Bentley has revealed its updated Bentayga, which has been given a styling makeover to match the rest of the brand’s models, as well as receiving several technological upgrades.
The Bentayga was the first SUV for the luxury market when it was launched and has enjoyed dominant success as a result. Bentley says it has shifted 20,000 units since it was introduced in 2016 – more than any other Bentley over a four-year period.
However, with rivals joining the segment, the British firm has given the SUV an overhaul. While it’s still recognisable as a Bentayga, the new model gets the slim crystal-cut glass headlights seen on the Continental GT and Flying Spur. It’s also a centimetre wider on each side and the bonnet is 3cm higher to give the car “more presence”.
At the back, the taillights have also taken the same elliptical shape as the Continental models, and are now integrated into a wraparound bootlid. It’s the same size as before, but the new styling gives the impression of more width, according to design director Stefan Sielaff.
Interior comfort was another focus area, with a new centre console, seats and dashboard. Rear seat passengers can now have cooled seats as well as heated, and there’s a new tablet to give them control over in-car functions such as the entertainment.
Up front, there’s a new 11-inch touchscreen infotainment system that has updated software to make it faster and more responsive, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Every Bentayga also has an embedded SIM card to give owners immediate access to connected services.
Other interior improvements include USB-C data ports and wireless phone charging as standard, while optional upgrades include a brushed aluminium trim, two new wood veneers and new quilted upholstery.
The Bentayga will be launched with the 550hp V8 petrol engine, and will be joined shortly after by the plug-in hybrid version in Europe and the UK. A W12 ‘Speed’ variant will join later and is expected to go to America first, where there is the most appetite for large-engined performance vehicles.
Bentley suggested pricing would be about 5% more than the current Bentayga when it goes on sale next week, so expect a starting price of approximately £140,000.
Slightly less ugly, should still be popular
Probably like many of its customers, the Bentley Bentayga is getting a mid-life facelift. A few nips and tucks are aimed at keeping it looking young against a growing field of competitors.
Designers have tried to make its butt look bigger, Kardashian-style. The front end has been made a bit wider and taller – the automotive equivalent of a boob job. The good news is that updated Bentayga looks slightly less ugly than the original model, although that never seemed to hurt sales among its target demographic.
The Bentayga currently holds an overall rating of 77% on The Car Expert’s unique aggregated Expert Rating system, based on 29 UK media reviews. That puts it on a par with the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS, but some way behind the darling of the glitterati, the Range Rover. It’s also considerably off the pace of the Bentley Continental GT, which scored an impressive 89%.
Will some cosmetic surgery and new jewellery help the Bentayga stand out from the crowd?
Stuart Masson, Editor