Bentley Flying Spur (2013-2019) Review
If the Bentley Continental GT is aimed at the driver, this Bentley Flying Spur is very much about lounging in the back. Some of its tech is a little behind the times, though.
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
- Classy looks
- High-quality interior
- Massive power
What's not so good
- Cumbersome in town
- Dated infotainment
Bentley Flying Spur (2013-2019): what would you like to read next?
The Bentley Flying Spur is a luxury saloon with supercar pace that rivals the Rolls Royce Ghost, as well as more expensive versions of the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ and Mercedes S-Class. If you’re looking for high-end luxury motoring, this is it.
What sets it apart from the competition (bar, maybe, the Rolls Royce) is the Bentley’s opulent interior, which features acres of wood and leather, while the majority of the switches are made from cold-to-the touch metal. And this is a Bentley you’ll want to spend more time in the back of rather than drive, because rear space is superb and there’s a boot big enough to take your matching Italian-leather luggage set too.
Equipment levels are high (although not class-leading) and buyers can specify loads of options such as electrically adjustable rear seats and a back-seat entertainment system which make the car superb for travelling long distances in. All-told, its luxurious cabin is the main reason why you would choose the Bentley over much cheaper models from Jaguar and Mercedes.
However, alternatives such as the A8, S-Class and 7 Series have moved the game lightyears on in terms of infotainment. The Flying Spur is an old car now, and as such, is fitted with a very similar touchscreen infotainment system to the one it launched with way back in 2005. It’s relatively large, but its graphics are dated, it takes an age to respond to some prods and the sat-nav looks like an old shipping chart compared with Audi or BMW’s.
There are no issues with the amount of hand-built, bespoke luxury on show in the Flying Spur, but for my hundreds of thousands I’d like an up-to-date infotainment system.
Power comes from a choice of two petrol engines – a 6.0-litre W12 or a 4.0-litre V8. Both have twin turbochargers for extra performance, but it’s the smaller engine that makes the most sense. It’s nearly as quick as the top-of-the-range model (getting from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds) and returns official fuel economy of 26mpg versus the W12’s 19mpg.
You won’t want to drive the Flying Spur particularly quickly along a country road, though. With all-wheel drive as standard and fairly precise steering it inspires confidence through corners, but it always feels every last gram of its two and a half tonnes. It’s as a motorway cruiser where the Bentley excels – its engine barely ticks over at 70mph and outside noise is almost removed completely. Best to sit in the back and enjoy it.
You’ll have to really want this Flying Spur to buy one, then. Its quality, comfort and quiet remain superb, but much more modern alternatives provide far more technology these days. And given there’s a brand new Flying Spur just around the corner which is based on the fantastic Continental GT, you’d be better off waiting for that instead.