Bentley Bentayga Hybrid Offers Less Highway MPG Than V8 Model

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bentley bentayga hybrid offers less highway mpg than v8 model

While some degree of valueless virtue signaling accompanied the launch of Toyota’s Prius, most hybrid customers are an exceptionally practical lot. Fixated on the long game, they’re willing to weigh the added cost of supplemental electrification against an uptick in efficiency — attempting to calculate the duration of ownership required before they can start raking in the savings. However, the math doesn’t always work out like you’d think.

Recently assessed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the 2020 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid may not be the model for high-end customers looking to maximize their fuel economy. According to Green Car Reports, which obsessively tracks all things electric, Bentley’s Hybrid is actually less efficient on the highway and boasts a shorter maximum range than its V8 alternative.

The EPA rates the hybrid model at 17 mpg city, 21 highway. While the more-expensive V8 only manages 14 mpg around town, its highway economy is superior.

From Green Car Reports:

In hybrid mode, it achieves EPA ratings of 17 mpg city, 21 highway, and 19 combined. Just looking at combined ratings, it’s the member of the Bentayga lineup getting the best mileage. But looking at highway figures — where you’re hoping a plug-in hybrid will deliver good efficiency, after its charge is depleted — the $156,900 Bentayga Hybrid is outdone by the $171,025 Bentayga V8, which gets 23 mpg highway.

Combustion engine cranking, the Bentayga V8 also has about 100 more hp than the Hybrid, and accelerates nearly a second quicker to 60 mph. It might also, from what we hear, sound better. It also has a longer EPA-rated highway range — of 518 miles, versus 430 for the Hybrid (including a charge and a full tank).

Over the last few years, engineers from several automakers have told me they’re becoming convinced there is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to battery technology (one reason why the industry keeps funding its evolution). While incredibly high development costs play a factor, they’re actually more concerned with weight. The more mass a vehicle possess (or has to lug around as cargo), the bigger its battery pack has to be to ensure a useful range — adding more weight.

At 5,776 pounds, the Bentayga Hybrid is almost 500 lbs heavier than the turbocharged V8 model when both are equipped to allow room for five (the V8 can be optioned to seat seven occupants). Combined, its 3.0-liter V6 and hybrid E-Drive system make 443 bhp with peak torque coming in at 516 lb-ft. Meanwhile, the standalone 4.0-liter V8 delivers 542 bhp and 568 foot-pounds.

It’s probably wise Bentley priced the V8 so much higher than the hybrid. With the exception of offering roughly a dozen miles of electric-only driving before requiring a recharge, the hybrid powertrain doesn’t really offer anything unique. To get the most from it, one would also have to spend a large portion of their time below highways speeds. That might go over better in Europe, where destinations are typically closer (and where nations are discussing the eventual banning of exhaust emissions in urban areas, anyway). Meanwhile, well-heeled Americans would probably look at the Hybrid and shrug if it were a more mainstream car. But its status as a premium luxury item could make that irrelevant. Small as they will undoubtedly be, we’re curious to see how Bentayga sales progress this year.

Our advice to rich people? Just buy the 6.0-liter W12 version while you still can.

[Images: Bentley]

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2 of 24 comments
  • Tylanner Tylanner on Apr 14, 2020

    Simply piteous.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Apr 14, 2020

    Just another bad-faith Euro plug-in hybrid with pointlessly short electric range, iffy economy benefit, and inability to run on electricity under anything but a feather foot. Why do these rolling monuments to one-cheek engineering exist, when Chevrolet and, more recently, Toyota are happy to license plug-in hybrid technology that actually works? Because they're not supposed to work. They're supposed to grant sneaky Euro richies access to 1) EV zones in city centers, where ICE cars aren't allowed, 2) tax breaks that were meant for people whose cars actually have an environmental benefit, and 3) primo parking, since the high cost of fat electrical cables means EV charging spots are usually right next to buildings...while still driving the car they want. Bentley, Volvo, BMW, Audi, Mini -- they all make variations of these crapmobiles, and they all deserve to be shamed for it. I'm a big believer in PHEV technology. Done right (Chevy Volt, Honda Clarity PHEV, Toyota Prius Prime) you can make a strong argument that it offers more environmental benefit for less money than BEVs. And if you think you don't care, bear in mind they're a good way to raise the fleet average enough to keep the Hellcats and such around. But these third-rate luxury PHEVs are discrediting the concept.

  • Del My father bought GM cars in the 60's, but in 1971 he gave me a used Datsun (as they were called back then), and I'm now in my 70's and am happy to say that GM has been absent from my entire adult life. This article makes me gladder than ever.
  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.