Muddy reviews: The Bentley Bentayga Hybrid
Desirable, practical and now a bit greener. The Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is the sexy SUV perfect for family life.
It’s not often I get wolf-whistled down the high street these days, but when I took a test drive in the new Bentley Bentayga Hybrid all eyes were on us. Loaned to Muddy by the lovely people at indie Sussex dealership Harwoods as part of our sustainability month, we were keen to see how much bang you really get for your buck.
Without going too Quentin Willson on you, the Bentayga has a 3.0 litre V6 Plug-in Hybrid engine, plus electric motor with a 30 mile all-electric range. It cleverly switches between the two, or you can choose depending on your needs. She’s a powerful beast with an impressive 443 bhp – not bat out of hell fast, but at 0-62 in 5.2s she’s nippy enough to take on any boy racers at the lights (should you be that way inclined).
The 17.3kWh battery and engine both produce an astounding 700NM combined torque (power to non Top Gear viewers), and just 82g/km of CO2 emissions so you can feel less guilty every time you pop to the shops.
Let’s be honest when you’re driving this baby you feel like Mariah Carey. It has gadgets galore and the sort of luxe interior that would seriously impress an HRH. The model I drove had a panoramic sunroof, heated & cooled seats front and back and fully configurable ‘mood’ lighting. Some of the clever stuff is controlled via wireless touchscreen remote stored in the rear central console, (naturally the Mudlet soon got hold of it and was highly amused at giving mummy a hot bottom and a full-on disco experience, so we live and learn.)
Luckily I worked out how to control the amazing massaging front seats myself and found the school run a lot less stressful while my lumber region was being pummelled firmly by the luxurious leather seat. And the sat- nav and Naim sound system is something else, I don’t think I’ve heard music that loud since I was on a podium at Ministry of Sound back in the day.
Other than controlling parents comfort, Mudlets can be amused with a ‘rear seat entertainment package’ that includes 2 x 10.1 inch screens that fit on the head rests and allow you to use subscription TV services. So that long trek to Cornwall won’t be quite so painful while they’re zoned in on the full Star Wars back catalogue. Winning!
Our Bentayga was smartly kitted out in classy cream with wood veneer that gave the whole car a regal feeling, but you can spec the motor to your choice from a huge array of finishes including a variety of woods, piano black and carbon fibre and numerous swanky hide colours.
So gadgets aside what’s this ‘posh plug-in’ actually like to drive? Well, once you get over the fear of pranging it in Waitrose car park, the whole experience is a luxurious treat. The car simply purrs along the side roads of Sussex with a smoothness that feels like you are gliding on a cloud (albeit a rather fast one.) The dash is high tech and ultra modern but with a nod to the heritage of the brand – its intuitive and simple to work out, which is just as well as technology is not my strong point.
There are several driving modes so you can be confident in all conditions, and charging it was easy too – the car comes complete with all the kit you need to top up remotely (takes 2.5 hours to recharge fully.)
So clever is the Bentayga that it uses GPS data to juggle the electric and combustion power, so you can be using e-power around town and the engine on the motorway, without having to work it out yourself. It’s designed for the battery to run dry just as you reach your destination, without you having to figure out the most efficient way all by yourself. Nifty.
I won’t lie she’s a whopper, but the display and parking sensors make it a breeze to park. But with size comes space – she’s roomy and insanely comfortable inside plus there’s a boot capacity of 479 litres – so there’s is oodles of room for the Muddy mutt plus tons of luggage.
Obviously this is far from an economy motor, but if you do have the budget BLOW IT. This model ‘starts’ at £155k, but with all the desirable extras you are looking at a car just shy of £200k. Ouch.
The Muddy verdict
Just about everything. This car is a dream to drive and would fit into family life brilliantly. We all fell in love with it and my 8 year old declaring he was going to get one when he was a premiership footballer (we live in hope!).
Modest types – this car gets attention, so expect to be flagged down and photographed in the garden centre regularly. Full-on eco-warriors may not be satisfied due to the limited battery range, but if you like luxury motoring with a nod to the green its ideal for shorter trips.
Harwoods Bentley Sussex, Pulborough, RH20 1AR
Tel: 01798 652 364