Deep-pile pure wool Wilton carpets and sumptuous leather cladding the Bentley’s cabin give it a very sybaritic air.
Comfort and Refinement
Deep-pile pure wool Wilton carpets and sumptuous leather cladding the Bentley’s cabin give it a very sybaritic air. It is a very comfortable and cosseting place to be: if there is a finer sitting room in the car world, we have yet to encounter it. The test car’s interior upholstery, in a pale shade of cream that resembles vintage linen, gives it a very soothing ambience. There is also a pleasingly tactile quality to all the fixtures and fittings.
You do hear the 6.7 litre engine doing its job, but it is very muted unless you subject it to particularly firm acceleration, when it acquires the subdued thunder of a distant waterfall. The quality of the car’s engineering and soundproofing is good enough to ensure that the big motor at work never becomes obtrusive in the cocooning confines of the lavishly upholstered cabin.
Safety and Security
You would hardly expect a car sold for nearly a quarter of a million pounds and produced in such small numbers to be subjected to a Euro NCAP crash test, and it hasn’t been, but there is little doubt that it would pass such a test with flying colours. A vehicle as lavishly engineered as this one is designed to give very adequate protection to the driver and passengers in any incident. The Mulsanne has a very full quota of safety kit with a comprehensive array of electronic safety aids.
Security is very well catered for, as befits a car that is such a lavish temptation to thieves. It is also protected by a tracking system to locate the car and trace its movements in the event of it being stolen. Fully fitted, this adds £1,480 to the standard price.
Sound quality in the car is superlative. The test car is fitted with the Naim for Bentley premium audio system, charged at £5,560 as an extra. A six-disc CD player adds £765. In addition there is a rear seat entertainment package – another £6,640 – which lets your passengers in the back enjoy films or television on the move. All this kit is so good that we were tempted to give it a full five star rating for quality. The reason we haven’t it that an additional charge equivalent to a decent small car – at around £13,000 – is rather a mind-blowing amount to pay for the treat delivered to your ears.
- Rolls-Royce Phantom
What We Liked
- Sumptuous luxury
- Carpets your feet sink into
- Lavish power and performance
- Soft-shut doors
- Knowing it’s made in Britain
- Makes you feel like royalty
What We Disliked
- The astronomic price
- Very expensive to insure
- Boot smaller than a Ford Mondeo’s
- Constantly being stared at
What We Would Like To See
- More boot space
- A winning lottery ticket that would make it affordable
The Bentley Mulsanne is a remarkable piece of no-expense-spared engineering. There is much to admire about its uncompromising build quality and sheer opulence. Driving one of these, you enter a different world where you encounter admiration and resentment in equal measure. This car represents some of the finest standards of British engineering, but it has a big drawback. Unless you live in a palace, castle or lavish mansion, one of these is almost certainly out of your league.5 June 2012
Bentley Mulsanne Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Bentley Mulsanne|
|Body Type||4-Door Saloon|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||5.3 seconds|
|Top Speed||146 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||24.6 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating|
|Warranty||3 years / unlimited miles|
|Price (when tested on the 05/06/12)||£225,900|