Premium SUVs from BMW, Lincoln, Cadillac, and Mercedes-Benz offer plenty of comfort and convenience but don’t serve up luxury like the 2022 Bentley Bentayga. With either a V-8 or W-12 engine under the hood, the Bentayga has the muscle for sustained high-speed cross-country touring. And behind its rear seat is a cargo hold with enough square footage for a high-speed shopping spree. The posh cabin is lined with supple, aromatic leather, gorgeous wood-and-metal accents, and every modern infotainment feature buyers expect of a cutting-edge motorcar. The Bentayga’s class-above intentions—and six-figure price tag—put it into competition with the equally princely Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
What’s New for 2022?
A sporty-looking S model joins the range for 2022 that incorporates many of the top-end Speed model’s design cues but is powered by the 542-hp V-8 that serves as the Bentayga’s base engine. A sport-tuned suspension, 22-inch wheels, and a sport exhaust system give the S model an edge over the base V-8 trim. Elsewhere in the lineup, a set of carbon fiber rims is a new standalone option through the Mulliner personalization program; the plug-in hybrid powertrain will skip the 2022 model year and return for 2023.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Since the Bentayga’s 443-hp hybrid powertrain is on hiatus for the 2022 model year, the 542-hp twin-turbo V-8 is the entry-level engine. The Bentayga Speed ups the ante with a 626-hp W-12. Back in 2017, when the Speed made 600 ponies, this supersmooth powerhouse delivered a 3.6-second result in our 60-mph test. The W-12’s power delivery is creamier than the V-8’s, and its performance felt more robust during passing maneuvers. Bentley claims that the Bentayga Speed, with a claimed top speed of 190 mph, is the fastest SUV in the world (although the Lamborghini Urus might have something to say about that). Regardless of what’s under the hood, all Bentaygas utilize an eight-speed automatic transmission and come standard with all-wheel drive.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Filled with rich-smelling leathers, real wood trim, and glitzy metal accents, the Bentayga’s cabin stays true to its luxury branding. Bentley allows buyers to customize just about everything. Buyers can opt for front and rear buckets, seating four, or they can select a three-across second-row bench and a pop-up two-seat third row to seat seven. While the rear seat doesn’t feel as lavish as that of the Bentayga’s key rival—the Rolls-Royce Cullinan —it still offers plenty of space for passengers to stretch out. Several different colors of leather upholstery are available, as are two different mother-of-pearl-faced Breitling dash clocks, a bottle cooler for rear-seat passengers, adjustable ambient interior lighting, and even a safe with a biometric lock and fingerprint reader. The Bentayga’s cargo area is generous, at least in two-row versions; we were able to fit nine carry-on suitcases back there.