Bentley Bentayga Hybrid review (2022): An Audi in disguise?

The Bentayga Hybrid is Bentley’s part-electric luxury SUV. The vehicle was unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and was available to purchase by late 2019. Since its inauguration, it’s already undergone an update wherein June 2020 the British manufacturer introduced the facelift model that tweaked, and in our opinion, improved the vehicle’s exterior appeal.

More notably, however, are the technological improvements that took place within the cabin; from the infotainment system to the updated 5″ removable touchscreen tablet at the rear.

While these changes affect the entire product lineup, it’s intriguing that one in five Bentayga’s sold is an electrified model. The PHEV’s success, combined with the pure gasoline variants, account for 40% of all Bentley sales – making the Bentayga one of the most successful luxury SUVs in the world, with roughly 4,000 vehicles delivered in 2021 alone.

If you’d prefer to watch a review of the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid, head on over to our YouTube channel.

Bentley Bentayga Hybrid price & options

At first glance, the number of Bentayga’s sold might not seem like a notable achievement, but given its £155,500 asking price it certainly raises a few eyebrows. The model on review, is a ‘First Edition’ with the Dragon Red II paintwork, a Blackline finish, and the Sunshine, Mood Lighting, Touring and Mulliner packs included. Combined, the vehicle’s asking price rises to a whopping £190,709.

Indeed, the Bentayga’s £155,500 price tag isn’t inclusive of extras, where the automaker offers its customers a plethora of options; from a variety of exterior colours to numerous interior finishes, which stretch from the colour of the upholstery all the way down to the finer details such as the stitching.

Bentley Bentayga Hybrid review

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To help you flesh out the details, click the images below to see the standard level of equipment present in the Bentayga Hybrid and further, the available packs on offer at the time of writing:

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Bentley Bentayga Hybrid exterior review

As mentioned above, the 2020 facelift brought some exterior changes, which to us, provides the SUV with a more progressive design. At the front, the automaker stretched out the grille, tightened up the bumper, and slightly flattened the headlights.

While these were subtle, it is at the rear of the vehicle where the more apparent changes occurred: the boxy taillights were replaced with slender oval-shaped casings; the two outward-facing exhaust pipes were split and had a similar structure as the taillights; the number plate was brought down towards the bumper in order to better accommodate the Bentley logo and badge, which also streamlined the rear profile; and the spoiler was increased in size.

Altogether, the exterior tweaks give it more of a modern design, which in our opinion, make it far more appealing than the original vehicle.

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Bentley Bentayga Hybrid interior review

Similarly, its interior has been updated and improved in many ways, especially on the technology front. Here, a 10.9″ display takes centre stage with the infotainment system supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with the latter system working over both a wired and wireless connection. A certain step up from its older sibling.

The instrument cluster has also been fully digitalized, which gives it the ability to be customised to a certain degree all while displaying key driving information. As for the optional head-up display, it provides an additional layer of comfort, and since the first-generation Bentayga now displays more data.

On the subject of technology, some will also see that the interfaces are very familiar to Audi’s MMI system and indeed, one might find it hard to differentiate between the two. That’s because Bentley has been under Volkswagen Group’s ownership since 1998, wherein early 2022, it went under Audi’s control.

Technology isn’t the only similarity, however, as there are a few of Audi’s parts within the Bentayga’s cabin. For example, the physical climate controls that reside at the centre of the dashboard, the buttons on the steering wheel, the stalks, the exterior lighting controls and even the plastic chrome-like finish around various parts of the cabin are all near-identical. Of course, while this isn’t a bad thing given all the aforementioned buttons work a treat, one might feel cheated purchasing a Bentley and receiving more common parts within the cabin.

Nevertheless, the upholstery is exquisitely finished and given the high degree of customisation available, it’s certainly a differentiating factor over Audi Q7. Elsewhere, the Bentayga has the option to be fitted with a 20-speaker Naim Audio system that outputs 1,720 Watts, which is a significant upgrade over the stock ‘Bentley Signature Audio’ system that has a 12-speaker 580-Watt configuration. If you’d like to hear how the former performs, watch our detailed review on YouTube.

Bentley Bentayga Hybrid storage review

Moving onto storage, there are pockets of useful areas to stow away valuables; such as the front door bins that are large enough to accommodate a 500ml bottle, and the glove compartment. However, the centre console storage area is rather limited and will only accommodate a small-sized purse or wallet. Further up the centre console, you’ll find a few non-slip bays, including two cupholders and a wireless charging pad for a smartphone.

Thankfully, if you do have larger-sized goods, you’ll be pleased to know that there is an ample amount of space in the boot. In the five-seater model that we have on review, you get 479 litres with the seats up and 1,769 litres with them folded down. The four-seater model, offers 387 litres with the seats in place, and given the rear middle seat doesn’t fold down, offers 1,382 litres with the main two seats laid flat. Note, there’s no seven-seater option in the Hybrid model, due to the placement of the battery pack.

In terms of practicality, the SUV has an electric tailgate with a hatchback design. This makes it supremely easy to load goods, especially with the vehicle’s flattened boot lip. To make things even easier, the boot can be lowered using the vehicle’s adaptive air suspension system; this can be operated via a button found in the boot.

Compartmentalization can also be achieved by using the included aluminium tool, which allows you to split the boot into two distinguishable areas. However, there’s no place to store your charging cables, with underfloor storage going amiss and frunk space being non-existent. As a result, you’ll need to store your cables in a bag, which eats up some of the available space in the boot.

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Bentley Bentayga Hybrid comfort review

Onto comfort, the Bentayga is unsurprisingly stellar in this department. The electronically adjustable seats are soft yet provide enough support when cornering, cabin noise is kept to a minimum, all four doors have a soft-close function, and both headroom and legroom are plentiful no matter where you sit; three 6-foot 4-inches (193cm) individuals can be seated at the rear of the cabin without feeling henned in – of course, the middle occupant will have a little less legroom due to the vehicle’s transmission tunnel.

On a more negative note, the rear middle seat isn’t heated nor is it available as an option, while the four other seats don’t come with a massage function as standard. Should you want the latter, you’ll need to purchase this as an option.

The real talking point, however, is its adaptive air suspension which provides a comfortable driving experience at least when you’re pottering around town; potholes, speed bumps and uneven terrain are all soaked up by the suspension system. However, when driving around windy country roads, the vehicle’s 2,648kg weight becomes immediately apparent, whereby the Bentayga Hybrid suffers from body roll, even when set to its sportier preset.

Elsewhere, the vehicle has a few profiles: Offroad, Raised, Normal and Access. The latter mode makes it easier to get in and out of the vehicle, but immediately changes to one of the other presets upon driving.

As for manoeuvrability, the SUV is surprisingly easy to park with its 12.4m turning circle. Indeed, despite being 2.2m wide, 5.1m long and having a 3m-long wheelbase one can easily fit into a parking spot or perform a three-point turn without much complexity. To help, Bentley includes a flurry of cameras that aid with positioning and spatial awareness. One thing to note, however, is that the rearview camera does get rather dirty due to it residing above the number plate, and thus will require you to clean it manually if one is to frequent muddy trails.

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Bentley Bentayga Hybrid performance review

While the Bentayga Hybrid is best suited for driving around town or motorway cruises, it’s not made to take on windy country roads; despite permanently operating on an all-wheel drive system (AWD), the SUV’s lack of precise steering input does hinder the driver’s feel – it’s disjointed and doesn’t make you feel connected to the road you’re driving on.

Similarly, it lacks a punch. The PHEV has an Audi-supplied 3-litre V6 turbocharged petrol engine and when combined with its 94 kW motor outputs a somewhat mediocre 330 kW (443 hp) and 700 Nm of torque. We had it tested from 0-60mph in 6.18s. It’ll achieve a top speed of 158mph and will get to 84mph in EV mode.

Bentley Bentayga Hybrid engine

Now, the Bentayga Hybrid might not seem too shabby but when compared to its V8 and V12 siblings, it’s immediately apparent that the plug-in model is the weakest of the bunch. Here, the V8 has a 4-litre petrol engine that outputs 405 kW (542 hp) and 770 Nm of torque, while the V12 has a 6-litre petrol engine capable of churning out 467 kW (626 hp) of power and a whopping 900 Nm of torque. At the very least, we’d have liked to have seen the hybrid model come with the aforementioned V8 engine, where combined with its electric motor would provide aspiring customers with a bit more drive to get the eco-friendly vehicle.

Ironically, however, it’s not all that green either. Bentley claim one can achieve 25 miles of all-electric range, but in our mixed driving tests, we netted closer to 15 miles. That’s because the beefy Bentayga Hybrid houses a comparatively minuscule 17.3 kWh battery pack within the boot. The added weight of the battery cells also has a knock-on effect on fuel efficiency, where we achieved 25-27 MPG; a rather measly figure for a premium vehicle.

Bentley Bentayga Hybrid rims

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As for regenerative braking, it has a minimal impact. The amount of energy recouped into the battery pack is done automatically, and only operates when you put your foot down on the physical brake pedal. One might have expected an option to add some deceleration – and thus a degree of regenerative braking – when taking your foot off the accelerator pedal, but alas that’s not the case.

In order to recharge the vehicle at a faster rate, you’ll want to plug it in. Here, it is disappointing that Bentley hasn’t provided access to rapid charging. Granted many PHEVs don’t offer said feature but equally, this is no ordinary vehicle. Here, you will be limited by its 7.2 kW onboard charger, where connected to an appropriate charge point will take 2.5 hours to charge from empty to full via its Type 2 port. This figure increases to 6.15hrs when connected to a 3-pin wall socket.

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Bentley Bentayga Hybrid safety review

Finally, onto safety, the Bentayga Hybrid has yet to be tested by Euro NCAP and we suspect it never will. In part, it’s because the Audi Q7 that we previously referenced operates on a near-identical platform – the German SUV was crash tested and scored an impressive 5/5 stars; we suspect the Bentley would have scored similar and thus will provide you plenty of security in the unlikely event of a serious accident.

As for the standard driver assistance systems, it’s rather basic: Green traffic light prediction, Traffic sign recognition, Local Hazard Information, and cruise control come included only. Should you want the Adaptive cruise control, a Head-up display, Traffic assist, Lane assist, Night vision and Bentley Safeguard Plus you’ll need to opt for the Touring Spec. One might expect all of these, plus more, to come included as standard in a premium vehicle; unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Bentley Bentayga Hybrid safety

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TotallyEV’s verdict on the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid

On the whole, the Bentayga Hybrid is an extension to Bentley’s already successful SUV lineup, but one might have expected more from the luxury automaker. From its lacklustre performance in comparison to the more punchy V8 and V12, to the somewhat disappointing omission of standardized features.

Frankly, we feel the big talking points are the three-litre V6 engine and 17.3 kWh battery pack. If the former shared the same engine as its V8 or V12 siblings, we’d have a vehicle that would provide an additional fun factor while being a little kinder towards the environment. Alternatively, if we had a V6-powered Bentayga Hybrid that could go over 50-70 miles on all-electric power, we’d have a far more eco-conscious SUV, which would make it more appealing to those who genuinely want to reduce their tailpipe emissions, rather than save a bit of money off their yearly tax bill.

Of course, these are our opinions of Bentley’s electrified SUV, so we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or via social media; we’re on: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
9
Features
5
Storage space
10
Driving comfort
9
Performance
5
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Christopher is an avid car enthusiast and techie. In his spare time, he reviews the latest consumer electronic products on his YouTube channel, TotallydubbedHD. Elsewhere, he practices Taekwondo, in which he has held a black belt for several years and coaches at a national level. He also speaks fluent English, French, Armenian, and loves to practice freestyle street dance.
bentley-bentayga-hybrid-review-an-audi-in-disguiseThe Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is a supremely stylish and spacious luxury SUV. However, it fails to impress in raw performance, electric range and fuel efficiency. Many features one might expect as standard in a vehicle costing upwards of £155,500 also need to be purchased separately. Ultimately, the PHEV model needs to have a more powerful engine or a larger battery pack to make it more alluring for prospective buyers.

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