Bentley Arnage Arnage T

September 2006

picture of car from the front

Imperious front end is capped with the Bentley grille

Ratings

Overall Rating 9Overall rating

Value for money Rating 7Value for money

Space and Practicality Rating 2Costs

Space and Practicality Rating 8Space and practicality

Controls and display Rating 8Controls and display

Comfort Rating 9Comfort

Security Rating 7Car security

Safety Rating 8Car safety


Likes

  • Untouchable image is highly appealing
  • Incredible performance on offer
  • Comfort and ride levels are very good
  • Interior is a delight to use

Gripes

  • Fuel economy is generally poor
  • Running costs are likely to be very high
  • Sheer size can be an issue in traffic
  • Styling could be too dated for some

Competing in one of the most exclusive markets in the motoring world, the Bentley Arnage is the most luxurious saloon from the legendary manufacturer. As well as delivering the last word in luxury it delivers exceptional performance, all wrapped up in a package with a strong sense of style and taste.

Although much of the Arnage is based on older technology, a continuous process of improvement and refinement has ensured that it meets the needs of modern motoring. The exterior remains traditional in looks but combines modern detailing, such as the smart 19-inch alloy wheels and high intensity headlamps. It is this maintaining of traditions that keeps the Bentley's appeal so strong, and it is unlikely to change radically in the future.

Inside the Arnage is arguably even more appealing, thanks to the luxurious bespoke interior. Only hides and chrome of the highest quality are used inside, finished by hand to the customer's requirements in a range of hues. Even so the Arnage still incorporates modern systems into the traditional cabin, with a hidden sat-nav screen, climate control and audio systems.

Inside the Arnage is arguably even more appealing, thanks to the luxurious bespoke interior. Only hides and chrome of the highest quality are used inside, finished by hand to the customer's requirements in a range of hues. Even so the Arnage still incorporates modern systems into the traditional cabin, with a hidden sat-nav screen, climate control and audio systems.

Unlike many ordinary cars, the Arnage can be specified to suit the particular requirements of the buyer. As well as choosing an exterior colour and wheel options, the Arnage buyer can choose a main and secondary leather colour, the colour and finish of the wood, stitching, carpeting and even door panels. Bentley also offers a totally bespoke service who can meet the needs and whims of the most demanding buyers.

Our verdict on the Bentley Arnage Arnage T

The Arnage is hard to judge in the terms of ordinary cars due to its expense, but despite the price tag it offers a huge amount for the money. It has the image, the grace, performance, luxury and comfort in equal measure, yet it is a class apart from more modern rivals.

Costs
Costs rating 2

This is one area where the Arnage falls down. The purchase price is high, insurance will also be very high while poor economy and high running costs will make it an expensive car all round.

Space and practicality
Space and Practicality Rating 8

The Arnage is not as space efficient as its size would suggest, and although front and rear seat passengers have plenty of head and legroom, a great deal of the car's length is accounted for by the imperious bonnet. Boot space is very good, although the boot is relatively shallow.

picture of car from the rear

Traditional saloon styling is attractive

Controls and display
Controls and Display Rating 8

As a family car the Arnage would actually do a fine job, thanks to the generous room on offer. Older children would certainly enjoy travelling in it, though it would be a brave parent that subjected the bespoke interior to the demands of young children.

Comfort
Comfort Rating 9

As expected from a luxury car like this, the Arnage delivers impressive comfort. Noise levels are very low indeed, the ride is soothing and all the seats are electrically adjustable, soft leather chairs that remain comfortable over long distances.

Car security
Security Rating 7

A highly desirable car such as this needs a high level of protection, and the standard fit alarm and immobiliser help to keep it safe. A security tracking system is also available for added peace of mind.

Car safety
Safety Rating 8

At 2,585kg in weight the Arnage certainly has might on its side, while the 19-inch wheels and tyres, high specification brakes and ESP system helps to keep the car out of trouble. Six airbags are also included, as are seat belt pretensioners for front seat passengers.

Driver appeal
Driver Appeal Rating 8

The Arnage is a delight to drive, because of its dual personality. On the one hand it cruises with a distinguished hush, soothing away poor road surfaces and requiring just a gentle squeeze of the accelerator to make progress. However, using all the power on offer transforms the Arnage, and it will race forward with incredible speed. The suspension, brakes and steering are also able to cope with surprising ease, make it suitable for almost any situation.

picture of car interior

Bespoke interior is a pleasure to use

Family car appeal
Family Appeal Rating 8

As a family car the Arnage would actually do a fine job, thanks to the generous room on offer. Older children would certainly enjoy travelling in it, though it would be a brave parent that subjected the bespoke interior to the demands of young children.

First car appeal
First car Rating 0

The Arnage is not suitable for a first car buyer, and it is unlikely than anyone looking for their first car would have the finances necessary to purchase one.

Quality and image
Quality and Image Rating 10

In terms of quality the Arnage is very high indeed, thanks to the almost universally superb materials used and the hand finished quality of the cabin. Detail touches throughout highlight the level of quality. The Bentley's image is just as impressive, and despite the obvious expense it manages to avoid ostentatious while exuding good taste.

Accessibility
Accessibility Rating

Gaining access to the Arnage is simple, with large, heavy doors front and rear opening up large apertures. The car's height is also a help, putting the seats at a comfortable level for those gaining entry.

Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)

The Arnage is fitted with a high specification radio/CD tuner as standard, with a high quality sound reproduction and powerful output. It is mounted in the centre console and can be hidden by a wood veneer flap.

picture of car in detail

V8 engine is enormously powerful

Colours and trim

The Arnage is available with a high degree of personalisation, and there are numerous options for the colour, fabric and in some respects design of the interior materials. All the choices are of a very high quality and hand finished in many areas, making the interior very luxurious and a delight to spend time in.

Parking

At 5,400mm in length the Arnage does require a large space to park in, and in this respect it can be intimidating. However, the high driving position and squared off styling makes it easy to judge the extremities of the car.

Spare wheel

Full size spare wheel mounted beneath the boot floor.

 

Range information

Two engine options: 6.75-litre twin turbocharged petrol (400bhp and 450bhp), both mated to a four-speed automatic transmission as standard. Trim levels are R, RL an T, with the T gaining the higher output engine.

 

Alternative cars

Rolls-Royce Phantom Much more expensive but thoroughly modern design

Maybach 57 Very comfortable and accommodating, also more expensive

Mercedes-Benz S-Class High tech wonder can't match on image

Jaguar XJ Much cheaper, similar image and good to drive



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September 2006