So the Bentley Bentayga - its dynamic foibles so adroitly corrected, its ownership case strengthened and its engine bay furnished with a ‘triple-charged’ V8 diesel that makes it more frugal, more usable, more muscular, more fit for a luxury SUV’s purposes and still just as refined – becomes our second five-star car of the year.

A critic might say it’s empty praise, with so few established super-luxury SUV rivals yet available to set a standard.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Bentley’s vision of the perfect SUV gets its missing piece

But to deny Bentley the recognition it deserves on that basis would be to ignore the commitment it has shown to get into what will soon enough be a well-populated market niche.

It would also underplay the risk it has taken in using its VW Group connections to broaden the reach of its line-up by adding a diesel string to its bow in the faith that its expert engineering team would make sure it felt like no ordinary diesel.

This car rises head and shoulders above any other in fulfilling the role of the consummate, complete, luxury SUV.

And in five years, when there may be rivals from Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and others, we won’t be surprised if it still does. But for now it tops our list ahead of its closest competitors in the shape of the Range Rover Sport SVR, Audi SQ7, Range Rover SV Autobiography and Mercedes-AMG GLS 63.

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