Smart move for big

selling Bentley

Bentley Bentayga, woodland shot 1
Bentley Bentayga, muddy detail
Bentley Bentayga, woodland shot 2
Bentley Bentayga, water
Bentley Bentayga, water wide
Bentley Bentayga, action front 2
Bentley Bentayga, action front
Bentley Bentayga, front seats
Bentley Bentayga, dashboard
Bentley Bentayga, dash detail
Bentley Bentayga, action rear
Bentley Bentayga, rear seats

THE ducks, dozens of them sitting in a field, weren't much interested as the trio of Bentleys whispered past and headed for the lake our web-footed friends call home.

There may have been a bit more interest as the Bentayga brigade swung hard left and entered the water - not the normal sort of thing expected of cars that start out at nearly £150,000 a pop and end up much more as the extras' list is ticked.

But the Bentayga - Bentley's foray into the super-SUV niche - was built for this sort of treatment, even if the wettest most will ever get is wading through puddles on their masters' grouse moors as they go in search of a roast dinner.

The day before these cars' partial immersion the lake had been around as deep as you'd want to expose a Bentayga's coachbuilt flanks to. But it had been raining all night, so fingers were crossed as the appropriate off-road setting was selected on the switch down by the driver's seat.

There was, of course, no problem at all. The lead car was occupied by a proper off-road master and all he asked was 'about 4mph' as the two amateur off-roaders behind slipped from bank to lake bed. With a modest bow wave we were through and soon drying off on the other side.

The aqueous assault came as part of a drive in the recently updated Bentayga, a model introduced in 2016 as the first of the super pricy SUVs (since joined by Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and Aston Martin) and accounting for around half the cars coming off the (slow and measured) production lines in Crewe.

Much of what you can't see in the latest Bentayga remains unchanged, with the original 542bhp 4.0 litre V8 petrol engine continuing as the only powerplant offered at the moment. A plug-in hybrid version is on the way and a still more powerful 12-cylinder Bentayga Speed is offered in some world markets.

You may well find 542bhp more than sufficient, pulling this big and heavy (2416kg) car up to a 180mph top speed and to 60mph in a mere 4.4 seconds. So yes, it's thirsty, with an official combined figure of 21.2mpg, and 302g/km of tailpipe emissions.

Of more interest to a likely owner (who will have an average of eight other cars in his motoring stable) is the driving range of 397 miles before he/she has to pull into a filling station and rejoin the rest of the world, if but for a moment or two.

What probably did need changing from Bentayga Mark 1 was the looks. The Bentayga was too bluff for its own good, lacking the sense of haute couture needed in something so obviously built to impress from the kerbside.

Inside, there are new seats, helping increase more leg room in the rear of a cabin never short of stretching room in the first place. A new infotainment system takes in a 10.9ins screen with a sharper look and with wireless Apple CarPlay now standard, along with Android Auto.

More techie changes include pushing the rear wheels 20mm apart, improving the way the car looks and takes a corner - and windscreen wipers with 22 heated washer jets in each arm.

But hang the practicalities; a Bentayga owner might take them for granted as he/she drools over the myriad ways their particular car can be made to feel even more special.

Upgrade to First Edition spec, for instance, and the £31,820 extra on the bottom line brings touches like mood lighting, a Naim audio upgrade, deep pile overmats and enough mentions of 'First Edition' on the outside of the car, treadplates as you open the doors and embroidered emblems on upholstery to let your friends know you're driving something a bit fancy.

Even the ducks might have noticed as this Bentayga headed for the water.

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