2017 Bentley Bentayga

2017 Bentley Bentayga

Episode 3708
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

We’re not sure which is harder to take; the fact that Bentley is actually selling an SUV, or the fact that it will have tremendous impact on the brand. That has clearly been the case with other luxury makes, where what first appears to be a niche, quickly turns into their best-selling model. So, let’s check out Bentley’s new star, the Bentayga.

The 2017 Bentley Bentayga is certainly one of the most exclusive SUVs money can buy for now; and arrived with perfect timing, with the economy pointing up and luxury consumers once again over- consuming.

But, Bentley did have some help in this momentous effort. The Bentayga’s basic architecture is parent Volkswagen’s MLB platform, which also carries Porsche’s Panamera and Audi’s Q7. However, the Bentayga is more massive than both, at almost 17-feet long.

With that, traditional Bentley lines abound, and seem to translate much better in person, than with any of the prototypes seen on auto show floors.

Both the structure and body panels are mostly aluminum, with steel used only where necessary for crash protection.

On road, that translates to a big SUV that feels thankfully like a much smaller one, as the Bentayga does an amazing job of keeping its composure no matter the speeds or curve radius. All the serenity of prior Bentleys remains fully intact, with perhaps only some minor wind noise a reminder that you’re now in a much squarer box. 

A 48-volt electrical system was needed for the Bentley Dynamic Ride electronically controlled, continuously damped, self-leveling air suspension with active anti-roll bars. Set the drive mode to “Bentley” to experience how Bentley engineers would have set up the ride back in the days when only speedy posh was required.  Simply dial in Comfort or Sport for its full range of capabilities. Or, come up with your own custom setting. As with all Bentleys, the options are limitless. 

Standard is an all-new 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 that not only has the increased output of 600-horsepower and 664 lb-ft. of torque, but it weighs significantly less than the previous 6.0-liter. And after spending some wide open throttle time behind the wheel, it’s even smoother and quieter than before.

All-wheel-drive is another standard, as is the expected ZF 8-speed automatic; towing capacity is 7,700-lbs.   

And to round out the impressive facts and figures, we hit 60 in 4.0-seconds flat and cleared the ¼-mile in 12.3 at 116 miles-per-hour.

It pulls like an EV off the line, with a gentlemanly showing of great power and abundant traction; making for the smoothest 12-second trip we’ve ever taken down the strip.  

Whether you’re dodging commoners or simply darting through cones as we were, you’ll find steering is a little slow, and this truck’s weight really becomes evident here; but the suspension tightens up nicely, and there’s a solid amount of grip. 

Inside, as you might expect, Bentayga’s gorgeous cabin defines extreme comfort, luxury, style, and craftsmanship, notably the extremely precise and exquisite wood work that abounds.

There are of course many other traditional trinkets to impress, like organ stops for the circular vents, and posh, quilted seats that you comfortably sit on top of, not sink down in. 

Rear seat room is very comfy and spacious as well, along with a reasonable 17.1 cubic feet of custom luggage space behind it.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 12-City, 19-Highway, and 15-Combined. Our average came in better than expected at 18.1 miles-per-gallon of Premium. Put there’s still a very poor Energy Impact Score of 22.0-barrels of yearly oil use with C02 emissions of 9.9-tons.

Of course, you can expect a hefty price tag as well for this heavy hauler; and if you guessed $235,525, you it hit exactly. Is it worth $150,000 over a Q7 or a Cayenne? Well, if you’ve got the spare cash, why not?

Bentley initially resisted the SUV urge. Now that they’re all in, the 2017 Bentley Bentayga may just be the most prestigious rolling status symbol in recent memory. And due to early orders, Bentley has already upgraded their projected sales figures. Best news of all, it’s very well done, and has ushered in a whole new era for Bentley and for luxury SUVs. 

Specifications

  • Engine: 6.0 liter
  • Horsepower: 600
  • Torque: 664 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 12.3 seconds @ 116 mph
  • EPA: 12 mpg city / 19 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 22.0 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 9.9 tons/yr
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles