Some SUVs are all about comfort. The Rolls Royce Cullinan, for example, offers the ultimate in luxury and refinement, with total isolation from the outside world its sole aim. You don’t so much drive a Rolls Royce as ‘pilot’ it. Imagine navigating the ocean in a state-of-the-art yacht and you’re close to what it feels like to weave a Cullinan through a busy town centre.

Others, however, adopt a ‘track-car-for-the-road-on-stilts’ mantra, with cars such as the ferocious BMW X5 M Competition, Lamborghini Urus, and Range Rover Sport SVR utilising stiffened suspension, hyperactive steering, and highly-tuned powertrains to give their owners an uncompromised driving experience. But jump into the driving seat of an X5 M Competition and, whilst you’ll be impressed by its handling and power delivery, a trip to the chiropractor after a couple of weeks might well have to be considered.

And that is why the Bentley Bentayga V8 S is so compelling – by melding the ultimate in luxury with the very latest in performance and technical developments, the Bentayga manages to capture the best from both worlds to craft an incredibly competent, engaging end product.

The interior is a huge achievement. The interiors from your well-known German manufacturers can sometimes feel a tad dull; they’re all black leather with neatly-placed controls and simple centre consoles. Ergonomic, pleasant; they do the job, but they don’t make you want to hop in and go for a drive just for the sake of it as much as that of the Bentley. Our example is adorned with a stunning ‘Hotspur and Beluga’ leather interior with contrast stitching, which translates into ‘Red and Black’, but the end result is a vibrant, eye-catching, fun interior environment.

The Mulliner Driving Specification adds twin-stitched diamond quilting, embroidered Bentley wings emblems, a bright finish fuel filler cap, metal oil filler cap, and sports pedals to provide that bit of extra flair.

Furthermore, the five seat comfort specification gives you front and rear seat ventilation, front massage seats, and adjustable cushion and backrest bolsters with winged headrests, creating the most sumptuous space to spend time. A diamond brushed aluminium fascia and dark tint to the door waistrails, as well as front and rear deep pile overmats exemplify the attention to detail Bentley has placed on making the V8 S not only a high speed weapon, but a car you will never get bored of driving on a daily basis.

Under the bonnet, the well-known front-mounted four-litre twin turbocharged V8 powertrain pushes out 550bhp and accelerates from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 180mph. The traction control has been made more playful, and a sports exhaust system engineered to put a smile on the faces of your passengers should you find yourself faced with an open stretch of tarmac. As part of the enhancements for the V8 S, the three-chamber air suspension has also been made 15% stiffer, providing greater handling agility without being back-breaking. The performance side of things has certainly been seen to, then.

Balancing comfort and power are a challenging task; indeed, many manufacturers struggle to find that equilibrium, but Bentley have succeeded by delicately adding sporting touches whilst staying true to the company’s identity. Don’t turn your back on either, Bentley – you’re making some fabulous cars.

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