Skip advert
Advertisement

Bentley Bentayga EWB 2022 review – a new Mulsanne?

Long wheelbase Bentagya has Range Rover and Rolls-Royce in its sights with its take on luxury motoring.

Evo rating
  • Interior space and comfort everything you’d expect and more
  • Not as special as the Mulsanne it’s meant to replace

There are quite a few numbers to go with Bentley’s new long wheelbase Bentayga (EWB in Bentley speak). There’s the 180mm that’s been added to the standard car’s wheelbase, all of it to the benefit of rear seat passengers. Then there are the 27 billion different combinations of colour and trim (yes really), and the 45 per cent of all Bentayga sales predicted to be EWB models. Forty per cent of all Bentleys sold are Bentaygas, with 80 per cent used daily and 74 per cent in the city – not sure that’s something to shout about until Bentley’s five EVs arrive between 2025 and 2030. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

There’s more. Such as the 2,500 individual new parts that go into making a longer Bentayga, and the nine-figure investment that was required for the new underbody, upgrades to the Crewe production facility (a longer Bentayga wouldn’t fit on the current Bentayga line without some serious modifications) and a new paint facility. But this is an important car for Bentley, replacing the Mulsanne for many customers as their limo, who have asked for this rather than a Flying Spur with more leg room. And, of course, you need to remember that China likes a long wheelbase and it also loves an SUV, so the business case makes further sense. 

Skip advert
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

With the firm’s twelve-cylinder engine only available in Bentayga Speed models, itself only available in certain markets, EWB Bentaygas will only be available with the 542bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine at launch, but expect a plug-in hybrid variant to come soon after that could see the V8 hybrid powertrain from Porsche’s Panamera finally debut in a model outside of Stuttgart. 

The additional length in the wheelbase adds just over 100kg to the Bentayga’s kerb weight, tipping the scales at a hefty 2514kg, which isn’t far off the W12. Rear wheel steering is added to the benefit of agility and improves the turning circle by 0.6-metres compared to the short wheelbase model. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Step into the rear (where else are you going to go first?) and slide into the optional Airline seat with its 22 way adjustments, auto climate and posture control, and it’s easy to lose yourself in its myriad of functions. It’s quite a remarkable piece of tech that will measure your body temperature, how you are sitting (and fidgeting) and adjust the seat bolsters and massage function accordingly along with the temperature. It’s enough to send the most cynical of hacks to sleep within a few miles… 

With more headroom than a Range Rover, and more cabin space than a Rolls-Royce Cullinan the stadium seating layout provides an air of luxury few can match. Although with your seat reclined to its extreme, the footrest can prevent you from a full extension of your legs. I know, first world problems. 

It’s not as smooth as you might expect when sat in the rear seat, with small vibrations making their way through the floor and sending a tingle through the soles of your feet. And the Bentayga’s weight, like so many of its rivals, means its air springs and dampers always feel they are reaching their limit when you’re expecting calmness. It’s beautifully serene, but a Mulsanne did it better and I find a Flying Spur’s rear cabin more calming and bespoke. But if I had to be driven in a car from this class I’d be hard pushed to walk away from the Crewe built car. 

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

From the driver’s seat it’s the regular Bentagya fare. Again you notice the heft, more so in the Bentley than a Range Rover, because the former is better tied down and has less slack in its ride and body control. It means you run at a higher pace without feeling all at sea, but this does take an edge off its goal as it struggles to find a blend between comfort and dynamics. 

The rear steering improves high speed stability and over crests, and poor cambers it’s incredibly settled for a car that’s nearly five and half metres long. The additional weight dulls the engine’s performance, not that a customer will care or notice such things. 

Price and rivals

Initially available in Azure First Edition trim, the Bentayga EWB doesn’t come cheap at £211,000 before options. The entry point model is expected to carry a 20 percent premium over its £162,500 short wheelbase equivalent, but we live in a world where the average cost of a new Bentley is £213,000, so this isn’t likely to matter. 

The new long-wheelbase Range Rover is an obvious rival that perhaps lacks some of the Bentayga’s opulence, although replaces it with a more contemporary look and feel, especially in its latest generation. An equivalent V8-powered Long wheelbase model will cost from around £140,000, but for the full luxury experience Range Rover’s £180,000 SV model is the key rival.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Lotus Elise S2 v Toyota MR2 Mk3 v Porsche Boxster S 987: The best affordable mid-engined sports cars
Used mid-engined bargains
Group tests

Lotus Elise S2 v Toyota MR2 Mk3 v Porsche Boxster S 987: The best affordable mid-engined sports cars

Everyone should own a mid-engined car at least once in their life, and the S2 Elise, Mk3 MR2 and 987 Boxster S are brilliant places to start
15 Jun 2024
McLaren Artura Spider 2024 review – Ferrari 296 rival just got a whole lot better
McLaren Artura Spider
Reviews

McLaren Artura Spider 2024 review – Ferrari 296 rival just got a whole lot better

More power, comprehensive chassis updates and a new Spider model has resulted in McLaren’s Artura being impossible to ignore for those in the junior s…
16 Jun 2024
Ferrari F430 v Lamborghini Gallardo v McLaren 650S v Audi R8: The best used mid-engined supercars
Affordable mid engined exotics
Group tests

Ferrari F430 v Lamborghini Gallardo v McLaren 650S v Audi R8: The best used mid-engined supercars

For most of us, owning a mid-engined supercar is the ultimate. And because of the numbers built in the last 20 years, the dream is more attainable tha…
16 Jun 2024