2021 Bentley Bentayga is a luxury, performance, and also expensive SUV. This one has a sticker price of just under $200,000. The Bentayga has been heavily revised for the 2021 model year. The Bentayga first came out for the 2017 model year. The other ultra-expensive SUVs like the Rolls Royce Cullinan, Lamborghini Urus, Maserati Levante, and a newly launched Aston Martin DBX are the big competitors and if you are planning to spend around $200,000 you should really do a lot of research before selecting the ultra-premium luxury for you. We, The Auto Blogs, will help you with this. So, keep reading and visiting “theautoblogs.com“.
The Bentayga’s biggest selling point has always been the fact that it’s a luxury SUV like the Rolls Royce Cullinan or Aston Martin DBX but it’s also a high-performance SUV like the Porsche Cayenne Turbo or the BMW X5M and that’s still true for 2021.
2021 Bentley Bentayga – Engine and Transmission
Now, What do we get under the hood of this massive luxury premium SUV?
The 2021 Bentley Bentayga SUV is available in 4 variants with three engine options.
The first engine option or the base-level Bentayga is a hybrid model called Bentayga Hybrid. The hybrid system used is comprised of a 2995cc V6 engine and a 17kWh Lithium-ion battery. which gets 443 horsepower from its plug-in hybrid V6 that’s the Bentayga for environmentally conscious ultra-luxury SUV buyers.
The second level trim or variant is Bentayga V8 and the third level trim is Bentayga S. These trims have the same engine. The difference is in their features. V8 & S is powered by a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine. The engine delivers a max power of 550PS and 770Nm of Torque. This powertrain sends the Bentayga from 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds.
At the other end of the spectrum, the top-level Bentayga is called the Bentayga Speed. It uses a 627 horsepower (635PS) 12 cylinder.
Now, you will definitely love the 12 cylinders however in the SUV world, it has been received as a little bit too expensive. So the V8 has emerged as the volume-selling model. It’s not a slow engine it still sends this mammoth from 0 to 60mph in four seconds which is unreal for an SUV with this much size and luxury leather trimmings which all add weight. The SUV that can compete with the 2021 Bentley Bentayga in a 0-60mph race is the 2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392.
2021 Bentley Bentayga – The exterior Design
The Front & the rear Facia
With some of the revisions for the 2021 model year and that means starting from the back with the most noticeable update. The rear lights. Now, the rear lights in the Bentayga used to have a split-like design. They were pretty standard. Nobody really complained but Bentley has changed them completely to have a single-piece design in order to align the rear of this car with the Continental GT and the Flying Spur.
So, they all kind of have a similar look in the back. Now the taillights have been pretty polarizing the big ovals at the back. Some people really don’t like it. Some people like the Bentley family look but either way they’re certainly distinctive. You won’t be mistaking this for any other type of vehicle. Now revising the tail lights on the new Bentayga means that the new taillights are entirely on the tailgate which presents an interesting challenge when the tailgate goes up. Opening the tailgate is itself very tricky. There’s no immediately obvious tail gate popper at the back, not one even above the license plate. That’s because it’s hidden in the Bentley logo. You press the Bentley ‘B’ and then the tailgate opens automatically.
That’s just a really cool use of the logo to push it to have the tailgate open. But anyway with the tailgate open the taillights are completely gone in the back. They’re up to with the tailgate and so they’re not able to provide any lighting back here. That is against US government regulation that specifically says taillight’s brake lights cannot be on a piece of bodywork that moves like the tailgate. So Bentley had to come up with a solution. If they wanted the tail lights to be the ovals and that solution is the second set of taillights in the bumper. So, with brakes pressed, brake lights on the bumper are also illuminated. You open up the tailgate and you will see the brake lights jump from their original position to the second set of lights on the bumper and that way there will always be some tail lights illuminated at the back. No matter whether the tailgate is up or down.
The benefit of doing it this way is you can have your entire taillight on the tailgate. The drawback is you got to have two sets of tail lights but that’s what Bentley has done and it’s also what Audi does in their SUVs the Q7 and the Q5.
These new taillights create a wider look at the back. Bentley wanted the car to look and feel wider. Give it more presence on the road and they think this design has done just that. Even though the new Bentayga is not actually wider than the previous model.
In terms of cosmetic changes on the outside of the Bentayga, there’s more upfront one. The obvious one is the headlights. They are completely new. Headlights were revised again to look like the ones in the 2021 Bentley Flying Spur and the Continental GT. If you look closely you can see they’re like crystals. It’s a beautiful expensive car headlight look. It really does provide the characteristic support Bentley is going for here. You also have a wider grill and generally more definition with the body in front again to give this car sort of a more aggressive larger presence on the road.
Once again the front width doesn’t actually change but because of some stylistic changes and tweaks, Bentley is hoping that you think it just looks like it has more presence. And frankly, we think they’ve succeeded. It certainly does have more presence at least within the parameters of the Bentayga platform they were already working with.
By the way, the headlights, each of them has 48 individual LEDs inside of them. That’s a lot.
2021 Bentley Bentayga – The interiors
Before talking about the interiors of 2021 Bentley Bentayga, first, let’s talk about its key. When you buy a Bentayga you’re given three full-size keys. Two regular keys and the one valet key which doesn’t provide access to the cargo area although in an SUV that’s kind of moot because you could just climb back there. But nonetheless, that’s what you get. They are thick, full, heavy keys like you would expect for an ultra-luxury SUV. Now one cool thing with the keys. On the Bentayga key, there’s an image of a vehicle that looks like a Bentayga with the tailgate up. Of course, you press that and it opens the tailgate. Nothing interesting there. But the reason we mention it is, on the Continental GT key there’s an image of what looks like a Continental GT with the trunk up. Press that and it opens the trunk. They’ve actually created different pictures for each of their vehicles which is nice attention to detail. Again something you’d expect at this price point.
Now coming to its interior features
The updates for 21 are not just on the outside, there’s a lot of changes inside also. The biggest one is probably the new center screen. It’s an 11-inch touchscreen borrowed from the Flying Spur, the Continental GT, and from other high-end Volkswagen group models like Porsche. It’s sort of the center focal point in the interior. You also have a new digital gauge cluster. It’s a full screen in there instead of old-school gauges. Much more configurable than in the previous Bentayga model. One thing we love about the digital gauge or the digital instrument cluster is how it displays your speed and engine revs. It just looks very luxurious and very special. A lot of automakers are doing interesting things with speedometers and tachometers but this is one of the best.
The other big change in the interior worth noting is the climate vents right above the center control stack. In the past, it was two circles like on older Bentley models. Now, it’s a more distinctive design. This is intended to mimic the Bentley logo, the wings on the outside with the clock in the middle as the band. So that’s why it’s a little bit strangely shaped. It’s supposed to remind you that you’re in a Bentley even from your climate vents.
To start the Bentayga you press the start-stop button in the center. It’s the circle in the middle of the center console. You push that and it starts right up. The reason it’s a circle is that surrounding the start-stop button is your drive mode dial and you can twist the little dial to go from sport to Bentley mode to comfort to custom. The fact that the start-stop button is integrated into that drive mode area. That’s a pretty cool idea.
Now speaking of cool ideas, everyone always loved the gear selector in Bentley models. You have a traditional-looking gear lever. But the cool part comes when you want to put it in gear, you press the Bentley ‘B’ logo on top and that’s the button that lets you change through the different gears. Again a good integration of the Bentley logo. Right above the gear lever, you have the climate controls. Nothing particularly interesting or new here compared to the outgoing model. One thing we don’t like with the climate controls is that some buttons require additional steps. For example, if you want to turn on the heated seat, you push the heated seat button it doesn’t just turn them on. Instead, the heated seat menu comes on the center screen. The same deal with the cooled seat. You press the button and it doesn’t just turn on the cooled seats, the menu actually comes on.
Now if you ask about this to Bentley, they would reply to this and say well you can just put it in auto mode. That’s true this car doesn’t just have automatic climate control for the air coming out the vents but also for the seats to heated and cool. On a warm day, you turn on the auto cooled seat and it will cool the seat until it reaches your desired level of cool but this whole multi-step button process also continues with the direction of the airflow. You can press the airflow button and that doesn’t actually change the airflow instead again it pulls up a menu on the screen and then you can change it from there. It’s easy enough if you have everything in auto. It’s not really something you’ll deal with but if you want to manually change things it does add one step to each climate control process which can be kind of annoying.
The infotainment system.
Since the screen in Bentayga is new. It is excellent and tremendously responsive to the touch instantly just like a smartphone. Unlike in Audi models, you don’t have to like push down on the screen for it to recognize your commands. You can just tap like on your smartphone and it’s very responsive to everything you tap. It will pick it up basically instantly. It’s also very intuitive. Everything is organized in here pretty well.
There is a lot of stuff in this infotainment system and they have done a good job of making sure that everything is about where you’d expect it to be. One item worth noting here is the physical buttons just below it. You can use it to help control the infotainment system. For instance, if you want to go to Navigation, you don’t have to find it on the screen you can press NAV and it will take you there the same. Also deal with radio, media, and phone. Now Porsches also have a similar infotainment system but they don’t have the physical buttons. The Volkswagen group which controls all these brands must have realized that Bentley customers probably want button backups. They get a little bit more frustrated with technology.
Maybe Porsche customers don’t need that stuff but it’s nice to have in the Bentleys.
The Gauge cluster or the Digital Instrument Cluster (DIC) is a completely new full screen with a heads-up display. Another very high-tech piece in this Bentayga that helps bring it back into line with more modern rivals. A very competitive segment and you got to have a full-screen gauge cluster. Because everyone does a couple of cool things in here. It refers to the most recent trip odometer as short-term memory whereas the odometer that you can reset can measure longer distances that’s long-term memory instead of trip A and trip B. It kind of makes it more human-seeming which is sort of funny. It’s worth noting though Audi does the same thing in their gauge cluster.
The 2021 Bentley Bentayga now also has the full-screen gauge cluster map. You can have the map shown small right in front of you which is useful but you can also have it shown full screen and when you do, you will love the way the tachometer goes away the sort of fading out to show the map. Instead of having the map at the central infotainment screen, it is helpful to have it here on the DIC. It’s right in your field of vision. So you’re driving along you just look right down see where you’re going and look right back up without having to glance over at the center control stack and the infotainment screen. The gauge cluster screen is configurable also. For more than just the map you can also use it to see the radio, the current media you’re playing from your phone, your phone settings, calling someone, all that stuff. Right there in front of your eyes which is a nice place for it to be to minimize distraction.
The interior itself in here is a bit of a mixed bag. There’s a lot of plastic in the center console. You can see it all around the gear lever, the start-stop button, pretty much everywhere. Same deal in the center control stack and the wiper stocks. They’ve used a slightly nicer plastic around the steering wheel buttons but it’s still kind of cheap seeming plastic and it’s surprising to see that in there. Generally speaking, it is still a very nice interior and there are some really beautiful touches. Some nice materials, some things you won’t find in an Audi or a Porsche. But in terms of other Bentley models, it doesn’t quite feel as special in the new Bentayga.
The rear seat
At the back of the new 2021 Bentayga, the first thing you notice is a good interior room. You get a good amount of legroom and headroom. It is roomy in the back. It’s actually a little bigger than the previous model. So there’s even more rear-seat room than before. If for some reason you felt a little uncomfortable in the outgoing model, now there are a few interesting quirks worth noting at the back. One you will really like is the embroidered Bentley logo in the seats. You have those in the front seats as well but most automakers don’t translate that stuff to the back as well. When you pay $200,000 for a luxury SUV, you get embroidered B’s in the back seats too. You have two separate USB-C ports and a cigarette lighter style outlet in the center. So you can charge all your devices while you’re driving along and you don’t have to compromise and charge only one at a time like a lot of cars.
Undoubtedly the finest item in the back seat of the new Bentayga is the screen in the center. Bentley has given up on trying to get all of the rear seat controls into various buttons and switches. So rear passengers now get a screen which makes sense because there’s a lot to control. You have your climate controls on this screen. You can adjust the temperature of the fan speed for your rear seat, climate experience. You also have your heated seat controls. You press on that and you can turn on your heated seat just like on the screen up front. You also have your rear shade controls. You can use this screen to open or close the shade on the top of the ceiling, below the sunroof whether you want it open to experience the sun or completely closed, it’s all controllable on this screen.
The screen may seem far away to use for some persons. You have to reach down. It’s mounted very low where your feet are. Not a good place to mount the control screen. But there is a twist to it. Bentley has thought of that. Press the little eject button in the upper right corner of the screen and it pushes out towards you and then you can remove it. It’s actually just placed there on a magnet and then you can pick it up like a remote and use it to control all of these various functions without it being just integrated into the center console. So you can leave it there or you can pick it up, put it on your lap where it’s more convenient. When you’re done using it as a remote you can put the screen right back into its place. It will magnetize again and it will look like it was never removed in the first place. That is a pretty nifty trick.
2021 Bentley Bentayga – Cargo Space
Now the last thing that remains about the space of this luxury premium SUV is the Cargo. Now, moving on to the cargo area. In the new 2021 Bentley Bentayga, you can access the cargo space by pushing the Bentley ‘B’ and it opens right up. Bentayga has a fairly large cargo area with lots of room for stuff if you want to use your Bentayga to transport things. Interestingly what it doesn’t have is a third-row seat. This is also true for a lot of really high-end luxury SUVs. No third-row in the Range Rover, the Rolls Royce Cullinan, the Lamborghini Urus, and also the Bentayga. It’s only two rows.
One little bit disappointing thing is there’s no button that allows you to easily drop the second row of seats from the cargo area if you want to put larger items inside. A lot of luxury SUVs have a button like that so you can push it and easily drop the seats to put something huge in the back. But in the Bentayga you have to go around and manually fold the seats down. It’s true that not too many people actually load massive things into the back of a luxury SUV but whenever you do it and you have to fold the seats manually that’s really annoying. When you spend thousands of dollars and you have to get what other SUV nonpremium cars already have, that really disappoints.
One interesting quirk of the Bentayga cargo area. On the inside of the tailgate, there’s a little panel that is held on with the fastener. You undo it, open it up and nothing is in there. That is for the road hazard warning triangle. In Europe, it’s mandated that new vehicles must be sold with a road hazard triangle. So that’s where they put it. But in the United States, there is no such regulation. So instead, you just get an empty hidden space on the inside of your tailgate where you can stick stuff and no one will find it. It’s an interesting little spot.
2021 Bentley Bentayga – The final conclusion
One drawback about the Bentayga or one big criticism that it gets is that it comes from the Volkswagen Group family of luxury SUVs. All of which are relatively similar when you think about it. The Cayenne turbo, the Lamborghini Urus, and the Audi Q7 use this engine and the Panamera Turbo as well. Are they really feel the same? The answer is No.
They use the same engine in various states of tune of this powertrain. It kind of diminishes the specialness or the uniqueness of the vehicle. They all come from the same group and they use the same engine. 15 years ago all these brands were separate and they built their own separate stuff and now it’s getting a little bit more uniform. But aside from the powertrain use, they are pretty distinct when you get inside. The Bentayga does not feel that much like an Audi. The Cayenne does not feel that much like an Audi or a Bentayga. They do a pretty good job differentiating them but ultimately it is a lot of variations on the same platform and the same powertrain. So it’s sort of like picking which one of the Volkswagen group luxury performance SUVs fits into your budget that’s the one you go with.
Sitting in this car, driving and it’s so comfortable and so quiet. That’s one of the things you will like the most about it. They really have created a fantastic luxurious SUV. At this price range, you have two options Lamborghini Urus and the 2021 Bentley Bentayga. But they really do have a very different character. The Urus feels a lot more performance-oriented. On the other hand, this is definitely the luxury vehicle of the two. but it does come with the bonus of having real power. 0 to 60mph in four seconds is just unbelievable in a vehicle that’s this big.
Overall this is a great SUV. There are some pros and cons for sure. some people will say the styling is a bit of a drawback certainly the interior materials aren’t quite as nice as on some other Bentley models. In terms of benefits, it’s fast, it’s luxurious, and tremendously comfortable and the technology is dramatically better for the 21 model year. Bentayga is still a great ultra-luxury SUV if you’re into that sort of thing. It is a very competitive world and these changes really help Bentayga to stay near the top of that world.
The 2021 Bentley Bentayga is far more advanced than the outgoing model. Comfort is still excellent though not quite Rolls Royce Cullinan level. The interior of this SUV is very nice. Practicality is normal for a car like this. Value is only ok. These are great in so many ways fast and luxurious and now high tech but they’re also expensive, especially as more and more super SUVs float onto the scene we love the Bentayga.