Bentley Bentayga EWB Review: A Bit Selfish, A Bit Ridiculous, Utterly Fantastic

We get behind the wheel - and behind the driver - of the new Bentley Bentayga extended wheelbase
Bentley Bentayga EWB, front 3/4
Bentley Bentayga EWB, front 3/4


Ridiculously comfortable
Shedloads of space in the back seats


Very high fuel consumption
More than a bit excessive, really

We’re living in a world where reducing our consumption and carbon footprint is constantly encouraged, and anything that does the opposite of either of those is (perhaps rightly) generally panned as a selfish, bad thing indeed.

So then, what we have here today is something that conceptually seems the antithesis of the more selfless, sustainable way of living we’re all asked to aim for in 2024. This is the Bentley Bentayga EWB, short for Extended Wheelbase.

Yes, the already massive British-built luxury SUV is now even bigger - growing from 5.1m to 5.3m in length.

Bentley Bentayga EWB, front 3/4, static
Bentley Bentayga EWB, front 3/4, static

With that extra length is… a decrease in practicality? Well, while the regular Bentayga is a five-seater, the EWB ups the ridiculousness a little further by only carrying four with airline-style seating in the back. You can have it as a 4+1, ripping out the centre console of the rear seats, but to do so would likely defeat the purpose of the EWB.

Particularly so in the Mulliner spec as tested, which houses a champagne fridge underneath the gigantic central armrest complete with beautifully crafted Mulliner-branded flutes to pour your preferred sparkling beverage into.

You can drink that in with acres of space around you, too. The seats can recline to a ridiculous degree, and an electronically operated footrest will retract from the back of the seat in front of you. If you’re sitting behind the (not so) unfortunate front passenger, you can even force them further towards the dashboard for more room should you wish. Nobody needs this much space, but given it, you will want to use it.

Bentley Bentayga EWB, rear seats, picnic tables
Bentley Bentayga EWB, rear seats, picnic tables

The craftsmanship here is as beautiful as you’d expect. The leather feels as luxurious as it looks, and you won’t find a single stitch out of place. Even the thick, shag carpets in the footwells feel like money.

You can spec it with 15 different colours, too. Fortunately for your eyes, we don’t have shots of our white-on-purple upholstered test car (if I’ve remembered, there’s a Tweet embedded with it) but it gives a flavour of how ridiculous still you can have the Bentayga should you wish.

You can control pretty much everything from the rear screens as well, including which music is playing and even send navigation to the driver - you don’t even have to speak to your woefully underpaid chauffeur.

At least while they’re resenting you, they can appreciate the same level of craftsmanship. Plus, even with the seat directly behind the driver stretched fully out, there’s a lot of room for adjustment in the driving position.

Should you give them control of the infotainment, the base software is pretty standard Volkswagen Group before everything went touch-sensitive - which is to say sensibly laid out, smooth and pretty easy to use. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also supported.

Driving the EWB, there’s no getting around the fact that this is a massive car. Yes, that’s no revelation, but you’re very aware that this is a big, gigantic, selfish, commanding thing. You’re sat so high up, and with so much bonnet in front of you, that even Range Rovers look pathetic in size as you pass them.

Bentley Bentayga EWB, rear 3/4, driving
Bentley Bentayga EWB, rear 3/4, driving

That said, it’s relatively relaxed to navigate around in. Sure, its physical size is huge but by including rear-wheel steering as standard (it’s an option on the base car) the EWB’s rear axle can turn by 4.1 degrees in the opposite direction to the front, in effect artificially shortening its wheelbase. It’s much easier to get around tight bends than you’d think as a result, as tested out in a Burger King drive-through, naturally.

Less surprising is just how comfortable it is. The Bentayga EWB rides on self-levelling air suspension with continuous damping control, and it’s just as plush as it sounds. Only the harshest of UK potholes will register under your backside, and the chassis does a sensational job of keeping the cabin settled even under harsh undulations.

If you want to go fast, it will do that too. The well-travelled VW Group EA825 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is wheeled out for the EWB, here producing 542bhp and 568lb ft of torque. It’ll sort the 0-62mph sprint in 4.6 seconds before heading onto a 180mph top speed. A marvellous feat of engineering for a 2.5-tonne brick, really.

Bentley Bentayga EWB, front, static
Bentley Bentayga EWB, front, static

Yet it won’t pin you back in your seats, or feel hard-edged while you’re trying to press on. Even in the sportiest of eight driving modes, it feels serene and glides through corners rather than attacking them. You do feel the gargantuan weight, but standard-fit active roll bars do a good job of helping to manage that. There’s also a lot riding on its gigantic steel brakes, with 10-piston callipers gripping 400mm discs up front and 6-piston callipers with 380mm discs on the rear.

If there’s a downside to mention, it’s the fuel economy. It’s not that the cost will matter so much to those with inherited generational wealth, but their disgruntled chauffeur will have to stop relatively frequently. The best part of a week with the car and in mixed driving conditions returned 21.4mpg. Not exactly eco-friendly, then.

It’s unlikely those buyers are going to be bothered by the price either but, for some context, the EWB starts at £211,300 (about £32,000 more than a short-wheelbase V8), and the car we tested came in at £242,000.

You have to be selfish and perhaps a bit obnoxious to want a Bentley Bentayga EWB. However, if you’re happy to accept that fact or quite frankly, don’t give a toss about what anyone else thinks, it’s an utterly wonderful thing. 


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