2019 Bentley Bentayga V-8 first drive review: eight is enough
Stitch in time
The Bentayga V-8 offers the same five- or four- or even seven-seat cabin that it introduced in the SUV for the 2018 model year. With power seats with heating and cooling and multiple massage modes, the adults in front should be in a perfect mood by the time the driver flips the keys over to parkers.
The Bentayga has excellent second-row seat space, a third row that won’t violate any legal voter’s personal space, and enough cargo space behind the second row to fit a custom-made picnic basket or quilted tailgate bench.
That’s where the Bentayga world vectors off from any other SUV you might name. A no-holds-barred approach to custom touches ensures that your Bentayga V-8 won’t be exactly like anyone else’s, unless you’re cheating off their paper. The V-8 has a black-trimmed grille and figure-eight exhaust tips. Beyond that, have you got the picnic basket and tailgate quilt already? Fine, how about picnic tables trimmed in ethically sourced woods? Lambswool rugs? Magnolia stitching on Damson hides? High-gloss carbon-fiber trim? A wood and leather steering wheel? With 15 leathers, seven woods, 100 paint colors, and two-tones interior themes, you could configure Bentaygas all day and all night, and not run out of choices for weeks.
The bottom line
All Bentaygas boasts the same blind-spot monitors, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and night vision. Each has a power sunroof and permanent all-wheel drive.
Bentley suits up a base sound system, navigation, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen; a 1,950-watt Naim audio system with 18 speakers lurks on the options sheet.
Distinct packages bundles features such as automatic park assist, tow bars, or massive 22-inch wheels. A Mulliner-spec Bentayga gets the fabulous Breitling timepiece on the dash, crystal champagne flutes, and a bottle chiller.
It all comes at a price. The Bentayga W-12 carries all the top-end prestige and power, but costs more than $230,000. The V-8, at under $168,000 with destination charges, represents a substantial savings for people who consider $168,000 a bit of a rounding error. Still, a deal is a deal.
All it’s missing: those mild disappointments. No charred coffee taste, no chilled thighs, no “Lemon” (really, where it all started to go off track for the boys from Dublin). With the V-8, the Bentley Bentayga gets smart about wielding its enormous power.