2018 Bentley Mulsanne

2018 Bentley Mulsanne Speed Review

For the ultimate in handcrafted luxury, look no further than the Bentley Mulsanne.
author
by Mark Takahashi
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The 2018 Bentley Mulsanne is one of the most expensive cars you can buy today. For the $300,000-plus cost of admission, you get a 3-ton, 18-foot (19-foot for the extended-wheelbase) luxury sedan that is as close to hand-built perfection as you'll find. As the price suggests, no expense is spared. Only the finest leather, metals and wood are selected. And if those aren't satisfying enough, you can opt for a customized Mulsanne that is tailored to your tastes.

More likely than not, you'll be enjoying the Mulsanne from one of the plush passenger seats. But the driver won't feel left out thanks to a massive turbocharged V8 under the sculpted hood. Wherever you might be seated, you'll be treated to one of the most comfortable rides on the planet.

There's no doubt the Bentley Mulsanne makes a statement. It's an extravagance that proclaims wealth, taste and refinement. In this rarefied air, there's really only one other ultimate luxury sedan that is competing for your impressive budget: the half-million-dollar Rolls-Royce Phantom. If you're fortunate enough to be considering either, there is no wrong choice.



What's new for 2018

The Bentley Mulsanne is unchanged for 2018.

We recommend

Unless you're regularly shuttling NBA players, there's not much need for the extended-wheelbase version. The extra $100,000 could be put to good use on the base Mulsanne by adding the Mulliner, Comfort and Entertainment specifications.



Trim levels & features

Bentley offers three versions of the Mulsanne to suit customer needs. The Mulsanne and the Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase, which adds almost 10 inches of rear legroom, are both powered by the same turbocharged 6.75-liter V8 (505 horsepower, 752 pound-feet of torque). There's also the Mulsanne Speed, which wrings an extra 25 hp and 60 lb-ft of torque from the V8. All three largely share the same equipment and options. Bentley offers a number of packages that add significant upgrades to this already lavish vehicle and nearly limitless options for customization.

Standard equipment highlights include four-zone automatic climate control with separate rear-seat controls, power rear-window privacy screens, 14-way power-adjustable front seats and eight-way power-adjustable rear seats (all with heating), a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an eight-speaker sound system, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen and, of course, leather upholstery and wood trim.

Outside the cabin, the Mulsanne includes an air ride suspension, LED headlights and taillights, a sunroof, automatic soft-close doors and trunk, parking sensors, 20-inch wheels, and keyless entry and ignition.

There are several packages, which Bentley refers to as "specifications," that offer some extensive upgrades.

The Comfort Specification adds massage and ventilation to both front seats and the rear outboard seats, special comfort headrests with faux suede pads, and two extra loose cushions. On the extended-wheelbase Mulsanne, the Comfort Specification also adds airline-style reclining seats with footrests. The Premier Specification adds the much-needed Flying B hood ornament, stainless-steel door-pillar finishers, a special filler cap, two umbrellas, a valet key, a veneered cellphone drawer for the front center console, and a remote-control garage door opener.

The Entertainment Specification adds dual 10.4-inch rear-seat tablets and veneered picnic tables, which deploy from the front seatbacks. These tablets can be removed from their mounts and used even outside the car. With this package, you also get the absolutely bonkers 2,200-watt, 20-speaker Naim sound system.

Finally, the Mulliner Driving Specification adds special 21-inch wheels (although a version of this package can be had without the wheels), branded treadplate plaques, a sport-tuned suspension with driver-selectable modes, diamond-quilted and perforated seats and door panels, a leather headliner, and uniquely machined shift lever, air vent controls, foot pedals and interior door handles.

The Mulsanne comes with a host of other optional extras, such as three choices of drink cabinet (cocktail, bottle cooler with tumblers or bottle cooler with Champagne flutes — all with bespoke crystal), extra rear-seat vanity mirrors, black rear-window curtains with power controls, adaptive cruise control, front corner-view cameras, a chromed radiator shell and lambswool rugs.

A number of connectivity options allow owners to track their car with GPS or control the infotainment from a connected smart device. Also on offer are digital television reception, in-car Wi-Fi with a 4G internet connection, and integrated iPad and keyboard docks built into the rear-seat picnic tables.

It's also worth mentioning the options for color, trim, veneer and embroidery, which number in the hundreds. But, as Bentley is happy to tell you, its ability to customize any aspect of the car, from custom marquetry to installing specially built compartments such as humidors or jewelry boxes, is limited mostly by the buyer's imagination and pocketbook.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our brief evaluation of the Bentley Mulsanne Speed (turbo 6.75L V8 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).

Driving

The Mulsanne is impressively quick. In Edmunds testing, we observed a 0-60 mph time of a bit more than 5 seconds. This big sedan also has impressively strong brakes. But drive around a turn and you'll experience a lot of body roll. Driving in a straight line is preferred.

Comfort

Comfort is at a premium in the Mulsanne. The seats with optional massage, recline and ventilation, plus extensive sound-deadening, an air ride suspension system and four-zone climate control, mean each occupant should feel supremely coddled.

Interior

Wood, metal and leather abound — all either handcrafted or -polished. The overall layout is very traditional, with modern technology subtly integrated. Optional extras such as lambskin rugs and veneer-framed vanity mirrors can take the interior of the Mulsanne to even greater heights of opulence.

Utility

The Bentley's trunk is surprisingly small for such a large car, but it offers quite a bit of clever storage in the cabin. Buyers willing to dip into Bentley's bespoke options can have storage built for just about anything small enough to fit in the car.

Technology

The classic approach to construction belies the fact that, especially with the Entertainment Specification, few rivals offer as much infotainment connectivity. The head unit is a bit old and the screen more restrained those of than many rivals, but everything is easy to understand and use.

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.