2020 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid first drive review: One posh plug-in

    For lots of people, shopping for a hybrid or EV is as a lot about saving gas as it’s about making a press release. Coincidentally, that need to flaunt can be what will get many well-heeled consumers behind the wheel of a Bentley. So it is a good factor, then, that Bentley will quickly supply electrified variations of all its autos, beginning with the 2020 Bentayga Hybrid you see right here. The Bentayga is already Bentley’s hottest mannequin, and the least-expensive option to get a automobile with a Flying B on its nostril. In truth, the Hybrid makes the world of Bentley much more accessible. At a still-lofty $156,900, or $8,100 lower than a Bentayga V8, it is the corporate’s lowest-priced providing.
    But that does not imply the Hybrid skimps on luxurious; open the door and also you’re greeted to the identical cabin as each different Bentayga. The SUV’s inside will be as monochromatic or wildly vibrant as you would like, with myriad leathers, metals and veneers to select from. There’s an actual sense of event to all Bentley interiors, and this least-expensive Bentayga isn’t any completely different. Every final sew of the diamond-quilted leather-based appears to be like as beautiful right here because it does in a $400,000 Mulsanne. Everything from the flip sign stalks to the air vent plungers have a satisfying really feel to their motion, and the cabin is as snug as it’s quiet.My solely beef with the Bentayga’s inside is on the tech entrance. While the 2020 Continental GT will get a beautiful, Bentley-skinned model of Porsche’s Communication Management multimedia system on a 12.3-inch touchscreen, the Bentayga makes use of a glorified model of Volkswagen’s older infotainment interface, on a smaller, lower-resolution, 8-inch show. The system is considerably simple to make use of — principally as a result of it would not supply a ton of performance — and Apple CarPlay is included, although Android customers are as soon as once more not noted within the chilly. Thankfully, Bentley’s smartphone app has a variety of hybrid-specific providers, together with distant charging, cabin preconditioning and a charging station locator. The Bentayga would not get the Continental’s absolutely digital gauge cluster, both, as an alternative counting on a set tachometer and speedometer, with a low-res readout between them. The gauges themselves look advantageous, with fancy Bentley fonts, and within the Hybrid, there’s even an analog gauge for the battery’s state of cost. Still, it is type of laughable that you may get higher behind-the-wheel tech in a sub-$30,000 Volkswagen Jetta.
    Richard Pardon/Bentley
    Because the electrical drivetrain’s battery pack is housed beneath the prevailing cargo ground, the Hybrid would not lose any baggage house in comparison with different Bentayga fashions (17.1 cubic ft with the rear seats up). However, you possibly can’t spec the Hybrid with the Bentayga’s optionally available third row of seats, which might be advantageous, since they’re principally ineffective.Outside, you will solely be capable of spot a Bentayga Hybrid due to its discreet badges on the doorways and liftgate, and the motive force’s facet charging port door. I personally discover this SUV to be a fairly homely factor no matter powertrain, however consumers can relaxation assured understanding the Bentayga’s full roster of coloration and wheel choices can be found on the Hybrid, with limitless prospects to be present in Bentley’s customized Mulliner assortment.The Bentayga Hybrid makes use of a 17.3-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which will be recharged from a Level 2 (240-volt) outlet in 2.5 hours, or 7.5 hours from a normal wall plug. Completely topped off, it offers the Bentayga Hybrid simply 16 miles of electrical driving vary, and affords supplemental torque for acceleration.Under the hood, you will discover a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 engine paired with a 94-kilowatt electrical motor. The engine is a model of the brand new V6 used within the Audi A6, A7 and A8, making 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Add within the oomph from the electrical motor, and complete system output is 443 horsepower and 516 pound-feet. Those are substantial numbers, make no mistake, however nonetheless 99 horsepower and 52 pound-feet shy of what you get within the Bentayga V8. And as a result of the Hybrid has some additional 525 kilos to lug round — this can be a 5,789-pound SUV — it is fairly a bit slower. Bentley estimates the Hybrid will speed up to 60 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds, or 0.8 seconds slower than the Bentayga V8.
    Richard Pardon/Bentley
    Of course, if you wish to benefit from the Bentayga Hybrid’s electrical vary, 0-60 runs are out of the query. Driving round Palo Alto, California within the Hybrid’s EV mode, it is simple to modulate the throttle to maintain tempo in site visitors with out sacrificing too many electrons. You can run the Bentayga in EV mode at speeds as much as 84 mph, however do not anticipate to get wherever close to the total 16 miles of electrical vary whereas doing so.In the default Hybrid drive mode, the Bentayga makes use of the electrical motor and gasoline engine concurrently, switching them on and off as wanted. You do not actually hear or really feel the transition when the V6 wakes up — it is a {smooth} motion, and the Bentayga’s hushed cabin retains a lot of the engine’s noise outdoors, the place it belongs. Hybrid mode additionally lets you coast on the freeway — take your foot off the gasoline and the Bentayga’s engine will shut off, which is a good way to avoid wasting gas at sooner speeds.Speaking of saving, the Bentayga Hybrid has a Hold mode, which runs the engine and electrical motor on the similar time, however preserves the battery’s state of cost. You may drive on the freeway in Hold mode and change to EV whenever you’re slogging by way of site visitors within the metropolis. This is probably going the easiest way to drive the Bentayga most effectively.Official gas financial system knowledge is not out there simply but, however Bentley estimates the Bentayga Hybrid will return 50 miles per gallon equal (MPGe) mixed. For reference, the equally sized Volvo XC90 T8 — which is lighter, but additionally much less highly effective — is rated at 58 MPGe mixed.
    Richard Pardon/Bentley
    Slogging by way of site visitors in Silicon Valley, the Hybrid is a silky-smooth operator. The suspension does a advantageous job of ironing out highway imperfections, so the journey high quality is all the time pretty, even on my tester’s enormous, 22-inch wheels. The steering is fairly devoid of suggestions, however properly weighted for each in-town driving and freeway cruising. You’ll barely really feel a shift from the eight-speed automated transmission, and braking energy is ample and straightforward to modulate.Get the SUV out on nation roads, and you may actually really feel the added heft — not that the Bentayga is a featherweight to start with. The steering would not all the time precisely translate the car’s weight to the motive force, although Bentley’s optionally available 48-volt antiroll tech retains the massive SUV good and flat whereas cornering. The plug-in Bentayga is not as enjoyable to drive because the V8- or W12-powered fashions; this Bentley is at its finest whereas cruising. If you need an electrified luxurious SUV that is really rewarding to drive, purchase a Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid.But in typical Bentley Bentayga driving situations — traversing tree-lined roads close to Greenwich, Connecticut; looking for parking at The Grove — the Hybrid affords an opulent, cosetting expertise. Bentley expects the V8 mannequin will proceed to account for the lion’s share of Bentayga gross sales, however in case you do not want a lot muscle together with your hustle, the less-expensive plug-in affords a satisfying expertise, and provides you entry to these up-front hybrid parking areas, too.
    Richard Pardon/Bentley
    Editors’ notice: Travel prices associated to this function have been coated by the producer. This is widespread within the auto business, as it is extra economical to ship journalists to vehicles than to ship vehicles to journalists. While Roadshow accepts multi-day car loans from producers with a purpose to present scored editorial critiques, all scored car critiques are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases.The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial crew are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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