Hyper-luxury SUVs are still big business, and as Bentley watches its flanks with the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and upcoming Aston Martin DBX, it’s time for the brand’s Bentayga SUV to get a substantial update. On Tuesday, Bentley announced such a refresh. Major exterior changes at both ends define the 2021 Bentley Bentayga from its predecessor. Apart from the styling changes, this updated model gets some subtle interior tweaks, including more breathing room for rear-seat passengers.
In the styling department, the 2021 Bentley Bentayga has a more pronounced grille at the front, along with bigger bumpers and redesigned headlights. As with the Continental GT and the Flying Spur, the Bentayga’s front end update is fairly subtle, but the new model’s elliptical headlights now have two distinct assemblies, rather than just an LED ring adjacent to the main beams.
Inside, the changes are more subtle, but the biggest change is a larger infotainment screen. Now you get a 10.9-inch display in the center stack, and the system supports wireless Apple CarPlay functionality. More modern USB-C charging ports, wireless smartphone charging and an embedded SIM for a constant data connection.
More rear seat room
Fortunately, passengers in the 2021 Bentley Bentayga will have a more comfortable ride as well. The rear seat legroom has improved, as Bentley took the opportunity to redesign the framework. The automaker says all the seats now have a “more sculpted shape” as well, especially around the shoulder area. In the four-seat Bentayga model with rear captain’s chairs, kneeroom has gone up by 1.2 inches when the seats are upright. When they’re reclined, that improves once more to an extra 3.9 inches over the outgoing model.
As before, you can still get the Bentayga in either two-row, five-seat or three-row, seven-seat configurations. With the most practical option, Bentley is aiming its luxury flagship at the Mercedes-Benz GLS, as all its other competitors only offer five seats.
Minor powertrain tweaks
Underneath, the structure of the 2021 Bentley Bentayga hasn’t radically shifted from the old car. You still get a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine with 542 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. However, a W12-powered “Speed” model is in the works, as is a 3.0-liter V6 hybrid version, which Bentley promises will be its most fuel efficient model to date. Mind you, with big V8s and W12s to compete against, that shouldn’t be a huge hurdle to clear.
The new model does have a slightly wider rear track (0.8 inches) than before, but that’s the only noteworthy mechanical change from the pre-facelift model.
As for the on-sale date, the 2021 Bentley Bentayga will be available later this year. Bentley has yet to announce full pricing, but we certainly don’t expect it to get less expensive than the outgoing model’s $168,300 starting price.