Interested in a Bentley Bentayga?
    • Looks and feels like a bespoke curation
    • Opulent interior hides and veneers
    • Blisteringly quick with superb road manners
    • No Bond-like rolling infotainment screen
    • Significant premium over standard V8
    • Expect to use plenty of 98 RON
    Not tested

    To properly understand where Bentayga Azure slots into Bentley’s SUV line-up is to appreciate what all three trims mean to the luxury set.

    Bentley currently builds five different model lines; the drop-dead gorgeous Continental GT Coupe and Convertible, the ultra-luxury four-door Flying Spur, and the sublime Bentayga SUV including the EWB (Extended Wheelbase) version.  

    Within those model lines buyers can also choose between three entirely different and curated grades: Mulliner being the pinnacle of both luxury and performance; Speed focusing on maximum performance with its twin-turbo W12 powertrain; and the more recent Azure badge for Bentley buyers said to prioritise ‘relaxation’ over ‘exhilaration’.

    While that might seem all a bit too earthy for some given Bentley has always been seen as the ultimate mix of high-end luxury and big-displacement performance versus the singular focus of Rolls-Royce on bespoke extravagance.

    Nevertheless, in curating the Azure cabin environment, you’ve got to understand the depth of detail and level of expertise Bentley sought to get this process right.

    Apparently, there are people called ‘Creative Neuroscientists’ whose job it is to define the collective set of factors that influence stress and then work out how best to reduce them – it’s everything from light, the patterns we see, in-car posture and thermal control.

    Ride comfort and NVH are also crucial factors in determining levels of stress for drivers and passengers alike. Research conducted over four years found that people exposed to traffic noise over 70 decibels (dB) were 65 per cent more susceptible to depression.

    And it’s not all about suppressing noise, vibration and harshness either. It’s as much about controlling the quality of those sounds, which according to Bentley are both ‘authentic and crafted’.

    That’s just the noise science, but then there are also colour, texture, tactility and even scent, which have been curated to make sure there’s plenty of that feel-good chemical dopamine released into the body whenever you’re in a Bentley Azure.

    While the whole ‘Azure’ thing might all sound decidedly new-age, its also characteristically Bentley to the core if we look back an old edict of founder W.O. Bentley himself in the earliest days when he wrote in his autobiography.

    “I have put up with a lot of noise in my time, but I don’t like it, and I hate noise for the sake of noise. To me 70mph in silence is far more creditable than a noisy 80mph.”

    WATCH: Paul’s video review of the Bentayga S

    Technically, our Bentley Bentayga Azure V8 tested here is still a first-generation model, but it was a heavily revised in 2020 boasting more than 1000 new components and far more aesthetic appeal with similar headlight/taillight assemblies to the Continental GT coupe.

    Stretching more than 5.1m in length and nearly 2.0m wide, Bentayga still seems to incite polarising opinions when it comes to design and styling. Either way, it’s got truckloads of presence and a cabin that makes the Burj Al Aarab Jumiera, Dubai, look like the Hilton.

    And for further Azure presence there’s bright chrome lower bumper grilles together with bespoke 22-inch ten-spoke wheels and a Bentley ‘jewel’ filler cap for some extra sparkle.

    How does the Bentley Bentayga compare?
    View a detailed breakdown of the Bentley Bentayga against similarly sized vehicles.

    How much does the Bentley Bentayga cost?

    The Azure is smack bang in the middle of the Bentayga line-up, priced from $475,000 excluding on-road costs – a quick check using a NSW postcode puts the drive-away cost at $511,241.

    2024 Bentley Bentagya pricing:

    • Bentley Bentayga V8: $395,800
    • Bentley Bentayga Hybrid: $395,800
    • Bentley Bentayga S Hybrid: $450,900
    • Bentley Bentayga S: $470,500
    • Bentley Bentayga Azure V8: $475,000
    • Bentley Bentayga Azure Hybrid: $465,000
    • Bentley Bentayga Speed: $531,500
    • Bentley Bentayga EWB: $455,200
    • Bentley Bentayga Azure EWB: $514,500
    • Bentley Bentayga Mulliner Hybrid: $646,800

    Prices exclude on-road costs

    To see how the Bentayga lines up against its rivals, check out our comparison tool.

    What is the Bentley Bentayga Azure V8 like on the inside?

    You simply can’t step inside the Bentayga Azure without first gloating over the Onyx paint outside. It uses a hint of dark blue, mixed with darker tones to create the deepest black finish possible.

    If you haven’t experienced Bentley’s handy work inside before, you’re in for a special treat, especially if it’s the Azure spec tested here.

    Azure buyers get to choose from a range of 15 hide colours and colour splits, with contrast stitching and seat piping as a no-cost option. Accompanying your chosen upholstery are Azure illuminated treadplates, Bentley ‘B’ pedals, ambient (sorry – it’s ‘mood’ in Bentley speak), as well as a heated duo-tone steering wheel as standard fitment.

    However, out tester was fitted with a moderate suite of options including a single-tone, three-spoke steering wheel, impeccably wrapped in hand-stitched indented-hide. It’s quite beautiful with its contrast honeycomb stitching.

    Bentley claims the leather itself is specially chosen from herds grazing in high-altitude fields in Northern Europe and are free of blemishes caused by insect bites.

    It’s hard to find any actual plastic bits in the cabin, even below eye level. It’s either full leather hide, wood veneer or bright metalwork. Besides the bright chrome shifter and various dials, most of the metal trim bits are also beautifully knurled, including all the air vents.

    Our tester was special in that it wore a ‘Colour Split – E by Mulliner’, which adopts the ‘Camel’ as the main hide and Beluga as the secondary hide. The leather itself is exceptionally supple and boasts contrasting double-stitch quilting for the top-half of the seat back, while the rest of the hide is completely perforated for ventilation and heating.

    The diamond-quilted effect is mirrored throughout the cockpit, too, including door cards and rear seat row (this example effectively a five-seater).

    Like so many things in the Bentayga Azure, the front seats are special, thanks to standard fitment of ‘Front Seat Comfort Specification’ which adds 22-way adjustable seats – meaning both short- and tall-framed drivers and passengers can find their optimum seating position – from the 95th percentile male to the 5th percentile female.

    While there’s plenty of piano black throughout, it’s actually a deep mirror-like black finish applied by hand to Walnut veneer.

    The overall effect is stunning and one that appears to be layer upon layer of the stuff for an exquisite lustre of the likes I’ve rarely seen. It all looks and feels so elegant and timeless given the combination of natural materials and the considerable manhours of handmade craftsmanship that’s on show here.  

    Those same Bentley pews are also said to maintain the body’s optimum temperature for both comfort and alertness – especially for those behind the wheel.

    Despite an all-digital driver’s display, the head-up display and the infotainment touchscreen boast good size and functionality.

    Fittingly for the Bentley brand, at least, the Bentayga remains predominately old-school, with plenty of knurled dials, trademark air-vent push-pull levers and buttons that simplify audio and climate use. At least until it launches its first battery-electric version in 2025.

    Up front, there’s plenty of space for phones, wallets, keys and drink cups, as well as USB-C ports. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard.

    In typical Bentley fashion rear-seat passengers get their own climate-control screen and individual vents, along with multiple USB-C ports. While there’s decent legroom back there it’s not as vast as you might have envisioned for a luxury SUV of such grand proportions.

    Boot space is a different story, though. There looks to be considerably more than the 484 litre claim, and it’s a wide and unencumbered aperture for dead-easy loading of large boxes and the like.

    The rear seats don’t fold quite flat but there’s no inconvenient lip to speak of, so loading longer goods aren’t an issue. Once folded, load space expands to 1774 litres but our Bentayga tester was also fitted with Bentley’s luggage management system – moveable aluminium barriers which can be useful at times when you need to separate stuff.

    What’s under the bonnet?

    The Bentayga Azure V8 is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 making 404kW of power at 6000rpm and 770Nm of torque between 2000rpm-4500rpm.

    It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels, and can go from standstill to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 290km/h.

    For those looking at hybrid power for their Bentayga Azure – there’s also a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 plug-in hybrid powertrain producing 340kW and 700Nm. It’s not exactly slow either, able to scoot from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 254km/h.

    Bentayga’s braked towing capacity is 3500kg, while claimed fuel consumption is 11.4L/100km on the combined cycle. However, on a diet of mostly urban and city commuting we saw that average rise to 20.6L/100km – and frankly, that’s not at all surprising given plenty of stop-start driving.

    How does the Bentley Bentayga Azure V8 drive?

    It’s worth noting the 4.0-litre V8 powertrain in the Bentayga Azure is the same as that in the Audi RS6 and Lamborghini Urus only with different tunes to match the supercar-like performance of those vehicles.

    But while it might be the same engine as those more boisterous rocket ships, the big Bentley’s remit is very different and far more focused on providing a luxurious driving experience for driver and passengers alike.

    Lounge about in Comfort for the most relaxing travel experience as Bentayga’s standard air-suspension crushes all manner of speed bumps and broken road.

    Some sharper edges are felt, though if you’re cossetted in the second row, gently rolling by one of Sydney’s more salubrious suburbs it can start to feel like a Royal drive but you won’t hear a thing of the outside world.

    Despite that very remit and a general tendency to waft around in your 2.4-tonne behemoth – oblivious to the world around you thanks to some extraordinary sound insulation – there’s still significant poke on tap and easily unleashed with a quick prod of the Bentley ‘B’ throttle pedal.

    Drivers can choose between a number of engine modes; Bentley, Comfort, Custom and Sport. The latter can be a bit too trigger happy for the daily commute but get onto some less-travelled country roads and that feeling of ‘wellbeing’ which the Azure is all about starts to become a little bit secondary.

    Not without some perfectly curated V8 thunder, either. Talk about Jekyll and Hyde – the ultra-luxury Bentayga Azure takes on an entirely different demeanour with a few pops and crackles of its own, as well truckloads of good ‘ole fashioned twist.

    Odd as it might seem to many, the otherwise regal Bentley doesn’t mind being hustled along at pace when the thought of all those kilowatts and Newton-metres up front start to get the better of you in a few well-chosen corners.

    While there’s no getting around the laws of physics, the Bentley Bentayga Azure does a pretty good job of it thanks to Bentley Dynamic Ride – a 48V active anti-roll control system (also used by fast Audis) that all but eliminates body roll regardless of how tight the corner radius might be.

    At first, it feels a bit disconcerting but it doesn’t take long before it all feels entirely natural and you’re having a bit of fun in the Bentley.

    Astonishing stuff given its Herculean heft, but when you factor in the 1300Nm of anti-roll torque applied in 0.3 seconds – it makes perfect sense.

    Bentayga also gets variable-ratio power steering – so its light at low speeds and reassuringly meatier whenever you decide ramp things up a bit.

    And of course, there are big brakes to stop this regal goliath, with the benefit of a linear pedal feel to make it all feel so reassuringly safe and secure

    What do you get?

    Bentayga Azure highlights:

    • Matrix LED headlights
    • 22-inch alloy wheels
    • Bentley Dynamic Ride
    • Air suspension
    • Fixed rear spoiler
    • Panoramic glass roof
    • Roof rails
    • Powered tailgate
    • Proximity key with keyless start
    • Full leather upholstery
    • 10.9-inch infotainment touchscreen with satellite navigation
    • 12-speaker Bentley Signature sound system
    • Digital radio (DAB+)
    • Four-zone climate control
    • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    • Wireless Charging
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Ambient lighting
    • Bentley analogue clock
    • Illuminated door sills  
    • Colour Specification
      • Choice of all interior colour combinations
      • Extended choice of hide colours
    • Front Seat Comfort Specification
      • Front 20-way movement for front seats
      • Ventilation and massage
      • Comfort headrests
    • Sunshine Specification
      • Electric rear sun blinds
      • Double sun visor
    • Touring Specification
      • Adaptive cruise control
      • Bentley Safeguard Plus
        • Emergency Lane Change Assist
        • Intersection Assist
      • Head-up display
      • Night vision
      • Traffic assist
    • City Specification
      • Park assist
      • Top-view camera
      • Pedestrian warning
      • Rear cross-traffic warning
      • City Safeguard

    Options as tested:

    • LED Welcome lamps: $2238
    • Heated, acoustic windscreen: $1094
    • Rear privacy glass: $2617
    • Heated, single-tone, 3-spoke, indented leather steering wheel: $543
    • Luggage management: $937
    • Piano Black veneer: $5884
    • 22-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels – black painted and bright machined: $4733
    • Self-levelling wheel badge by Mulliner: $1208
    • Mulliner – Personal Commissioning Guide – M5 colour split: $13,492
    • Mulliner – Honeycomb stitching to steering wheel: $5391
    • Mulliner – Contrast stitching to diamond-quilted seats: $2688

    Is the Bentley Bentayga Azure V8 safe?

    The Bentley Bentayga hasn’t been crash tested by ANCAP or Euro NCAP, but its platform mate the Audi Q7 wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating from 2019 crash-test results.

    Standard safety equipment includes:

    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Bentley Safeguard Plus
      • High-speed AEB
      • Emergency Lane Change Assist
      • Intersection Assist
    • Head-up display
    • Night vision
    • Traffic assist (stop-go function)
    • Park assist (semi-autonomous parking aide)
    • 360-degree camera
    • Pedestrian warning
    • Rear cross-traffic warning
    • City Safeguard

    The Bentayga also comes fitted with a suite of airbags, including dual front, curtain, and side airbags for both rows of seating.

    How much does the Bentley Bentayga Azure V8 cost to run?

    Like the wider Bentley range, the Bentayga is covered by a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with roadside assistance for the same period.

    As for servicing, all Bentleys sold from March 2023 come with five years of scheduled servicing at no cost.

    CarExpert’s Take on the Bentley Bentayga Azure V8

    Travelling in any Bentley is always a special treat, whether you’re in the driver’s seat or kicking back in the second row, bubble-wrapped in some of the most sublimely supple leather seats on the planet.

    But the Azure is on another level entirely. It looks and feels like a properly bespoke fit-out, but in standard guise.

    There’s a higher level of craftsmanship on display here too – it’s as though you’ve gone from five-star luxury to seven stars without the need for further inclusions.

    And yet, despite Azur’s primary focus on comfort and ‘wellbeing’; it’s still a blisteringly quick, super-size SUV more than capable of putting a big smile on your face on those less-travelled B-roads while whisking your way across the countryside to the weekend retreat.

    Click the images for the full gallery

    MORE: Buy a Bentley Bentayga
    MORE: Everything Bentley Bentayga

    Anthony Crawford
    Anthony Crawford is a Senior Road Tester at CarExpert.
    Overall Rating

    Cost of Ownership9
    Ride Comfort8.5
    Fit for Purpose9.4
    Handling Dynamics8.5
    Interior Practicality and Space8.5
    Fuel Efficiency6.9
    Value for Money7.5
    Technology Infotainment8.2
    $378,600 MSRP
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