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Expert Review

Bentley Flying Spur Saloon (2019 - ) review

The embodiment of excess in terms of luxury, performance and style, the Bentley Flying Spur is a limo you'll want to drive yourself

The Auto Trader expert verdict:


Available new from £162,500

The Flying Spur is a luxury saloon, and essentially a four-door version of the immensely popular Continental GT. Built to be driven or be driven in, the Flying Spur is packed with leather, wood and acres of well-appointed space. Available with W12 and V8 petrol engines and, as of late 2021, a V8 petrol hybrid powertrain

Reasons to buy:

  • tickBest interior out there
  • tickComfortable and quiet
  • tickA taste of pure luxury

At a glance:

Running costs for a Bentley Flying Spur

It’s too easy to say that anyone buying this car won’t be concerned about running costs: finances matter to everyone, and Bentley is as aware of this as most. Woods sourced by global veneer hunters from ancient mangrove swamps don’t come cheap, so neither does this car, the price tag for which is well into six figures. Customer deliveries start in early 2020. Even if you coast around with six of your 12 cylinders deactivated all the time, you will spend an awful lot of money at the fuel pumps. Our advice would be to plump for the V8 or Hybrid for an equal dose of luxury but without quite so much time spent at the filling station You’ll also be wanting quite a lot of the delectable options because Bentley does them all so well, which will add tens of thousands to your bill.
Expert rating: 3/5

Reliability of a Bentley Flying Spur

Bentley is owned by Volkswagen Group, which also owns Porsche, Audi and many other brands, but Bentley tends to collaborate with these two more performance-oriented marques. That means tried and tested parts and engineering trickery, including the 48v system working across the chassis to eliminate much body roll. It also means much of the switchgear and electronics inside, although bearing Bentley styling, are from other models across the range. Reports for the brand are mixed: while it has appeared at the bottom of used-car reliability indexes, the Continental GT, on which this car is based, has more favourable reports from owners
Expert rating: 4/5

Safety for a Bentley Flying Spur

The Flying Spur gets four-wheel drive as standard, which helps with traction in slippery conditions and gives a certain peace of mind. Driver assistance systems include a night-vision infrared camera, blind sport warning, head-up display and traffic assist alerts. It’s also a big, heavy car, which will help in a collision.
Expert rating: 4/5

How comfortable is the Bentley Flying Spur

Bentley beats everyone, including Rolls-Royce, hands down when it comes to interiors. Leather hides can be specified in contrasting colours for the steering wheel, doors and seats, and every seam is painstakingly hand-sewn. The wood veneers on offer are sourced from sustainable forests and reserves and the grains matches to create flowing surfaces; you can choose one veneer or split the dashboard horizontally and choose two different finishes. New to this generation of the Flying Spur is a 3D leather treatment, which creates a raised diamond pattern on the hide’s surface as it flows along the doors, petering out as it reaches the edges. The effect is beautiful and contemporary, and a similar treatment for wood follows. In the rear of the car, there is plenty of room for two adults - the Flying Spur is longer than an extended-wheelbase Audi A8, so there’s no need to offer a longer Flying Spur. Both rear seats have their own electronic adjustment, and between them the central squab folds down to reveal a fridge in the back and two cup holders. It’s also quiet enough on the motorway to hear your hand brushing the leather steering wheel.
Expert rating: 5/5

Features of the Bentley Flying Spur

There’s a lot of fun stuff on the new Flying Spur, but most of it is optional. The only big toy which is standard is the touch-screen remote controller, a beautiful, heavy piece of kit. Nestled in a holder in a console between the rear seats, you touch the arrow on the screen to eject it from its cradle, and use it to control all the comfort functions like the audio, ventilation, apps and so on. Also standard is the large front touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and Wifi and 10-speaker audio system. The rotating display in the front dash is an option - controlled by a little button labelled “screen”, it rotates between the digital touchscreen, three analogue dials and a blank fascia for a total digital detox. Mood lighting, rear-seat entertainment screens, adaptive cruise control, leather headliner and a Bang and Olufsen audio system are all options (upgrade all the way to Naim if you can for a truly awesome audio experience).
Expert rating: 4/5

Power for a Bentley Flying Spur

We've tested both the 6.0-litre W12 engine and the V8 version, but feel the Hybrid will be the one to go for, based on its performance in the Bentayga SUV. With 20-30 miles of electric-only power, a boost of acceleration off the start line and silent movement, it's a fantastic system. The V8 engine is also a luxurious unit, with plenty of power for most people's daily needs, and better fuel economy than the W12. If, however, it's the stellar version you're after, Bentley’s legendary W12 engine remains one of the cleverest engines out there. It can run on six of its 12 cylinders when your right foot is not pressed firmly on the accelerator, saving fuel and emissions. It also has two turbos to smooth out the power, and is now linked to a dual-clutch automatic transmission for seamlessly smooth shifts. The result is 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 207mph, which are extraordinary numbers for a car weighing over two tonnes.
Expert rating: 5/5

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