2023 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid Fails
【Summary】The 2023 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid falls short of expectations with its SUV design and lackluster exterior. However, the luxurious interior and efficient powertrain make up for it. The plug-in hybrid has an EPA-rated 20 mpg combined and can travel an estimated 23 miles on electric power alone. While the ride comfort and brake feel are disappointing, the optional Naim premium audio system impresses.
Telling your significant other that you're bringing home a quarter-million-dollar Bentley Bentayga Azure comes with certain expectations. The idea of gliding around in a luxurious machine sets plans into motion, from deciding where to dine to considering whether to invite friends along for the ride.
When the SUV arrives, it may or may not disappoint those who were expecting a more traditional Bentley experience. However, the dark Tungsten paint, blacked-out trim, and 22-inch black-painted wheels do take away from its allure.
Inside, the leather interior helps to make up for some of the disappointment. The well-padded seats and leather dashboard with pipe-organ air vent controls provide a luxurious feel. However, the engine note is rather ordinary, as this particular model is equipped with a 335-hp turbocharged V-6 engine that gets boosted to 456 hp with the help of a rear-axle-mounted electric motor.
While the hybrid powertrain does offer good fuel economy, with an EPA-rated 20 mpg combined and 23 miles of estimated all-electric range, the range may not be sufficient for daily use. In testing, the average range was 28 miles. Bentley may increase the range in the future by using a larger battery.
The Bentayga Hybrid performs well on gasoline alone, averaging 23 mpg over a 1454-mile span of mixed driving. It can also reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in 13.0 seconds at 107 mph. The EV mode has a top speed of 83 mph, but it can reach higher speeds when necessary.
Compared to the V-8-powered Bentayga S, the hybrid model is slightly slower off the line but still offers impressive acceleration. The hybrid's ride comfort, however, is a letdown. It is not as smooth as expected and falls short of the Bentley experience.
The Bentayga Hybrid corners well and has good grip, thanks to its active anti-roll bars. However, braking distances are longer compared to the lighter Bentayga S. The hybrid's regenerative braking system contributes to energy recapturing, but the brake feel is somewhat vague and inconsistent.
One standout feature of the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is the optional Naim premium audio system, which delivers exquisite sound through 20 speakers and 1780 watts of amplification. The audio environment is impressive and lives up to Bentley's expectations.
In the end, the Bentayga Hybrid falls short of the wide-ranging expectations that come with the Bentley name. The ride comfort and overall driving experience are not exceptional. However, the powertrain performs well and offers good fuel efficiency. Despite its shortcomings, the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid still delivers a luxurious and enjoyable driving experience.
- Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear-motor, rear/all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
- Price: Base/As Tested: $234,450/$273,095
- Powertrain: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter V-6, 335 hp, 332 lb-ft + AC motor, 134 hp, 295 lb-ft (combined output: 456 hp, 516 lb-ft; 14.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 7.2-kW onboard charger)
- Transmissions, F/R: 8-speed automatic/direct-drive
- Suspension, F/R: multilink/multilink
- Brakes, F/R: 15.8-in vented disc/15.0-in vented disc
- Tires: Pirelli P Zero 285/40ZR-22 (110Y) Extra Load B1
- Dimensions: Wheelbase: 117.9 in, Length: 201.8 in, Width: 79.1 in, Height: 67.3 in
- C/D Test Results: 60 mph: 4.5 sec, 100 mph: 11.2 sec, 1/4-Mile: 13.0 sec @ 107 mph, 130 mph: 20.2 sec, Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.4 sec, Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.8 sec, Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.5 sec, Top Speed (gov ltd): 158 mph, Braking, 70–0 mph: 168 ft, Braking, 100–0 mph: 339 ft, Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.86 g
- C/D Fuel Economy: Observed Gasoline: 23 mpg, Observed Gasoline + Electricity: 25 MPGe, Percentage of Miles Driven on Electricity: 13, EPA FUEL ECONOMY: Combined/City/Highway: 20/18/24 mpg, Combined Gasoline + Electricity: 47 MPGe, EV Range: 23 mi
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