The Bentley Mulsanne represents the biggest luxury sedan in the storied manufacturer's lineup -- replacing the Arnage as the flagship. It's larger than the Arnage but is lighter, more powerful and delivers better fuel economy. As with any Bentley, the Mulsanne's voluminous interior is elegantly appointed with leather and wood trim. The cabin also benefits from thoroughly modern features, courtesy of parent company Audi.
Performance remains a mainstay with the Bentley Mulsanne, with a massive "six-and-three-quarter-liter" V8 delivering a good wallop of power. Handling takes a backseat to comfort and quiet, but the Mulsanne still manages to impress with its sure-footedness in the curves. There are few vehicles that can compare to the Mulsanne, and those select competitors also cost quite a bit more. While this big Bentley can never be considered a bargain, it does offer more for the money than a comparably priced Maybach or Rolls-Royce.
Current Bentley Mulsanne
The Bentley Mulsanne was introduced for the 2011 model year and is offered in a single, well-appointed trim level. Feature highlights include 20-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights, a power trunk lid, front and rear parking sensors, a self-leveling air suspension, selectable drive control (Comfort, Normal and Sport), leather upholstery for nearly every surface, wood trim, glass switchgear, heated 14-way power front seats, heated eight-way power rear seats (outboard seats only) and four-zone automatic climate control. Also included are a navigation system, a multimedia interface controller with voice control and a 14-speaker audio system with iPod connectivity.
Indulgent options include, but are not limited to 21-inch wheels, a "Flying B" radiator mascot, chrome exterior accents, rear privacy glass, ventilated seats, a heated and wood-veneered steering wheel, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, ambient mood lighting, a premium audio system and twin 8-inch rear-seat monitors. Besides the numerous color choices for the body and interior upholstery, buyers may also specify custom colors -- for an additional price, of course.
The Bentley Mulsanne is powered by a twin-turbo 6.8-liter V8 that produces 505 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic with shift paddles is the sole transmission offered and it channels power to the rear wheels. Yet such potency doesn't detract from the big Bentley's emphasis on luxury. Unless you floor the pedal, you won't even notice the presence of an engine. Acceleration is likewise deceptively quick, forcing the driver to closely monitor the speedometer.
Even the tallest passengers will enjoy an abundance of head- and legroom inside the Bentley Mulsanne. The opulent interior is a model of luxury, with nearly every surface covered in premium leather and wood veneers. The trunk is also very accommodating, able to fit several golf bags and large suitcases. All in all, the Bentley Mulsanne is nearly untouchable in terms of sheer opulence.