Bentley Bentayga

Centenary Edition

Bentley Bentayga Centenary Edition, 2019, front
Bentley Bentayga Centenary Edition, 2019, nose
Bentley Bentayga Centenary Edition, 2019, side
Bentley Bentayga Centenary Edition, 2019, rear seats
Bentley Bentayga Centenary Edition, 2019, interior screens
Bentley Bentayga Centenary Edition, 2019, rear
Bentley Bentayga Centenary Edition, 2019, headlights
Bentley Bentayga, dashboard

THE indicators on the Bentayga - Bentley's big SUV - are strikingly akin to those on the MINI, but there, I have to say, the similarity ends.

This big boy is the epitome of luxury, a drive and a ride that oozes comfort, speed and athleticism as opposed to the go-kart feel of the much smaller but nevertheless fun MINI.

It is a sophisticated and smooth motor with all the design features and cues that mark it out as an upmarket - and expensive - car

Bentley celebrates its centenary this year and to recognise the occasion the car I am driving has the years etched on the sills, 1919 to 2019, with bonnet, boot and wheel centre badges all in Centenary Gold. Very nice.

It is also a timely reminder of the incredible British craftsmanship that goes into each and every car leaving the Crewe factory, the hand finished work and the patience of the men and women who build these cars.

This one on my doorstep comes with the Mulliner driving spec - 22in black painted and polished wheels, drilled sports pedals sporting the B for Bentley - even the caps on the tyre valves have the B - and chrome side vents.

The massive and distinctive Bentley front grille adds a masterly feel to the vehicle with chrome roof bars on the top and quad exhausts to the rear.

Inside the dream continues with cream diamond quilted leather embroidered with the Bentley logo, high polish walnut finish and contrasting grey leather on the doors. The analogue clock and retro circular air vents all add to the timeless elegance of this vehicle.

I particularly liked the suede Mulliner cushions on the rear seats in contrast with the high tech screens fitted on the back of the front seats - they'll keep the kids quiet on a long journey.

The boot is enormous and indeed this car can be fitted with four, five or even seven seats.

But Bentleys are not all about looks. Their heritage goes right back to the racetracks and today's car continues that lineage.

It carries a 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine pumping out 550ps which is a lot of car to have under your hands. It will get to 100mph in just 9.9 seconds and hit the 60mph mark in only 4.4 seconds.

It comes with a full suite of driver assistance systems and is a true SUV with off-road mode, snow capability, rocks, mud and it can also be driven in sport mode, comfort mode, customised to your individual taste or, the default, the Bentley dynamic mode.

The tech is equally impressive with an 8in colour touchscreen, gesture control, sat nav, DAB with digital TV as an option. There is text and voice recognition in 30 languages, Wi-Fi and a remote for rear cabin control (not to be given to the kids).

As I drive along high above the road in my armchair of a seat I am totally at ease and loving the journey. Every need is fulfilled by buttons and dials close at hand. It makes everything so easy.

FAST FACTS

Bentley Bentayga Centenary Edition

Price: £136,200

Mechanical: 550ps, 3,998cc, 8cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 180mph

0-62mph: 4.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 21.7

Insurance Group: 50

C02 emissions: 296g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 99,999 miles

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