Skip to main content

You are here

Bentley Mulsanne

£229,360£252,000
8/10
Overall verdict

For: 

About as luxurious as money can buy

Against: 

That luxury doesn't come cheap and it's no looker
More fun to drive than its Rolls-Royce Phantom rival, the Mulsanne is brilliant, so long as you’re on the inside.

Find new & used cars

Our choice

Bentley

6.8 V8 4dr Auto

£229,360
7/10
17mpg
5.10s
505bhp
393g/km

What we say: 

Huge, hugely comfortable, hugely luxurious and hugely expensive

What is it?

Bentley’s flagship is not a huge seller, so this is a rare beast. That’s relatively speaking – a £228,200 saloon is never going to sell in numbers as great as the VW Golf. Except, perhaps in China, where Bentley can’t feed its growing dealership network quickly enough. The Mulsanne’s new, too, introduced in 2010, which in Bentley timescales is extremely young. It’s imposing as a Bentley saloon should be, but it’s not conventionally pretty.

Driving

The first thing to get your head around is the scale. Usefully it’s fairly obvious where the upright front ends, but its width might be troublesome on narrower roads.

Under the lengthy bonnet sits a 6.75-litre V8 with a pair of turbochargers helping it along, the Mulsanne is comically rapid for such a weighty machine. It’s like a country house with a thruster from the space shuttle attached, a mighty 752lb ft of torque arriving at just 1,750rpm. It’ll reach 62mph in just 5.1 seconds, which is better than a Rolls-Royce Phantom, should you be caught in a traffic-light Grand Prix en route to Harrods.

Eight gears are swapped automatically, or, if you’d rather, you can take control yourself. It’s so good in automatic mode we’d leave it alone. Likewise, dynamic changes are on offer, with stiffer dampers and weightier steering possible via a rotary dial on the centre console: just pop it in comfort and leave it be. Hushed, rapid and hugely comfortable, the Mulsanne is everything a Bentley should be.

On the inside

Few places are nicer to be than the inside of a Mulsanne. The wood looks so deep and lustrous it could have grown in place before being polished; and the leather is so soft it’s like the cows had a rigorous daily shiatsu routine. Add chrome detailing and it’s a quite lovely driving environment. Only the most dedicated VW spotters will recognise some of the switchgear, and that’s only because it’s used in the tiny selling Phaeton. Bentley has gone all modern, too, with iPod and telephone connections, though it’s still hidden away in a neat panel in the dash.

Owning

Mulsanne buyers are the sort known to Bentley, so it’s likely you’ll have shaken hands with the chaps and ladies who built your engine and lovingly crafted your car’s interior. There’s enormous scope for personalisation, limited only by imagination and wealth. Running costs will be tremendous, but so will the satisfaction of owning and driving it. Residuals will be off set by your investments elsewhere, and you don’t sell old Bentleys anyway – you simply buy another to park alongside it in the garage.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
6.8 V8 Speed 4dr Auto
332g/km 19.8 530 £252,000
The cheapest
6.8 V8 4dr Auto
5.1s 393g/km 16.8 505 £229,360
The greenest
6.8 V8 Speed 4dr Auto
332g/km 19.8 530 £252,000

Wildcard

How about something completely different?

Wildcard

VW's Phaeton luxury saloon is much more discreet and massively cheaper. Some of the switchgear will be vaguely familiar, too