Bentley Bentayga Belongs Off-Road (Video Review)

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Forget Rodeo Drive. The dirty stuff is where this Bentley shines best.

Who in their right mind would take a $278,370 Bentley Bentayga off-road? I think you would, dear TeamSpeed reader. I think anyone who feels free enough to spend $25,570 more than the U.S. Existing Home Median Sales Price is someone who feels free enough to take that level of luxury to a place where the dust flies like expletives in a dive bar.

2017 Bentley Bentayga

You currently exploit the limits of the weaponry in your automotive arsenal. Why wouldn’t you take one of these off-road?

So that’s what we did when Bentley handed us the keys to the 2017 Bentayga for a week. We hightailed it out of L.A. traffic, and into the vast, open spaces of Southern California’s El Mirage Dry Lake Off-Highway Recreation Area.

What did we learn? Hit the play button on the video above to find out, but read on to find out things I didn’t talk about in the video.

It Feels Faster Than a Nissan GT-R

With a naught-to-60 time of 3.5 seconds, the Bentley Bentayga is more than half a second slower to 60 than Godzilla, but thanks to the Bentayga’s soft air suspension, when you throw all 600 horses and 664 lb-ft of torque at the tires, the rear suspension squat amplifies the Bentley SUV’s already prodigious power. To feel that kind of movement in a 5,379-pound SUV is like harnessing the power of 12 Greek Gods strategically placed inside each of the Bentley’s 12 cylinders.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Nissan GT-R Premium Review

If you ever need a reminder that you’re a badass for buying a Bentayga, simply stomp on the accelerator and feel the Gods move Planet Earth’s orbit at your command.

How Can It Still Feel Like a Bentley Off-Road?

I’m unsure how Bentley has figured out how to make its off-roader feel like a first-class experience when the road conditions are third-world. My closest guess is that there are Greek Gods occupying air space inside the variable-height air springs, and perhaps there’s some divine intervention happening in the shock actuation. At any rate, this may be the most satisfying SUV to drive off-road.

What’s the Bentley Bentayga’s Downside?

In watching the video, you may have noticed my lack of criticizing the Bentley Bentayga. The reason I pointed out zero faults is because this is a zero-fault machine. Lots of folks in the media call this thing ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so that’s the automotive media’s fault. The rear fascia fails to excite me as much as other Bentleys, but I can’t call that a fault. I simply see that as an area for improvement. It would also be nice if Bentley offered a turn-key Dakar Rally-spec Bentayga, but that’s just me being ridiculous.

Lots of people have called the Bentley Bentayga too expensive, but if it were less expensive, it wouldn’t be a Bentley. A Bentayga isn’t hand-crafted with expense in mind, and the people buying these things shouldn’t have expense in mind, either.

CHECK OUT: What TeamSpeed Forum Members Have to Say About the Bentley Bentayga

Bentleys always have and always will be statements. Now that the super-luxury manufacturer from Crewe has an off-road offering, Bentley is simply giving its customers another place to make a statement, and what’s wrong with wanting to show off your success to the planet’s unpaved regions?

Video and Beach Photography via Manuel Carrillo III 
Desert Photography via Matt Eugenio

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