Touring the Hunter Valley in the Bentley Bentayga Diesel

The Hunter Valley is mere hours away from Sydney and house to around 150 wine cellar doorways offering every little thing from Sémillon to local Hunter Shiraz and every little thing in amongst. It is a well-liked site, straightforward to get to from Sydney, which only adds to its attraction. And there’s the by no means-ending cavalcade of cars and trucks in all shapes and sizes that regular the roads in and close to the spot.

Although any auto will do, there’s absolutely nothing quite as ostentatious and decorous as the Bentley Bentayga Diesel I am driving. This is a person of 3 vehicles along for the journey one particular in white, an additional in blue and rounding off the custom of the English flag adorning the sides of just about every motor vehicle, the remaining example in red.

The Bentley Bentayga is yet a different SUV by a maker not identified for its SUV chops, but it is a capable off-roader, as we learnt on the start of the W12 back again in February 2016. Truth of the matter be explained to, SUVs have come to be wildly well-known in many markets, not just Australia, and even Bentley couldn’t depart a hole in its range.

The diesel variation is no fewer capable than its larger W12 brother. Powered by a refined 4.-litre twin-turbo V8 engine with 320kW and a absurd 900Nm of torque and a claimed 0–100km/h sprint time of just 4.8 seconds. It truly does throw you back in your seat and is one of the speediest diesel SUVs on the road, with out issue. The probability to push a single was just one I merely couldn’t go up.

While the Bentley identify carries with it connotations of luxurious and flair, I just can’t say I really like the appear of the Bentayga. The entrance half, for me at least, is all you expect of the luxury producer, and it carries forward the traditions of the old with a significant grille and spherical headlights fantastically set jointly with a purposeful, aggressive in the right way, and even noble visual appearance.

The back again 50 %, on the other hand, seems to be like it was possibly made by another person else or an afterthought, with squarer-shaped lights that scream ‘let’s just use these ones’ and wrap about to the rear quarter panel. Then there are the panel creases and strains that never seem to add up to a total. They just do not appear to go with the relaxation of the automobile, and search decidedly unappealing when you are pursuing a further Bentayga. They look extra Audi than Bentley to me. Both of those autos share some DNA, and you’d count on some shared strategies, but I’d like my Bentley to search a lot more, perfectly, distinctively Bentley all above.

We gathered the motor vehicles in Alexandria, Sydney, and strike the by now bustling metropolis targeted traffic and headed for the Harbour Tunnel. The refinement in the travel is unmistakable with air suspension presenting an nearly cloud-like practical experience. It is, in point, delightful to generate with exceptionally clean ability steering, and you could forget about you were truly in management of a vehicle that weighs in extra of two tonnes.

We still left the Bentley showroom in Consolation mode, and in truth it was. Driving a ridiculously high priced motor vehicle left me a little not comfortable adjusting options from the outset, these is the array of buttons and switches, but as I settled in I begun to play close to a very little.

The head-up display screen with your pace, and the pace restrict of the present-day extend of highway, is a clean addition and does a good career of preserving up with the never-ending speed zones we appreciate listed here in NSW. I’m perplexed most of the time, so this will help.

When the observe we took to the Harbour Tunnel and past to the Hunter Valley is not the only way to get there, we followed the route predetermined by the suave-looking navigation screen on the dashboard. As long as you like the use of a myriad of resources in the sprint and interior finishes, this layout will be to your liking.

The layout is practical and deluxe applying beautiful leathers and diamond stitching or timber in all the right sites. There are pretty much dozens of options for homeowners in this regard, guaranteeing a bespoke complete for each operator. In another nod to aged, the air vents are controlled by silver knobs that poke out from the dashboard, it’s possible hunting a little unwieldy, but nonetheless pretty Bentley.

As we still left the city, we were being guided to the M2 and onto the M1 freeway north towards Cessnock, using the change-off at Freemans Drive. It’s a reasonably uncomplicated street north aided by the simple fact I am sitting down in an astoundingly relaxed driver’s seat, with heating. Excellent for a pre-present terrible again.

A more rapidly route would be to head straight up the M1 freeway previous the Freemans Drive change-off, having the Hunter Expressway transform-off in its place and pursuing the indications to Lovedale. That way, you pass up Cessnock and the 80km/h stretches of road top in.

You are on the freeway lengthier at speeds more than 100km/h most of the way, and while you are technically heading a minor further in length, it is no challenge in the ease and comfort of a car like the Bentayga – the speed at which you do it more than compensates for it.

The substantially far more twisty Freemans Travel route did permit me to expertise the Bentayga’s outstanding handling. The automobile was equipped with Bentley’s Dynamic Ride, which decreases overall body roll and maintains a flat stance on the highway. This coupled with Activity manner presents the Bentayga almost sports car handling, which thinking of the measurement of the car or truck, is pretty an accomplishment.

Most intriguing, while, is the total absence of lag concerning the pedal going down and the vehicle getting off. Overtaking, mid-corner acceleration and shifting absent from lights, whatever you set down is instantaneously delivered by the engine.

In genuine Bentley style, our lunchtime desired destination was Hope Estate for lunch on the balcony and a helicopter joyride for some close to the valley. Hope Estate is a winery and brew property with an nearly unimaginable selection of wines for sale, as very well as some of in-home beers. It is a significant estate that also hosts many concerts in the area, with Fleetwood Mac and Midnight Oil owning been on their list. It is absolutely really worth a pay a visit to for the beer tasting by yourself.

Other highlights contain Audrey Wilkinson Winery with exquisite wines, both equally white and purple, and one of the ideal sights in the spot. It is magnificent having in the valley and winery sitting down atop a hill. A personalized favourite is Hart and Hunter, where you can appreciate a tasting on the deck outside the house in the sunlight. I’m not guaranteed it would make the wine style even better, but they have an amazing Rosé that is tough to beat.

The subsequent morning, following a degustation meal with matching wines from all in excess of the earth and some useful recommendations from host and proprietor of Hope Estate, Michael, we were again into the vehicles for a small off-street session. Although it was barely testing for us or the automobiles, it gave us the opportunity to see what the in-constructed off-road modes have been capable of.

You can decide on a single of 8 presets that tailor the car’s experience peak, transmission and stability manage. The auto will then measure and match to fit the disorders. The hill descent is extremely helpful in managing the car or truck down a steep rocky slope with simplicity, while simply driving up the other aspect and handling the torque with no spinning wheels, despite the actuality there is no low-range.

The tracks we adopted past this problem were regrettably largely dry, and when I was mighty keen to get the Bentayga dirty, I managed to only uncover a smaller muddy puddle and spray some grime up the facet of the vehicle. Rarely testing, even though I expect with a starting selling price of $335,000, most will like the glance but not often, if at any time, place a wheel off-road.

The technologies incorporated into this vehicle is similarly extraordinary, with an infotainment display optional on the again of the front seats. This Android-system tablet can be eliminated from the car, far too. I didn’t get considerably likelihood to play all-around with it, even though I famous you can look through the net, and it also arrives with pretty cozy Bentley-branded headphones so kids – must you even make it possible for them in the car – can watch quietly.

The attributes and choices checklist for the Bentayga is significantly remarkable and there is not a whole lot you can not have, despite the fact that all the things you do want adds to the price. Just one automobile had a massager crafted into the front seats, which absolutely created me want to remain in the car or truck in the carpark. I’d skip so quite a few meetings with this function. I could select toughness and style from Wave to Pulse and Lumbar or Shoulder. One more had heated and vented seats, or you could have both equally and get a again and bum warm while getting a massage.

The Hunter Valley is not a prolonged push, and the comfort amounts out there in the vehicle are this kind of that you shouldn’t need to have these items as soon as you arrive at your spot, but it is awesome to know you can.

From Sydney it is only a limited two-hour drive, creating it fully doable for a working day or much better nonetheless a weekend. Among the vineyards there are also horse-drawn carriages, electric bikes and horse riding on supply, even though we stuck to the automobiles. I even managed to get a chauffeur for aspect of the way, with an English accent I may possibly add. We will not mention he was a further journo.

The Bentley Bentayga handles exceptionally nicely and absorbs the bumps and potholes we seem to have on every single street major out of Sydney, and in the course of the town itself, with an just about nonchalant fashion. Almost nothing appears to be to faze it. It’s an remarkable piece of equipment, and is genuinely customisable with so quite a few solutions you’re guaranteed to get a private end.

Irrespective of whether you like the rate or feel it is wholly more than the top rated, what is costly for you may perfectly not be for anyone else. Though, I doubt everyone would be thinking about this for a critical off-roader in spite of its capabilities. 1 scratch could be a lot more than heartbreaking.

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