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Saturday 23 March 2019
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Steve Howarth’s Testdrive – Bentley Bentayga

IF like me you sometimes daydream about what to do with that big lottery win then here is something to put on your wish list.

Much more practical that a Ferrari or Lamborghini, the Bentley Bentayga is a fabulous machine – although it does come with a fairly fabulous price tag.

Mind you – for £136,200 it now has a glorious new 4-litre V8 twin turbocharged 542bhp petrol engine which gives supercar performance – 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 180mph.

And, surprisingly, the engine can shut down four of its cylinders when all that power is not needed (in other words most of the time on our crowded roads) to save fuel meaning that up to a shade over 31 mpg is possible – although this drops to around 18 in town driving.

There are also hybrid and diesel versions for the more economically minded but that means you don’t get that fabulous V8 burble from those imposing twin quad pipe exhausts!

What the big Bentley does have in spades is on the road presence. No one can miss you going by in this beauty, wrapped in total luxury thanks to premium leather seats and every creature comfort you could desire.

Mind you – our test car also came with a somewhat eye-watering £77,675 worth of extras meaning the full on the road price was £213,875 – for which most of us would expect to buy a house!

That long extras list included ‘ Black specification’ (special 22” black alloy wheels, gloss black tailpipes, carbon fibre front splitter and rear diffuser plus side sill extensions and tailgate spoiler – £19,350); rear seat entertainment with TV’s behind the front seat headrests (£5,690); a premium ‘Naim’ sound system (£6,680); ‘All Terrain Specification’ (dynamic drive control with special off road settings, 360 degree camera system and underfloor protection £5,005) and a hands free powered rear tailgate which seems a bargain at just £690!

There was much more which I don’t have the space here to list but also worthy of mention was an excellent adaptive cruise control system and heads up display (both standard) plus night vision and a raft of other safety features.

One ‘extra’ I did think was a bit steep was the £4,545 for it being in the ‘extended’ paint range – there are seven standard colours and an amazing 100 in the ‘extended’ range – but I suppose if you want the car to stand out even more…

I spent a week behind the wheel and loved every minute of my time driving the 3250kg Bentayga – even though some heavy snowfall saw lesser cars struggling. But, despite tyres more suitable for the motorway than wintry side roads, the big Bentley did not miss a beat thanks to its permanent 4×4 system, adjustable air suspension and a winter drive mode (seven others and also available).

I was particularly pleased about that as I had to get number one son to hospital through the wintry weather twice after yet another rugby injury (two broken bones in his hand). He particularly enjoyed the front heated power memory massage seats with several different treatments which took his mind a little off the painful hand situation.

The 2019 Bentayga can be ordered in four, five or seven seat configuration and, despite that boxy SUV design, is a really good looking vehicle that can tackle anything the weather or our roads can throw at it.

Yes it is going to remain in the land of dreams for most of us but if I was lucky enough to come into that kind of cash then as a supercar you could live with every day the Bentayga would be my number one choice.

By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth




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