Bentley Flying Spur Review (2024): V6 Hybrid better than the V8?

The Bentley Flying Spur, previously known as the Continental Flying Spur, has been around since 2005-2006. Now in its third generation, the luxury four-door saloon is available as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), making it appealing to those who want to be more economical or can claim it as a company car – saving heaps of money on benefit-in-kind (BIK) taxation.

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

Bentley Flying Spur price & competition

The Flying Spur doesn’t come cheap, with prices starting from £201,000 for the V6 Hybrid without including any additional options. It’s sold with either a V6 Hybrid, V8 and W12 engine. The latter ceased production in 2024. There are a multitude of variations too: the Flying Spur, Spur A, Spur Azure, Spur S, Spur Speed and Spur Mulliner.

On review is the Flying Spur S Hybrid, which has a blacked-out design for a more understated look. A breakdown of what you get as standard in the Spur S and the available packages can be found below (click to expand):

Our press vehicle has the Alpine Green Satin paintwork, 22″ sports wheels in Gloss Black Paint (£2,910), and a duo-tone cabin in Porpoise and Beluga with dark tint engine-turned aluminium interior. There are also quite a few options fitted: High-Gloss Carbon Fibre Styling Specification (£9,840), Naim for Bentley Premium audio system (£7,210), Touring Specification (£6,940), Bentley Rotating Display (£5,215), Panoramic Glass Tilt and Slide Sunroof (£2,735), and Mood Lighting Specification (£2,080). That’s £36,927 of additional extras taking the total price up to a whopping £237,927.

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Bentley Flying Spur exterior review

Given its steep asking price, it’s no surprise that the Flying Spur looks the part with its steel and aluminium monocoque, and superformed aluminium exterior panels. No matter the angle, it’s supremely stylish and has a lavish look. At the front, you have Bentely’s signature oval-shaped headlights and a large-sized grille. From the side, a sleek and elongated profile while at the back, an elegant design with B-styled taillights and a small spoiler that gives it a sporty flair.

It’s available in seven different colours, with over 60 optional finishes to choose from too. Alloys range from 20″ up to 22″ in size. The Flying B, which sits at the front of the vehicle also adds a touch of class. It features an anti-theft mechanism, which effectively retracts the piece into the vehicle’s shell if someone tries to pull it – clever thinking from the manufacturer. You can see it in action on YouTube Shorts, TikTok or Instagram Reels.

Bentley Flying Spur interior review

Inside, it’s similarly snazzy, especially with numerous options available to customers. One can personalise the colour, upholstery, steering wheel and veneers among other aspects of the cabin. However, it’s disappointing that the vent controls, the stalks behind the steering wheel and other chrome-like pieces are made out of plastic. It feels cheap and tacky, and doesn’t live up to our expectations of a premium vehicle; the older generation models had metal controls, which made them stand out over cheaper alternatives.

Those with a keen eye will also notice that there are lots of parts that have come from other vehicles within the Volkswagen Group. The buttons along the dashboard and steering wheel are straight out of an Audi. Yet again, it doesn’t feel exclusive and considering the buttons themselves have a harsh clicky sound, it degrades the in-cabin experience.

It is, however, great to see that you have a flurry of physical buttons. This makes it more intuitive to interact with the vehicle’s climate controls and settings. Speaking of which, the 12″ infotainment system is vivid and responsive, however, it hasn’t got the best layout – the sub-menus are a little convoluted. Furthermore, the onscreen back button is quite small and located at the top of the display, which makes it a faff to navigate the system.

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The Flying Spur supports Apple CarPlay over a wired connection only. However, at the time of writing, it’s not available over a wireless transmission. Shockingly Android Auto is omitted altogether. Considering the price tag of the Bentley, you’d expect everything to be supported, especially as much cheaper vehicles include these as standard.

On that note, the Head-Up Display (HUD) is comprised within the Touring Specification pack, which will set you back a ridiculous £6,940. Again, one might expect a HUD to be fitted as standard or at the very least available as a singular option, but alas it’s not. Without it, you will still get all the key driving information via the fully digitalized instrument cluster. It can be customised to a certain degree and is similar to what you’ll find in other vehicles from the Volkswagen Group.

In terms of the vehicle’s audio system, as standard, you have a 10-speaker 650W Bentley configuration. An optional 15-speaker 1,500W B&O and a 21-speaker 2,200W Naim Audio system are available. The latter costs £7,210 and provides a hearty upgrade over the stock setup. If you’d like to hear how it sounds, watch our detailed review on YouTube.

At the rear of the cabin, at the end of the centre console, there is a small removable display. It cleverly acts as a tablet for rear occupants and provides controls to the climate, infotainment and retractable blinds, among a few other things. Optional 10.1″ displays, which mount at the rear of the front seats also provide entertainment to rear occupants.

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Bentley Flying Spur storage review

With its large form factor, you might expect the Flying Spur to offer plenty of storage capacity but unfortunately, that’s not quite the case. Within the cabin, you’ve got the glove box, an area at the front of the centre console, which doubles up as a wireless smartphone charger, two cupholders a little further down and two narrow areas on either side of the centre console. There are two USB Type-A ports and a 12V socket at the top of the centre console. There’s no storage compartment within the movable centre armrest.

The door bins, however, are pretty large, with the front two accommodating a 500ml bottle alongside small-to-medium-sized valuables. At the back, the door bins are a little limited, but there is a compartment found within the pulldown armrest, which is lined in fabric. Here, you’ll also find two USB Type-A ports and a 12V socket, all of which are used for charging only. Note, the refrigerated bottle cooler is only available in the non-hybrid models.

As for the boot, there’s 351 litres to play around with, but there’s no option to drop down the seats for additional space. No surprise given the design of the rear of the cabin. In terms of convenience, the electric tailgate has a saloon-style opening.

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Bentley Flying Spur comfort review

Storage might not be the Flying Spur’s forte, but seating comfort is one, if not the main selling point. The main four seats are all comfortable and accommodating. Headroom and legroom are class-leading. 6-foot 2-inches (188cm) individuals won’t have the slightest issue both at the front or rear of the cabin. In fact, adults sitting at the back can almost fully stretch out their legs; it’s incredibly spacious.

Better still, the rear seats can recline, have 14-way electronic controls, are heated, ventilated, have a massage function and a two-memory function. The rear outer headrests also have super soft Dinamica cushions that make you want to lean back and take a nap. Blinds for the rear side and rearview windows give you extra privacy, while the pulldown rear mirrors are handy to check yourself before exiting the vehicle.

At the front of the cabin, you’ve got 24-way electronic controls with heated, ventilated, massage and a two-memory function. The steering wheel is heated as standard too. Elsewhere, the rear middle headrest can be dropped to provide better visibility for the driver. Equally, one can opt for a four-seat configuration instead. A heated front windscreen is another option, while the sunroof and shades will set you back £2,735 and the wrap-around mood lighting costs a ridiculous £2,080 – the latter should really come as standard.

What you will find in all Bentleys is low cabin noise. The Flying Spur is exemplary in its ability to drown out road and wind noise. Even with the larger 22″ alloys, it’s one of the quietest cabins we’ve ever come across. For our in-cabin measurements, read our dedicated audio review.

Bentley Flying Spur performance review

This brings us to driving comfort, which in our opinion, is stellar. As standard, the Flying Spur is fitted with a customisable adaptive air suspension system. One can dynamically adjust the vehicle’s dampers through the four available drive modes – all-round there are three-chamber air springs with continuous damping control, which also allows you to raise the vehicle for those more precarious curbs or bumps.

In Sport mode, everything is tightened up, allowing you to feel more of the road under you and minimise body roll. In Comfort mode, everything is loosened up, providing a cushiony driving experience – our favourite of the bunch, as the suspension soaks up all the anomalies, speed bumps and potholes. The default Bentley mode is initiated each time you power on the vehicle and is a blend between Sport and Comfort; giving you better agility over Comfort mode, while benefiting from some of the characteristics of Sport mode. Finally, the Custom mode allows you to change the various parameters to tailor it to your liking – for example, you can have the Engine and Gearbox set to Sport, the Ride and Handling to Comfort and the Steering feel to Bentley.

Given the sheer size of the Bentley, it’s no surprise that it suffers from body roll. Even in its Sport mode setting, you can feel its kerb weight of 2,505 kg being shifted around on winding country roads. Speaking of which, it also doesn’t have the utmost driver’s feel with the steering wheel feeling a little disjointed from the front axle. Given the target market and class of vehicle, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

Still, the Flying Spur is plenty of fun to drive around the track, having driven around Goodwood’s Motor Circuit in the non-hybrid Flying Spur, it’s safe to say that owners who take the Flying Spur for a spin won’t be left disappointed. You also have plenty of confidence when cornering at speed, as there’s an active all-wheel drive (AWD) system. The vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU), smartly identifies when traction on all four wheels is needed and engages the front wheels when they’re required – for efficiency the Flying Spur otherwise operates on a rear-wheel drive (RWD) configuration.

This leads us to performance. Here, there’s a twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine that combines with a 100kW electric motor to output 400 kW (536 hp) of power and 750 Nm of torque. Within the Flying Spur line-up, it’s not as powerful as the V8 nor the W12. Nonetheless, it’s still plenty fast. With Launch Control engaged we recorded a 0-20mph time of 1.23 seconds, 0-30mph in 1.91 seconds, 0-60mph in 4.72 seconds, 50-70mph in 2.28 seconds and a peak acceleration of 0.76g using Racelogic’s Performance Box Touch. The launch is pretty brutal – you can see it in action on YouTube Shorts, TikTok or Instagram Reels.

Top speed is rated at 177mph while in EV Drive, it’ll get up to 87mph. Achieving higher speeds in the Flying Spur is buttery smooth, thanks to its magnificent 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. Be it in Drive or Manual mode (accessible via the flappy paddles), you and your passengers won’t feel or hear the shifts; it’s really elegant in the way it goes through the gears.

With all that power and weight, it’s no surprise that the automaker has fitted beefy 10-piston front calipers on 410x38mm discs, while at the rear there’s a 4-piston 380x30mm setup. The combination leads to excellent stopping power, be it if you’re on track or having to come to a standstill in an emergency situation.

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What isn’t as impressive, however, is the automatic regenerative braking. It takes some getting used to finding the correct transition point. Lift off too early and the car will decelerate a bit too quickly, lift off too late and it won’t decelerate at all. We feel that a bit of refinement from the automaker could have aided the driving experience. It is, however, extremely smooth in transitioning between petrol and electric mode; much like its gearbox, you won’t feel the difference. Of course, if you initiate a kick-down, you will hear its V6 engine kick into life, and in the Spur S model, also hear the perfectly tuned exhaust system gurgle at the back.

So, what about when it comes to fuel efficiency? Unfortunately, even with its V6 Hybrid engine, the Flying Spur is pretty poor. In our mixed driving tests, we netted a measly 25-30 MPG. This is similar to what we achieved in the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid, meaning both are among the least fuel-efficient vehicles we’ve tested to date. Granted, these are quite special vehicles and shouldn’t be compared with much cheaper alternatives, but still one might have expected better results.

Equally, it’s rather surprising that the Flying Spur Hybrid only has an 18 kWh (14.1 kWh usable) battery pack. Given its size, you might have expected a larger capacity. As such, one can realistically squeeze out 25 miles of pure electric range. You’ll be able to drive with pure electric power in EV Drive, or a combination of petrol and electric power in Hybrid mode. The Hold mode retains battery charge so that it can be used at a later time.

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid EV Drive

As for total driving range, the Flying Spur Hybrid has an 80-litre fuel tank, which gives roughly 435 miles of driving range. Combined with its electric range, one should be able to attain over 460 miles in a singular sitting. Of course, the vehicle’s overall driving range is determined by how and where you drive.

To reduce fuel consumption and to maximise efficiency you’ll want to plug in the Flying Spur Hybrid as much as possible. The Type 2 charging port is limited by the vehicle’s 7kW onboard charger, which means using an appropriate wallbox it’ll go from 0-100% in 2 hours and 30 minutes. It’s a shame that the manufacturer hasn’t included a higher-capacity onboard charger to help save time on the road. Opt for a 3-pin home socket and it’ll take 6 hours and 15 minutes instead.

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid charging

We also noticed that when set to Sport mode, the vehicle would self-charge. While a minimal amount of electric range was recouped, we thought to highlight it as we didn’t notice such behaviour in any of the other driving modes. It’s likely that in Sport mode power is automatically required from the engine, and as such serves as a generator for the 18 kWh battery pack.

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Bentley Flying Spur safety review

When it comes to safety, the Flying Spur has unsurprisingly not been tested by Euro NCAP. One can only imagine that due to its size, it’ll be safe in the unlikely event of a serious accident. What we can talk about, however, are the driver assistance systems, which are scarce. As standard, you have Cruise control, Traffic sign recognition, Lane Assist, Exit warning and Blind spot warning. Indeed, it’s extremely basic for a vehicle that costs in excess of £201,000.

Should you want some extra support on the road, you’ll have to splurge an extra £6,940 on the Touring Specification, which adds: Active Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Traffic Jam Assist, Bentley Safeguard Plus, Night Vision and Head-Up Display. In our opinion, this option is much-needed as it greatly aids motorway driving and gives you extra peace of mind – Night Vision is particularly impressive with its ability to detect and warn you of pedestrians, animals or objects, which is handy on the country roads, especially at night.

In terms of visibility around the cabin, it’s excellent, although rearview visibility can be a little limited (especially with the rear middle headrest in place) and with no rear wiper, it might be problematic if you frequent muddier terrain. Thankfully, there are front and rear parking sensors and high-resolution cameras that give you confidence in parking the Flying Spur.

Speaking of which, it has an 11.46-metre turning circle, which is impressive for a vehicle that doesn’t have all-wheel steering – this feature is not available in the hybrid V6 model but is present in the V8 and W12. Further, manoeuvrability is a non-issue despite the Flying Spur measuring 5,316mm in length and 2,220mm in width.

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid review

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TotallyEV’s verdict on the Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid

On the whole, the Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid is a luxurious and supremely comfortable electrified vehicle, but then again it has to be with prices starting from £201,000. Despite its steep asking price, the V6 Hybrid isn’t efficient nor is it the best in Bentley line-up in terms of raw performance. Elsewhere, there are plenty of missing standard features and a lack of quality in the choice of materials used within the cabin, which is extremely disappointing.

Nonetheless, if you’re after a lavish vehicle, the Flying Spur might still be for you; the badge alone has a level of prestige that can’t be matched by many others. If you’re contemplating between the models, consider the V6 Hybrid if you’re doing shorter journeys, have the ability of regularly plugging it in and more so, can get it as a company car. If not, we’d reluctantly advise you to get the Flying Spur with the more punchy V8 or W12 engine instead.

What do you make of the Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid? Let us know in the comments section below or via social media. We’re on: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, X and LinkedIn.


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