Bentley Bentayga Diesel 2018 car review

By Cade Wilson

We’re no strangers to the luxury SUV that comes decked with everything under the sun, but now behold what can only be described as a super luxury SUV. Bentley has come out firing with the Bentayga, a very off-road on-road capable SUV that, for the first time in Bentley’s history, has come equipped with a diesel engine.


It’s not just any old ordinary diesel engine either. In true Bentley fashion, it had to be big and powerful so you get a 4.0ltr V8 triple-charged unit that’s been designed to propel the driver from 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds. A Bentley owner may not try this on a regular basis, but it’s there should you feel the need. After reading the spec sheet, I noticed that the specs are the same as listed for the new Audi SQ7 diesel - what a brilliant vehicle to share technology with!

The engine has two conventional turbochargers and one 48V electric compressor unit that spools from standstill to warp speed in less than a blink of an eye, delivering insane levels of power and the highest SUV torque figures I’ve seen. At the same time, new fuel economy technology helps to give a very impressive range of more than 1,000kms on a tank.

Luxury pricing and luxury value

This is of course a car for the super wealthy. Starting from $285,000, the Bentayga isn’t going to be accessible to your everyday Kiwi, but it does offer value to those with deeper pockets. When I collected my test vehicle, I was told that each one is ordered and designed bespoke to the owner’s preferences, which is usually over and above the base spec and this is why Bentley’s website offers little in way of detail about what the Bentayga comes with. So let me just mention what my test vehicle was equipped with.

Extras included 21” painted alloy wheels, contrast stitching, TV tuner, and hands free tailgate. In fact, from base spec, it was lavished with nearly $75k worth of extras. That’s more than the price of a very good middle range new car and this Bentley’s just getting started.

The current body style gives motorists the option to choose from a 4, 5 or 7-seat configuration. Our test vehicle was a 5-seater which provided ample space and outstanding comfort for all passengers.

Designer details

From the embroidered emblems in the leather seats and dinky little pull knobs that open the air vent flaps, to a removable rear tablet that provides rear seat passengers with both comfort and infotainment control, it’s hard to ignore the attention to detail. The front leaves no doubt as to the luxury manufacturer’s heritage; the huge black grille and light design is uniquely Bentley.

Visibility is no issue, with 40 super bright LEDs in the main headlight and 30 in the outer side indicator lamp. Out test drive mainly involved motorway driving and the weather was average at best, but visibility in the misty conditions and vehicle stability on the road was fantastic! It’s absolutely fair to say that the feeling of driving a 2.5 ton vehicle was not translated through to the driving experience. A favourite feature not seen very often was the infrared front camera (night vision) which came in handy when I was driving through a poorly lit area.

Superior safety

The Bentayga hasn’t been ANCAP rated but it unsurprisingly boasts a strong suite of safety systems across its range. The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system keeps the SUV cruising at a fixed pre-set speed, using long-range sensors to measure a specified time gap to the car in front. It has a number of features that add to your safety and comfort including Stop & Go, Dynamic Distance Monitor, Corner Speed Assist and Speed Limit Assist. Stop & Go brings you to a controlled halt if the traffic ahead stops and the restarts if the traffic moves within three seconds.

Traffic Assist brings Lane Assist and the ACC together when you are in slow moving heavy traffic while Bentley Safeguard Plus includes Emergency Lane Change Assist and Intersection Assist. This system intervenes if there is a potential for a frontal collision, preparing Bentayga for a safe full emergency stop if required. Reversing Traffic Warning monitors blind spots to alert you to potential collisions with vehicles, motorcycles or cyclists when crossing behind.

Park Assist automatically detects suitable parking spaces and takes full steering control to make manoeuvring simple. The top view camera gives a birds-eye view that makes it easy to navigate tight spaces, while traffic sign recognition identifies speed limits and other traffic signs and displays them for the driver. The City Safeguard and Pedestrian warning automatically detects potential collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians, and applies emergency braking if necessary to help avoid collisions.

At a glance
Model Bentayga Diesel
Engine 4.0Ltr V8 Triple Charged
Price From $285,000
ANCAP safety rating Not tested
Power 320kW, 900Nm Torque
Transmission 8-Speed Automatic
Fuel economy 8.0L/100km combined
Towing capacity Unknown
Seating capacity 4-7
Luggage capacity/payload 215-1,774Ltrs (dependent upon configuration)
Safety systems
Adapative Cruise Control (ACC) Lane/Traffic Assist
Speed Limit Assist Corner assist
Dynamic Distance Monitor Park Assist

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