The Bentayga is Bentley’s first ever foray into the world of luxury SUVs, and while it follows in the footsteps of Porsche with the Cayenne, it has no real rivals, for now at least. Until Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin release 4x4s of a similar price and performance bracket, nothing comes close to the Bentley for a status symbol.
The body style might be a serious departure for a brand synonymous with luxury cars, but the design language is instantly recognisable as from the Bentley family. It has the same strong haunch and shoulder line from the Continental coupe, with a deep diamond pattern grille and a pair of lantern-like headlights at the front. It certainly has presence, but because it shares its chassis platform with the Audi Q7, it sits lower to the ground than a Range Rover SVR, for example. This shared DNA makes it look awkward and downright ungainly from some angles. The big alloy wheels, quad-exhausts and ‘Flying B’ design down the wings look great, but do seem a bit out of place on a boxy SUV profile.
On the plus side, you can tailor the looks to suit your tastes, with an endless list of colours to pick from, a big rear wing, privacy glass, roof rails and chromed air-vents available as options. It comes with enormous 21-inch wheels as standard, but if you really want to fill the arches, you can get 22-inch alloys. However, if you plan to take your Bentayga off-road, Bentley recommends a set of mere 20-inch rims, on thicker tyres. The V8 petrol version adds red-painted brake calipers, a wood and leather trimmed steering wheel, a black five-spoke 22in wheel, and a glossy black grille as standard, for a sportier look.