Bentley was the first luxury marque to dip its toe into the golden money pool of super high-end SUVs. The Bentayga has now been on sale for nearly five years, with more than 20,000 finding well-heeled homes.
As such, it is now the recipient of an extensive and attractive mid-life refresh, keeping it relevant against newer rivals such as the Aston Martin DBX, Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Lamborghini Urus. The Ferrari Pursangue SUV is waiting in the wings as well.
Since the Bentayga’s launch the third generation Continental GT and all-new Flying Spur have also hit the roads, and the Bentayga’s facelift helps bring its looks into line with the rest of the family. The front of the car now appears to be almost entirely grille while the headlights receive a fantastic ‘cut glass’ effect reminiscent of a whisky decanter. The rear has undergone a more dramatic transformation, helped by a 20mm increased track back there to improve the stance.
The lights have adopted the oval form first seen on the new Continental GT and, echoed by the oval tailpipes below them, are suitably dramatic in an ‘Eye of Sauron’ fashion. At the sides a greater sense of muscularity has been achieved through the use of a larger ‘B’ wing vent and new side mouldings.
Of course the inside is still a delightful place to be, with the distinctive swopping ‘wing’ dashboard now cupping a new 10.9-inch super-HD touchscreen underneath the Breitling clock. The screen supports the integration of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with in-car concierge duties taken care of by the My Bentley app and the car’s integrated data connection. The driver now faces an entirely digital dashboard which can display either the two traditional dials of speedometer and rev counter or with the latter replaced by a map.
Rear seat passengers also get more legroom and a new, larger touchscreen tablet, and there are a host of USB-C connection points scattered about the interior. Speaking of which, new materials include an optional dark tinted diamond brushed interior trim and two new veneers; Koa and Crown cut walnut. Regardless of which you choose, and whether you opt for the four, five or seven-seat options, all occupants will be more than adequately comfortable and cossetted.
Launching now with the 550PS (542bhp), 770Nm (568lb ft) V8, the plug-in hybrid and W12 Bentayga Speed models will follow later in the year.