Used 2015 Bentley Flying Spur Review

The 2015 Bentley Flying Spur's combination of power, technology and style are compelling, even among its peers at this end of the vehicle spectrum.




what's new

For 2015, the Bentley Flying Spur gains a new V8 engine option to complement the existing W12 engine.

vehicle overview

At the upper reaches of the luxury sedan segment, there are cars that are meant to be chauffeured and some that are best enjoyed from the driver seat. The 2015 Bentley Flying Spur falls into the latter. It's a big sedan, make no mistake, but the Flying Spur nonetheless lays down some truly impressive performance figures that we're more accustomed to seeing from sports cars.

For 2015, you actually get to choose among two available engines for the first time in this Bentley. The massive 6.0-liter W12 continues on, churning out 616 horsepower, but now there's also a new 4.0-liter V8 that produces an even 500 hp. Acceleration is impressive with either engine, so the main draw to the V8 is a slightly lower price, improved fuel economy (should one care about such things) and a bit more responsiveness when going around turns.

Exclusivity is all but guaranteed with the Flying Spur. But as impressive as this swanky and speedy sedan is, it is not without some formidable rivals. The Rolls-Royce Ghost boasts the exclusivity that only a Rolls can provide, while the Aston Martin Rapide offers sexy styling and a philosophical approach that's more sports car than sedan. There are also a handful of less prestigious but wholly desirable luxury sedans to choose from, including the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Porsche Panamera. But if you want the best combination of driver interaction and exotic luxury sedan prestige, you'll do well to pick the Bentley Flying Spur.

trim levels & features

The 2015 Bentley Flying Spur is a high-performance ultra-luxury sedan offered in two well-equipped variants. The Flying Spur V8 is the base model, while the Flying Spur brings a 12-cylinder engine.

Standard features on the Flying Spur include 20-inch wheels (19-inch wheels for the V8), an adjustable air suspension, automatic bi-xenon headlamps, LED running lights and taillights, power-folding heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, a power trunk lid, keyless ignition and entry, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a Breitling analog dashboard clock, front and rear parking sensors, four-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated multi-way power front and rear seats (with adjustable lumbar and massage functions), power rear sunshades and leather upholstery.

Also standard are an 8-inch front touchscreen, a navigation system, a rearview camera, voice control, a wireless remote that allows rear occupants to control various infotainment functions, Bluetooth connectivity and an eight-speaker CD/DVD audio system with a digital media interface, an SD card reader and satellite radio.

The Mulliner specification adds 21-inch wheels (or any other kind of wheel you'd like, Bentley says), a chrome lower front bumper with wing insert, a choice of 17 diamond-quilted perforated interior hides (including a presumably non-literal "Porpoise" decor option) and six wood veneers, an indented leather headliner, a knurled shift knob, drilled alloy pedals and a special gas tank cap.

A sunroof is a no-cost option; carbon-ceramic brakes, meanwhile, are a five-figure option. Other options include various wheel designs from 19-21 inches, special paint, flip-down wooden picnic tables for rear passengers (with or without vanity mirrors), upgraded stitching, a two-passenger rear compartment with a full-length center console, a three-spoke steering wheel, lambswool carpeting, adaptive cruise control, a refrigerator, a rear entertainment system with twin display screens, WiFi connectivity and a 13-speaker Naim sound system.

performance & mpg

The Flying Spur is powered by a turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine rated at 616 hp and 590 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive is standard. According to Bentley, launching from zero to 60 mph consumes 4.3 seconds.

Flying Spur V8 models also employ an eight-speed automatic with AWD, but slot in a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that generates 500 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque. It's capable of reaching 60 in 4.9 seconds.

EPA fuel economy estimates check in at 15 mpg combined (12 city/20 highway) for W12 models and 17 mpg (14 city/24 highway) for V8 models.

safety

The 2015 Bentley Flying Spur is equipped with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, a driver knee airbag, full-length side curtain airbags and both front and rear side airbags. Oddly, the Flying Spur is relatively bereft of the latest high-tech safety features, though adaptive cruise control is available.

driving

With oodles of torque and an all-wheel-drive system that biases engine torque to the rear wheels to improve handling, the 2015 Bentley Flying Spur promises a relatively sporty driving experience by segment standards. Keyword there is "relatively." This is an amply sized, heavy sedan, after all. There's little doubt that most Flying Spurs will spend their lives oozing down well-known boulevards.

However, it shares its DNA with the capable Continental GT coupe, which has a modicum of driving spirit in its own right. In reality, the Flying Spur's standard air suspension provides sufficient comfort, and the car's isolation from the outside world is comprehensive. That goes for the mighty W12 engine, too, which is so silent that it might as well be electric. Interestingly, the new V8 provides more aural character, plus superior responsiveness. There's really no downside to this new V8. With either engine, though, just mash the gas and the unrelenting thrust is undeniable.

interior

Bentleys are renowned for their opulent cabins, and the Flying Spur is no exception. Rich hand-stitched leather and gorgeous lacquered wood is punctuated by cool metal accents. Some of the switchgear dotting the cabin betrays its parts-bin German roots, but only due to familiarity rather than any actual shortcoming. The vibe is undeniably that of fine motoring. What's more, there are myriad choices of veneers, colors and leather styles from which to choose, making the Flying Spur truly exclusive.

Its navigation system borrows the excellent Google Earth integration from Audi's MMI Plus system, and the responses from the crisp 8-inch touchscreen are acceptable. Aped by the new BMW 7 Series, the wireless rear touchscreen remote is clever, allowing infotainment functions to be manipulated by backseat passengers. The two outboard backseats are spacious, replete with power adjustments, though the center position is fixed. As such, the optional two-passenger rear layout is what we'd give the nod to, its comprehensive center console providing a first-class ambience.

Trunk space in the Flying Spur measures an unremarkable 15.6 cubic feet.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.