2020 Bentley Bentayga V8 Review By TestDriveNow Car Critic Steve Hammes. It’s hard to believe that the Bentayga’s been with us for 5 years already. And it’s certainly been a trailblazer. During that time Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and Aston Martin have also brought ultra-luxurious SUVs to market with more on the way. Available with 6-, 8- or 12–cylinder power including a plug-in hybrid, this is the Bentley Bentayga V8.
The Bentayga is a dream ride. The kind you could drive forever with no fatigue. It’s so isolating and comfortable and truly effortless in everything it does. This is my 7th and final day with it and I’ve learned that its price can be justified in that it’s an experience even the highest end SUVs from the mainstream automakers can’t touch.
MSRP as-tested: $228,845
2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label Review By Car Critic Steve Hammes. Sure, Lincoln has the supersized Navigator but they’ve never had an SUV quite like this. The all-new 2020 Aviator is a premium, 3-row midsized utility with robust power and boutique styling. With the recent demise of the MKZ and Continental, Lincoln becomes the latest automaker to kick cars to the curb as they are now exclusively an SUV brand offering 4 utilities in total and this one here slots in as number 3 between the $80,000 Navigator and the $40,000 Nautilus.
Lincoln’s designs are uniquely American; bold, beautiful and evocative of Lincolns of the past. Their vehicles have actual names and they’re not obsessed with trying to be European. And this Aviator Black Label in Flight Blue on these magnificent 22” wheels is indeed one sharp-looking whip.
MSRP as-tested: $82,435
Mercedes has been producing some crazy fast SUVs over the past 20 years and this one here is the OG. Originally known as the ML 55, this all-new 2021 GLE 63 S carries the brand’s AMG torch into a new decade of decadent speed. Is 603hp enough? How about a 0-to-60mph time of 3.7 seconds? The handcrafted 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 receives an electric boost from its 48 volt system that can provide an additional 21 horses and a quick shot of 184 pound-feet of torque for even more responsive acceleration. The 9-speed twin-clutch transmission adapts to the drive program that goes all the way to a RACE setting for driving on closed circuits. But it is an SUV after all, so the fully variable 4MATIC + all-wheel drive system works in concert with Trail and Sand drive modes and the air suspension to provide safe driving at max performance on soft, muddy or slippery ground. A performance exhaust system contributes the requisite soundtrack. The interior is characterized by a sporty ambiance with exclusive Nappa leather AMG seats, customizable 64-color ambient lighting and the latest infotainment system with a Supersport mode replete with an AMG menu that includes a Race Timer, Engine Data and more. Pricing will be released closer to this summer’s launch but expect it to be north of $110,000.
Aston Martin Vantage Review By Auto Critic Steve Hammes. https://testdrivenow.com/aston-martin-vantage/
Excluding their “Special Models” – the ones you’ll never see that cost millions of dollars – Aston Martin essentially sells 3 cars: the range-topping, $300k+ DBS Superleggera I tested a couple of months ago, the DB11 grand tourer and this; the brand’s most popular and affordable sports car, the Vantage. There’s no doubting the Vantage’s excessive curb appeal and if you drive with a purpose this is a car that will endlessly entertain.
MSRP as-tested: $170,609
If you’re lucky enough to consider a summer toy, Mazda’s been tempting shoppers with this one for 3 decades. Of course, it’s the Miata; the world’s fun-loving, affordable roadster. The Miata RF is sexy and is still turning heads. Total MSRP of this one is $35,390 – but go with the manual. https://testdrivenow.com/2020-mazda-mx-5-rf-review/
2020 Mazda MX-5 RF Review By Auto Critic Steve Hammes