Car group tests

Bentley Bentayga vs Range Rover

It promises a stunning mix of luxury and pace, but can the new Bentley Bentayga knock out the ultimate Range Rover?

With the surge in popularity of SUVs, it was only a matter of time before the world’s luxury brands stepped into the fray with plush offerings for the monied elite. And the first company to hit the market is Bentley with the new Bentayga.

The British firm’s first SUV aims to mix the luxury of Bentley’s high-end saloons with the pace to make it the world’s fastest off-roader. And with a handcrafted interior and colossal 6.0-litre W12 engine, the Bentayga should set new benchmarks in both fields.

• Best 4x4s and SUVs on sale now

It’s the first of a fresh breed of luxury SUVs, but here it faces an existing model that’s been given a high-end update to take on this new wave. The Range Rover has set the standard for SUV luxury for over 40 years, and now Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division takes this to another level with the bespoke SVAutobiography.

So, can the Range Rover remain at the pinnacle of the luxury SUV class? Or does the Bentayga move the sector to a new level of luxury, performance and exclusivity?

Head-to-head

Buyers can really go to town with the Bentayga’s appearance. Bentley offers 15 standard metallics and 90 special shades for extra cost. If you have a specific colour in mind, the company will match the car to it, and there’s a similar level of personalisation for the leather and veneers in the cabin, too.

There are eight wheel options in 20 and 21-inch sizes, while you can colour code the lower bodywork, remove the roof rails, add extra chrome trim or upgrade to different Specification packages, all for extra cost.

There are two wheel options on the Range Rover SVAutobiography – a 21-inch polished design or the 22-inch dark grey rims – plus fixed or sliding panoramic roof options. These can all be had at no extra cost, while Land Rover offers 42 body colours.

Again, standard metallics are included, but Spectral paint, which changes colour according to the light, costs £8,285. Also, you can get Dual Tone colours for £9,315; these feature black paint from the beltline up and a choice of nine colours for the lower half of the car. These options are exclusive to the SVAutobiography model.

Verdict

First place: Range Rover

Verdicts don’t come much closer, but the Range Rover takes victory here. In the world of luxury SUVs, the SVAutobiography still sets the standard. Interior quality is on par with the Bentley, plus there are far more surprise and delight details. It’s not as fast and agile as its rival, but it’s still searingly quick and composed, plus it’s refined and peerless off-road. It’s the ultimate luxury all-rounder.

Second place: Bentley Bentayga

The Bentayga represents a strong first SUV effort for Bentley. Explosive performance, agile handling and strong refinement are major strengths, as is the ability to tailor the car’s looks and interior. It just doesn't have the Range Rover’s sense of occasion or kit count. The Bentayga is hugely polished, but it drives too much like a top-spec Audi Q7, which costs £90,000 less.

Is it worth waiting for this model? 

Lamborghini Urus

Due: 2018  Price: £190,000 (est)Engine: 5.2-litre V10, 602bhp

Not exactly coming soon, as it’s due in 2018, but the Urus should be on the radar of anyone wanting the fastest SUV around. It’s likely to use the same V10 as Lamborghini’s Huracan, and should challenge the Bentayga for top speed.

Figures

 Range Rover SVAutobiographyBentley Bentayga 
On the road price/total as tested£149,800/£151,660£161,375/£190,990
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£42,094/28.1%N/A
Depreciation£107,706N/A
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£10,998/£21,997£11,855/£23,710
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£3,586/£5,976£3,305/£5,509
Insurance group/road tax band/cost50/M/£51550/M/£515
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd serviceTBCTBC
   
Length/wheelbase4,999/2,922mm5,140/2,995mm
Height/width1,827/2,073mm1,742/1,998mm
EngineV8/5,000ccW12/5,950cc
Peak power/revs542/6,000 bhp/rpm600/5,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs680/3,500 Nm/rpm900/1,350 Nm/rpm
Transmission8-spd auto/4WD8-spd auto/4WD
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel105 litres/full size85 litres/space saver
Boot capacity909/2,030 litres484/1,774 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight2,465/635/3,000kg2,440/810/3,500kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient12.1 metres/N/A12.4 metres/0.34Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (unltd)/3yrs3yrs (unltd)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers16,000 miles (1yr)/13010,000 miles (1yr)/23
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos22nd/24thN/A
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars91/84/63/5N/A
   
0-60/30-70mph5.1/4.2 secs4.1/3.3 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th2.5/3.3 secs2.1/2.9 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th4.2/6.3/8.3/12.9 secs3.3/4.6/5.8/9.4 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph155mph/1,600rpm187mph/1,500rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph53.8/37.0/11.4m58.5/35.9/11.2m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph64/47/56/63dB66/41/57/65dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range16.5/3.6/381 miles17.9/3.9/335 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined15.4/28.3/21.6mpg14.9/29.4/21.6mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined3.4/6.2/4.8mpl3.3/6.5/4.8mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket396/299g/km/37%365/296g/km/37%
   
Airbags/Isofix/park assist/360 camSix/yes/yes/yesEight/y/£3,925/£3,925
Auto box/stability/adaptive cruise ctrlYes/yes/yesYes/yes/£5,900
Four-zone climate/leather/clim. seatsYes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes
Met paint/LED lights/air-suspensionYes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/rear seat TVYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/£5,365

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