When you roll up in a Bentley Bentayga, no one believes they’re seeing what they’re seeing. In fact, one particularly stubborn parking garage attendant confidently told me, “Nah, Bentley doesn’t make an SUV,” with the 5,379-pound beast standing right there in front of him.
In his defense, it is an unbelievable machine. Besides looking like a million bucks—which, when you consider it costs about a quarter of that, makes it a pretty good value—the SUV has the absolute best of just about everything.
Let’s start with the engine. Under the Bentayga’s hood is a massive 6-liter W12 (yeah, that’s a “W”) that churns out 600 horsepower and gets the hefty hauler from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds flat all the way to a top speed of 187. Taking the size of the SUV into account, these numbers are truly staggering.
I had to be very careful on our two-hour drive up the Hudson River from Manhattan to the gorgeous Hasbrouck House in Stone Ridge, NY. Lightly pressing on the gas resulted in some extremely dramatic acceleration, whether we were launching out of a tollbooth or trying to stay below 100 while passing a lumbering Prius on the highway. ("Trying" being the key word here.)
It might not get the greatest fuel economy—you’re lucky if you squeeze out more than 20 mpg—but is that really a concern when you just dropped $250K on a car? Oh, and it should also be noted that the Bentayga is no longer the “world’s most powerful SUV,” if that’s what you’re looking for. That honor now goes to Jeep’s 707-horsepower, Hellcat-powered Trackhawk.
What the Trackhawk does not have is a totally hand-crafted interior that will satisfy the most discerning of insanely spoiled owners. (We’re just jealous.) Spanish leather, quilted seats, drilled alloy sports pedals, and an optional diamond-encrusted $167,000 Breitling clock—yes, you read that correctly—all combine to create the most luxurious interior on the planet.
Bentley is also renowned for the level of customization they offer to customers; the luxury experience goes far beyond fancy leather and wood. For the most part, if you have enough money, they will do anything you want. There's even a custom Bentayga that's made specifically for falconry. Yeah, it's kind of for the birds.
Many choose to visit the factory in Crewe, England, where skilled craftsman will create whatever kind of interior or exterior you’re looking for. More a fan of Michigan football than falconry, for example? Head to the brand’s Mulliner commissioning shop with your favorite jersey, and you can deck out your Bentayga in a perfectly matched two-tone Blue and Maize.
They might look at you funny, but hey, you’re a proud Wolverine. Go Blue!