It was a beautiful September morning in Alpharetta where a private driving experience was set to take place as Bentley owners from all over the Southeast came to get their first look and feel of the 2019 Bentley Bentayga V8.

This is a 542 horsepower SUV vs. 600 horsepower on the V12 (it’s also 500 lbs. lighter in weight). When the Bentayga first came out, it had all of the off-road settings comparable to a Range Rover. In 2018, they came out with an option to get rid of the off-road settings and brought the base price down from $229K to $199K. It’s still an AWD vehicle but, some of the settings have changed. The base price on the V8 is $165K before you start adding packages and checking boxes on the list of options. The Bentley line hasn’t offered a model under $200K in quite a while but I can tell you first hand, it is still 100% a Bentley. From the paint options to the leather, it still oozes that one-of-a-kind European luxury.

As I pulled up to a vehicle at a traffic light, an indicator flashed on the dashboard called “Safeguard.” When the car feels like you’re not paying attention, it will hard brake for you. So as I eased up to the car in front of me, the light came on and the car made a hard stop. Safeguard is one on a very extensive list of options for the Bentayga V8.

The “Heads Up” display is another cool option that’s available. Looking out into the ether (into the windshield and right above the dashboard) you can see not only the speed you’re driving but the actual speed limit. It has cameras that activate sensors all over the vehicle that allow it to read the speed limit wherever you are. No more excuses when you get pulled over.

Cricket Ball Metallic is the name of the paint that was on the test vehicle I drove. The walnut-like glimmer was complimented by the black front fascia which is a step away from the usual chrome. There were carbon fiber and traditional veneers in the cockpit with chrome accents to boot. The interior looks like a masterpiece. Just gazing at the interior before entering was akin to a first-glance at the “Crucifixion” by Pablo Picasso. It was truly a work of art.

Bentley Bentayga V8 Interior

Size-wise, its only competition is a Range Rover. Performance-wise, the closest competition is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. They sport the same chassis but, it’s a much smaller cockpit interior-wise on the Cayenne.  But the Bentayga has the drive of a Continental GT, smoothness of a Flying Spur, and then you have the utility aspect. So you’re really driving three vehicles in one.

The steering is as effortless as you would hope to maneuver 6,000 pounds of luxury. The engine is quiet, the ride is smooth, and you won’t even notice that 58-hp you’re missing from the V-12 model.

One thing I’ve noticed with Bentley is that the Bentayga is the one model you’ll see around town as a daily driver. While the convertibles and sedans are known for Sunday Strolls and black-tie affairs, the Bentayga can be seen at Lenox Mall, the Shoppes of Buckhead, and your local Publix. A true daily driver.

The Bentley Bentayga V8

For more information on the new Bentayga V8 (which is available now), contact Greg Mabry at Bentley Atlanta (678) 534-7469.

-Jon J.

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