Used 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Review

Edmunds expert review

The 2015 Bentley Mulsanne exceeds the strictest standards for luxury and craftsmanship with its old-world charm mixed with modern amenities.




What's new for 2015

The 2015 Bentley Mulsanne gets a new high-performance trim level called the Speed, with higher engine output, a sport-tuned suspension and some extra standard equipment.

Vehicle overview

When it comes to ultimate luxury, few vehicles can compete with the 2015 Bentley Mulsanne. It's also worth noting that even fewer soar to its lofty starting price. For the select few who can afford such a vehicle, rest assured, they're getting a very special luxury sedan.

Everything about the Mulsanne conveys a sense of wealth in its distinctly British execution. From the imposing and stately exterior to its impeccable interior, this big Bentley simply makes the driver and passengers feel special. For 2015, the Mulsanne is even more special with the introduction of a more powerful and higher-performing Mulsanne Speed variant. As competent as the standard Mulsanne is, choosing the Speed version may very well come down to a pricey game of one-upsmanship in your gated community.

In this segment, there really are no losers. The Mulsanne and its rivals deliver an unparalleled level of craftsmanship and engineering. Like its closest rival, the Rolls-Royce Phantom, the Bentley exudes an old-world type of luxury, with a subtle integration of modern technology. The Phantom demands a significantly higher price, but perhaps at this range it's not as much of a deal-breaker. Closer to the Mulsanne's price is the 2015 Roll-Royce Ghost, which is based on the BMW 7 Series. The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class (specifically in S600 and S65 AMG trims) offers much of the same equipment and comfort as the Mulsanne, albeit without the British pomp and circumstance. And if that's one of the main draws for you, the 2015 Bentley Mulsanne should definitely be at the top of your list.




Trim levels & features

The 2015 Bentley Mulsanne is a large luxury sedan with seating for five passengers that comes in two trim levels: base and Speed. Standard features include 20-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, heated and auto-dimming mirrors, a sunroof, soft-close doors and trunk lid, front and rear parking sensors, LED accent and taillights, keyless ignition and entry and an air-ride suspension.

On the inside, you also get four-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 14-way power-adjustable heated front seats with memory functions, eight-way power-adjustable heated rear outboard seats, leather upholstery, wood interior trim, power rear window privacy screens, a rear center armrest with seat and climate controls, an 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and a 14-speaker CD player with iPod/USB input.

The optional Mulliner Driving Specification package adds sport-tuned suspension and steering, diamond-quilted upholstery, embroidered Bentley emblems, a leather headliner and metal sports pedals. The more powerful Mulsanne Speed includes the Mulliner package and also adds 21-inch wheels, dark-tinted exterior trim, selectable drive modes and a knurled gear selector.

Options for either Mulsanne model include the Premier Specification package (a flying "B" hood emblem, stainless steel exterior and interior accents, a knurled fuel filler cap, a rearview camera, a universal garage door opener, a valet key, ventilated front and rear seats with massage functions and ambient interior lighting), the Comfort Specification package (two loose cushions, rear headrests with adjustable wings and rear passenger footrests) and the Entertainment Specification package (rear seat picnic tables with built-in storage for iPads and keyboards, a Naim premium audio system, rear seat entertainment systems and a mobile WiFi hotspot).

Stand-alone options include adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel, a wood-trimmed steering wheel, a refrigerated bottle cooler (with crystal champagne flutes, of course), fold-down vanity mirrors, privacy curtains for the rear seats, a six-disc DVD player and sideview cameras. Buyers also have a seemingly endless array of exterior and interior color choices, and if somehow those don't meet their needs, Bentley can match or create a custom color palette at additional cost.



Performance & mpg

Powering the 2015 Bentley Mulsanne is a 6.75-liter V8 that produces 505 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds testing, the Mulsanne accelerated to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. Considering the vehicle's size, weight and performance, fuel economy understandably suffers. The EPA estimates it at a rather poor 13 mpg combined (11 city/18 highway).

The new Mulsanne Speed increases power output to 530 hp and 811 lb-ft of torque. During Edmunds performance testing, the Mulsanne Speed was able to go from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Despite the higher output, EPA fuel economy estimates remain the same.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2015 Bentley Mulsanne include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear parking sensors and front and rear side-impact airbags designed to protect both the head and thorax. Rearview and side cameras are optional.

In Edmunds testing, a base Mulsanne consistently required only 111 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph, and a Mulsanne Speed did the same simulated panic stop in just 108 feet. Both are impressive distances for the segment and for such heavy cars.

Driving

The 2015 Bentley Mulsanne is as stately as luxury sedans come, and for most people, that translates to big. In terms of size and weight, it's longer and heavier than a Cadillac Escalade and while it certainly feels large, it's not nearly as unwieldy or difficult to pilot as you'd expect. The big Bentley accelerates with authority, while remaining eerily calm. It's a bit like being in a modern high-speed elevator, where you know there's a lot of weight to move, but it all feels incredibly effortless. In this regard, you'd expect the Speed to offer noticeably quicker acceleration, but most drivers won't be able to tell the difference.

Not surprisingly, the ride quality on the highway is just about flawless. The air-ride suspension smoothes out the worst road surfaces without ever feeling disconnected or floaty. On a winding mountain pass, the Mulsanne leans heavily around turns, even with the sport-tuned Speed trim level. This is not a car you'll want to drive quickly, but it's composed and stable enough for something weighing almost 3 tons. Ultimately, the best part about the Mulsanne is the way it adds a regal air to even the most mundane of errands, making carpooling or grocery getting more of an occasion than a task.

Interior

The 2015 Bentley Mulsanne's interior showcases the lengths to which British luxury carmakers will go in their quest for perfection. Every surface is covered in the best materials available, whether it's flawless leather, rich wood trim or polished stainless steel. The overall design of the cabin has a traditional layout with modern technology subtly integrated into the mix.

The main infotainment display emerges from behind a veneered panel in the dash and utilizes much of Audi's MMI interface system, including the large controller dial on the center console. The driver information display is a less modern unit that doesn't provide as much data as we'd like, but overall the system is easy to use and understand. The optional rear-seat picnic tables are also designed to house iPads and Apple wireless keyboards perfectly, and the available WiFi hotspot should keep those passengers well connected to the rest of the world.

In terms of comfort and luxury, the Mulsanne remains tastefully opulent. There's no shortage of room in any seat and passengers will remain fatigue-free, even after a long journey. With 15.6 cubic feet of cargo space available, those fortunate travelers will also have the option of packing plenty of their comforts of home.

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.