2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid Review: Expect Better

Downsizing is the name of the game for automakers with folks like Toyota, Ford and others swapping out thirsty V8 engines for V6s and hybrids. Even luxury makers like Bentley aren't immune to the change, now offering a hybrid V6 version of its latest sedan.

The 2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid is the now the most efficient of the nameplate returning 19 miles per gallon combined on gasoline but 46 miles per gallon equivalent using its hybrid motor and battery. The Flying Spur range now has three players including the Hybrid, V8, W12, denoting the engine cylinder count.

The Mulliner Specification can be added to any Flying Spur, upping the luxury quotient even further with unique wheels, lofted diamond quilting on the seats, three-dimensional leather door panels, sports pedals, embroidered Bentley logos inside and metal filler caps for oil and fuel. Additionally, buyers can spec more colors and options

The only thing setting this Flying Spur Hybrid apart from the crowd is the Hybrid badge and the sound. From the curb, it looks exactly like its V8 brethren with cut-crystal LED headlights, wraparound taillights and 21- or 22-inch wheels. A new retractable Flying B mascot is installed on the hood, which flips safely underneath when the car is locked.

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There are several colors to choose from the factory, but customers can also spec one of 60 options including the Mulliner colors. A Blackline Specification ($4,830) adds gloss lack trim to the side window surrounds, wing vents, lower door brightware, radiator shell matrix, tailpipes and a few other areas.

Inside, buyers get rich wood and leather offered in 15 hide colors. Wood veneers run from the doors across the dash and back around the cabin. Most of the controls are metal and knurled, reflecting bright spots in direct sunlight.

The seats and doors are diamond stitched, inspired by the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept. Crown Cut Walnut is offered as a new wood veneer option, as is Poplar Dark Fiddleback and Piano Black. Dual veneer finishes can also be specified by the buyer.

Those leather-wrapped seats are soft in the 2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid, heated, cooled and feature a massage function, in addition to leg and lumbar supports. A 12.3-inch touchscreen marks the center of the dashboard, which rotates from the digital screen to analog gauges to plain wood. Wireless charging is standard as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
The 2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid features diamond-stitched seats. Bentley

It all looks excellent and feels expensive. However, Bentley should be a step ahead of the other automakers at this price, instead it seems on even footing. It doesn't have wireless Apple CarPlay, an option buyers can get on a Kia compact.

Additionally, those beautiful metal dials click, but the clicks don't line up with the digits on the radio or climate. It clicks 25 times and only changes the station twice. Again, that's something automakers like General Motors figured out years ago. The gear selector is also ergonomically unsound.

The Park button is on the front side; when a buyer shifts into reverse by grabbing the shifter, the Park button depresses, keeping the vehicle in park. Same thing when quickly grabbing for the Drive gear. If a palm touches the Park button it won't shift. These are small complaints, but problems that other automakers have solved.

The rear seats in the Flying Spur are just as comfortable as the fronts with a big console armrest in the middle with storage space. Both booster seats and child seats are easy to hook up with the LATCH system, and the space offers plenty of room for kicking legs without disturbing the driver.

2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
The 2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid features the Flying B hood ornament. Bentley

Motivating the 5,523-pound behemoth is a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with an electric motor making a total of 536 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. That's good for a zero to 60 miles per hour sprint in 4.1 seconds, the same as the V8 model and only a few ticks down from the twelve-cylinder version.

That power is sent through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission to all four wheels. Those rear wheels can also steer when maneuvering in a tight parking lot. In practice, it does handle like a smaller car at slow speeds.

The Flying Spur has 25 miles of all electric range, and since it needs to recharge the brakes are regenerative. Here too, some automakers have learned how to do this without scaring the driver. This Bentley brake pedal moves about 6 inches before any real braking gets done. More than one regular stop was turned into a panic stop because the brakes didn't react quickly enough.

It does ride extremely smoothly, despite the 22-inch wheels with low profile tires. Like the rest of the lineup, the Flying Spur has Comfort, Bentley, Sport and Custom driving modes. This hybrid also comes with three additional modes including EV Drive, Hybrid Mode and Hold Mode.

2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
The 2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid is different from the rest only with the "hybrid" badge. Bentley

EV Drive uses only the battery. Hold Mode saves the battery at its current charge and Hybrid Mode uses both as efficiently as possible. The cabin is one of the quietest on the road no matter the speed or mode. For extra noise, buyers will have to get the V8.

As for safety, the 2022 Flying Spur does offer the latest including several packages of options. City Specification includes Hands Free Boot Opening, Pedestrian Warning, Reverse Traffic Warning and Automatic Dimming Mirrors. Touring Specification offers Lane Assist, Night Vision, Head-Up Display, Adaptive Cruise Control (with Traffic Jam Assist) and Bentley Safeguard Plus, with Emergency Lane Change Assist and Intersection Assist.

The 2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid starts at $210,000. As tested this specific model included more than $60,000 in options bringing the price over $270,000. There isn't much to compare at that lofty limit, but the Rolls-Royce Ghost starts at $340,500, making this Bentley seem like a steal. On the other hand, the Mercedes-Maybach S 580 is less expensive at $184,900. That sedan offers almost everything the Bentley does for less, except in its efficiency as it only offers a twin-turbo V8.

Buyers should check out those, as well as the Alpina B7, the most luxurious version of the BMW 7 Series. That starts even lower at about $143,000. Once those boxes are checked, and the Flying Spur is still on the radar, it's an impressive vehicle.