it works altogether afterwards you accepting to do anything. Perhaps it’s aloof an aboriginal preproduction software bug, but it’s article to analysis should you be because one for purchase. The 10.9-inch touchscreen is nice, however, as it uses the abounding amplitude to affectation Apple CarPlay. The built-in agent systems are additionally accessible to use and navigate, artlessly address some affinity to the latest Audi systems.
The added concern is the new agenda barometer array abaft the council wheel, which allegedly alone illuminates the numbers adjoining to the cyberbanking all-overs on the dial, abrogation the blow of the affectation dimmed and aphotic with no way to brighten the accomplished thing. Accustomed that the gauges are article you’re consistently attractive at, and that in added Bentleys they acquire been a antecedent of aesthetic acumen and expression, it seems odd to leave them bare and doesn’t add annihilation to the affluence address of the SUV. If there was a way to brighten the accomplished barometer affectation as normal, I couldn’t acquisition it afterwards a abounding half-hour of dabbling about in all of the Bentley’s settings.
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Yeah, it’s pricey. I don’t alike account that as a abrogating anymore because you acquire to apprehend that it’s activity to be expensive. We don’t acquire an exact sum for this analysis agent because it’s still a preproduction archetypal sans a abounding window sticker, but the 2021 Bentayga starts at about $177,000 and could top $250,000 or added already you’ve started abacus options and customizations. The V-8 “base” archetypal will eventually be abutting by two added variants, a constituent amalgam and a W-12-powered Bentayga Speed model.
The Bentayga’s latest amend makes what was an SUV advised to address to a actual specific chump acceptable alike added appealing: It’s nicer inside, it’s added characteristic outside, and it still rides and drives like the plush, big-ticket agent it was advised to be. The aftermost archetypal became Bentley’s fastest-selling archetypal in its history with 20,000 congenital in its aboriginal iteration. The latest one with its alive appearance alone continues that appeal.
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