“The key to the Ben­tayga’s suc­cess? It per­formed well in cat­e­gories we didn’t ex­pect”

The numbers have spo­ken, we have a win­ner... and, if we’re hon­est, it’s a shock re­sult. Not least be­cause it’s a car only a mi­cro­scopic per­cent­age of the pop­u­la­tion will ac­tu­ally be able to aford. Costs were taken into ac­count, of course, but given that for one Ben­tayga diesel you can have two Audi SQ7s, two-and-a-half Jaguar F-Paces, four Alfa Romeo Stelvios, two Land Rover Dis­cov­erys, fve Peu­geot 3008s, fve Skoda Ko­di­aqs or nine Da­cia Dusters, they prob­a­bly should have had more weight­ing.

You see, that’s the prob­lem with a ver­dict that takes opin­ion largely out of it – it throws up… un­usual re­sults. Per­haps the spread of tests un­fairly favoured the fast and ex­pen­sive stuf, per­haps we shouldn’t be let loose with a cal­cu­la­tor, ei­ther way when you look at what we’d choose to take home be­low, it’s prob­a­bly the wrong re­sult. But in typ­i­cally stub­born TG fash­ion, we’re stick­ing with it.

The key to the Bent­ley’s suc­cess? It per­formed well in cat­e­gories we didn’t ex­pect. Its looks are chal­leng­ing at best, yet the fair folk of Le­ices­ter told us by a land­slide that it was the one they would take home. And then, to our as­ton­ish­ment, when the go­ing got muddy it kicked of its Gucci loafers and got stuck in.

The re­al­ity is that the Ko­diaq and Disco both re­main bet­ter fam­ily SUVs than the Ben­tayga, and the Alfa han­dles bet­ter, the Duster is re­mark­able for the money and the F-Pace is as rounded as ever. In fact, all our con­tenders were class lead­ers at the start of the test and they still are, but it’s the Bent­ley that takes the points vic­tory. In hind­sight, our points sys­tem prob­a­bly needs an MoT.

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