Used Bentley Bentayga review
A full used buyer’s guide on the Bentley Bentayga, covering the Bentayga Mk1 (2015-date)
Originally known as The Silent Sportscar, Bentley was founded on producing luxurious sporting carriages for the gentleman.
After numerous wins at Le Mans in the 1920s, Bentley was bought by Rolls-Royce in 1931, and over the next seven decades most Bentleys would be little more than badge-engineered Rollers - ultra-luxurious saloons for the ultra-wealthy. Never worried about being fashionable, Bentley went its own way with cars that in many ways were an anachronism, so when it announced in 2013 that it would be introducing an SUV, there were many raised eyebrows.
- Bentley Bentayga Mk1 (2015-date) - Luxury SUV is a great used buy, but it doesn't come cheap.
When was the Bentayga launched? It arrived at the end of 2015, priced from £160,200 and featured a 600bhp 6.0-litre W12 petrol engine. The initial 608 examples were First Editions with an accompanying Breitling watch, bespoke ambient lighting, diamond-stitched quilted trim and illuminated treadplates.
From September 2016 a 429bhp triple-turbo 4.0-litre V8 diesel engine was available (Bentley's first); it could do 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds and had a top speed of 168mph.
Car group tests
The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine that made its debut in January 2018 had 542bhp to give a 180mph top speed and a 0-62mph time of 4.5 seconds.
Bentley introduced its first hybrid in October 2019, with a plug-in model that featured a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.
The Bentayga Speed of October 2020 was the fastest Bentayga yet, with its 626bhp 6.0-litre W12 engine.
Which one should I buy?
Which Bentley Bentayga is the best? You could hardly accuse any version of being a dud, but the V8 petrol engine is all you need; it's almost as powerful as the W12 alternative and it has almost as much torque, but it's significantly more frugal.
Even more frugal is the diesel engine, but if you're on a budget you're hardly going to buy a Bentayga. The plug-in hybrid might be worth buying if you can run it on electricity for much of the time but frankly, the fuel, insurance, road tax and maintenance costs of any of these Bentleys will probably pale into insignificance compared with the money you'll lose in depreciation over the next few years.
These cars are built to individual order, so in theory no two are the same. Obviously all Bentaygas are extremely well equipped, but it's worth establishing exactly what extras are fitted to any car that you're thinking of buying; Bentley has a very long list of extra-cost options. If you want a really special Bentayga, buy a Mulliner edition, available from March 2017. These have extra-special interiors, a Breitling clock, unique 22-inch wheels, optional two-tone paintwork plus special colours inside and out.
Alternatives to the Bentley Bentayga
The only real rival to the Bentayga is the Lamborghini Urus, in terms of power, prestige, performance and price. There's no diesel or hybrid option so it's petrol V8 or V12 power all the way, and the focus is more on performance than luxury, as you might expect, but the Urus is a worthy rival to the Bentley.
The Aston Martin DBX and Rolls-Royce Cullinan are also theoretical strong contenders as used buys. In practice, however, you'll have to pay significantly more to get into one of these because they’re very rare and cost a lot more when new.
Don't rule out a top-spec Range Rover because while the Bentley is more special, the Range Rover also delivers a sense of occasion with performance and luxury.
What to look for
The sat-nav isn't as slick as you might expect; it's not as good as the (related) Audi Q7's for example.
Got a horsebox or a Riva Aquarama? The Bentayga has a 3,500kg maximum braked capacity.
Bentley offered four-, five- and seven-seat configurations; the first and last were extra-cost options.
The Touring packs adds adaptive cruise control and night vision; All Terrain adds underbody skid plates and around-view.
Few interiors are more luxurious than the Bentayga's. The look, the design, the feel - even the smell - mark this out as something special. There's masses of steering wheel and seat adjustment and because of the high roof line there's plenty of headroom for four adults. You can seat five adults, but the one in the centre rear seat doesn't get so much legroom. Boot space is average at 484 litres, but there are just 215 litres of storage available in seven-seat form.
Check out the latest used prices for the Bentley Bentayga on our sister site Buyacar.
All Bentaygas need to be serviced every 12 months or 10,000 miles, with services alternating between Interim and Major, priced at £799 and £1,199 respectively. The Interim service involves fresh engine oil and a filter, new wiper blades, pollen filter and key fob batteries, while the Major service adds new air filters and brake fluid.
New spark plugs are needed every third service, at £535 for V8-powered Bentaygas and £595 for those with a W12 engine.
Front and rear brake pad replacement costs £565 and £325 respectively, while a new pair of front brake discs weighs in at £1,515; a rear pair is £725.
Replacing the transmission fluid costs £795 for a V8 and £895 for a W12; there's no set schedule to do this. These engines also have a drive belt, which also doesn't have a set replacement schedule, but when it does need to be renewed expect to pay £1,095 for the V8 and £415 for the W12.
Surprisingly, Bentley has issued four recalls for the Bentayga so far, with the first one coming in December 2016. It affected 239 cars built in the year up to November 2016, which left the factory with some of the structural fixings not tightened correctly.
The next campaign came in April 2017 and involved 109 diesel-engined Bentaygas made between September 2016 and March 2017. The fault centred on a poor earth connection leading to power steering glitches.
In March 2020, 307 seven-seat Bentaygas built between January 2017 and January 2020 were recalled because of faulty seatbelts for the third row.
The most recent action was launched in August 2020, because 602 Bentaygas made between January 2018 and December 2019 were fitted with faulty fuel hoses.
Driver Power owner satisfaction
The Bentayga doesn't sell in big enough numbers to make it into our Driver Power new or used car surveys. With a 0.07 per cent share of the UK market in both 2018 and 2019, with around 1,500-1,600 cars sold, Bentley also isn't big enough to appear in our annual Brands survey.
That leaves a trawl of the internet as the best guide to what owners think (even if it is anecdotal) - and the answers are unsurprising. High running costs are tempered by ample performance and comfort, a superb cabin, usually excellent dealer service and a real sense of occasion with every journey.
The Bentayga is massively desirable for a multitude of reasons, and early cars are relatively affordable compared with what they cost new, but don't overlook the fact that running costs such as fuel, road tax and insurance costs will continue to be extremely high. The hidden cost with most cars is depreciation and it's no different here - even the cheapest Bentaygas still have plenty of value to lose. None of this will come as news to you of course, and neither will the fact that the Bentayga's interior is something truly special - enough on its own, to part some buyers with their cash. There really is nothing like the Bentayga as no other ultra-premium SUV mixes performance, luxury, image and relative affordability like the Bentley does. It may cost the same as three Porsche Cayennes, but spend any time in a Bentayga and you'll soon see why it's not really overpriced - especially as a used buy.