Plug-in hybrids are on the advance. Also because the state makes them cheaper as a company car: As a monetary benefit, the user only pays 0.5 percent instead of one percent of the list price. It's at B entayga not too short, the savings accordingly. But is the new SUV variant also good for saving fuel?
From the outside, its alternative drive can hardly be seen. A second fuel filler flap on the left-hand side for charging the 13 kilowatt-hour battery is one of the biggest anomalies - alongside the hybrid lettering on the rear and side.
From massage to silent driving
The front is majestic as usual, with a large grill and four round headlights. Apart from the large plastic lid including the hybrid lettering, nothing can be seen under the bonnet. Thanks to the SUV-typical height, entry is comfortable and the seats give the feeling that they will not be the limiting factor on the next tour. At the front, the furniture can not only heat and cool, but also massage the passengers in the most pleasant way.
The passengers in the second row enjoy ample leg and headroom - without having to relinquish power over the infotainment center. With the help of a smartphone-sized control element, you can operate all elements from the rear and even display the current driving data such as the speed. The front fittings correspond to those of the other Bentayga models. With one exception: the six o'clock position of the driving mode switch reads 'EV-Mode'. A total of three electric modes are available: Hybrid, Hold and EV. The latter forces thatLuxury SUVs can be driven electrically up to a speed of 120 kilometers per hour, i.e. locally emission-free. That also works very well. Not like other manufacturers who wake up the combustion engine with a little too much gas. The Bentayga's 3.0 liter V6 continues to sleep in peace. And while with other hybrids, after the engine noise has ceased, wind and driving noises come to the fore, there is silence in the Bentayga.
50 kilometers purely electric - theoretically
The hybrid mode, which is automatically activated after each start-up process, takes what it currently needs. It elicits the power from the battery when gliding comfortably or at the quiet start of traffic lights as well as when maneuvering backwards. If things get a little faster, or if the battery is sucked empty, the combustion engine switches on. In hold mode, the petrol engine is primarily used to 'hold' the battery capacity. A total of 50 kilometers should be able to be experienced purely electrically. In the first practical use, however, it has been shown that this range can only be achieved with great reluctance. The EV range displayed on the on-board computer drops too quickly from the promised theoretical value to zero. Once zero is reached, huge descents have to be mastered with braking in order to regain a few kilometers. In other words: once the battery is discharged, it has to be recharged in 2.5 hours at the charging station - and which Bentley customer will do that? There is no fourth mode that actively recharges the battery while driving using the internal combustion engine. Not yet.
With only gentle use of the accelerator pedal, little of the bubbling of the V6 can be heard, even in combustion mode. That changes when the driver demands its total system output of 449 hp from the Bentayga. Only 5.5 seconds pass with a robust sound up to 100 km /h. It's over at 254 km /h. Despite such performance, the heavy SUV does not become an athlete. It is intended more for a quick motorway trip or to cruise dignified on country roads and just to rush past a country road sneak.