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2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review
2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review
2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review

The Bentley Mulsanne is the pinnacle of luxury sedans made by the legendary British marque.

An alternative to the Rolls-Royce Phantom, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class, the Mulsanne is a massively powerful four-door that leaves no stone unturned in cosseting its occupants in absolute luxury.

On the outside is the classic Bentley matrix grille, chrome-surrounded circular headlamps and long, elegant bonnet with a strong waistline leading to haunches that give a clear relationship to the Bentley Continental GT.

Climb in and you’ll find an unrivalled cabin in terms of quality and opulence, reflective of the fact that each Bentley Mulsanne is hand built. From the wool carpets underfoot to the super-soft leather upholstery, there are high-end textures and surfaces on everything you touch and see, giving the Mulsanne a massive sense of occasion whether you’re the driver or riding as a passenger.

In the back, there’s localised climate control with its own switchgear in the centre armrest, while the rear seats are electrically adjustable, just as they are up front.

2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review
2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review
2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review
2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review

There’s also a plethora of choices in terms of colours and materials, with the leather, for instance, offered in 24 different shades. Of course, those willing to pay a little extra can specify almost endless changes.

The dash is highlighted by the genuine wood veneer waistband, which has its graining and pattern ‘mirror matched’, while door trims are covered in quilted leather and every single detail wrapped in leather or surrounded by exquisite welted stainless steel. The cabin reeks of effort and time heavily invested, as the attention to detail is astounding.

At the helm, the Bentley Mulsanne proves whisper quiet, despite being powered by a 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8. There’s 377kW, which is more than the BMW 750i V8 and Rolls-Royce Phantom, as well as a staggering 1020Nm of torque. To put that in perspective, Australia’s top selling car, the Mazda3, has 182Nm, while even a Porsche 911 Carerra has ‘only’ 440Nm.

Not only does the Mulsanne have an amazing torque figure, the full 1020Nm is available from a low 1750rpm. This means that from the high driving position there’s a massive surge from the responsive throttle pedal, and with the smoothness of the eight-speed automatic transmission the classic Bentley ‘Wave of torque’ slogan trumped in its advertisements becomes a truism.

There’s cylinder deactivation to save fuel, but owners won’t care about its horrendous 16.9L/100km fuel figure as much as the fact that it’s both effortlessly fast in a straight line, capable of 0-100km/h in a sports car-like 5.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 296km/h, but also serene on the freeway.

2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review
2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review
2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review
2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review

The driving position and cabin comfort means the Bentley Mulsanne a relaxing car to drive, though, with everything at your fingertips or accessed by the steering wheel-mounted controls. The eight-speed also comes with shift paddles, and despite weighing 2.5 tonnes, the hefty rear-wheel drive Mulsanne is surprisingly capable on winding roads.

Regardless of what speed you’re travelling at, the Mulsanne is near silent and seals you off from whatever’s going on outside the car. It turns the outside into a silent film, as the self-levelling suspension means that it maintains its composure over bumpy roads and keeps you insulated from potholes and speed humps. It’s a magic carpet ride that’s made even more comfortable by the spaciousness inside, with plenty of room for tall adults.

You could point to the transmission tunnel as making the centre rear seat a little less useful, but a Bentley Mulsanne would rarely be used to seat five occupants.

Around town, the Mulsanne’s sheer size makes it quite daunting to drive. It’s nearly six metres long and is 2.2 metres wide, and of course its weight means small movements in a carpark aren’t so easy. We didn’t even try to reverse park it for fear of embarrassment. Of course, the Mulsanne is not a car for the meek or modest, so if you’re not keen on drawing attention to yourself wherever you go, best choose something a little subtler.

At $662,857, the price of the Bentley Mulsanne is considerably less than the Rolls-Royce Phantom, which starts at $809,000, but the Bentley is more than twice the price of the BMW 750i. It also makes much more sense than buying a used Maybach, which went off the market in 2010 and cost around $1 million to buy.

2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review

This by no means makes the Mulsanne a penny-pincher’s choice, as servicing and running costs will be astronomical. Yet the Mulsanne, like the Phantom and Maybach, offers an amazing experience as the pinnacle of motoring luxury regardless of recessions, politics and social pressures: they’re simply the best at what they do.

The Bentley Mulsanne is a superbly crafted, hand-built sedan that won’t disappoint even the most ardent of critics.


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BENTLEY MULSANNE BREAKDOWN

2012 Bentley Mulsanne Review
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  • Daniel

    Six months ago I much preferred the Ghost over this. I thought the Ghost was a Rolls Royce for the same money and this was over designed. Now however I think the Ghost is actually a pretty bland car and the Mulsanne looks amazing. As with the Arnage before it I think it looks better in sportier guises, but it just looks really great to me. The Ghost is a little light on exterior details to me which just makes it seem a little bland. However, I do prefer the Ghost’s interior. There is something a little bit retirement village-y about the Mulsanne interior, it’s a bit old fashioned looking, even without the wood. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=737660467 Kit Ho

    I can’t see how ‘high running costs’ can be considered a disadvantage on a car that costs well over half a million

    • nickdl

      I wonder if you can get it on no deposit, 0% finance?

  • Zeh7o

    The car is beautiful but dammit…
    what an old dude’s car hey?;)

  • Wile E Coyote

    The headlights look lame 
    The front looks American (Chrysler?)
    But the interior is sublime.

    • guest

       It doesn’t look that good, and the interior looks like it is still trying to be Rolls Royce Silver-Seraph. It looks ancient.

      I’d prefer the Rolls Royce Ghost over this. But otherwise, wouldn’t a German luxury sedan do the job just as well and much faster? Eg, S65 AMG?

    • MisterZed

      Um, you do realise that Chrysler copied Bentley? So what you’re saying is this Bentley looks like a … Bentley.

      • Wile E Coyote

        Um, you realise your statement would not stand up in court otherwise it would be surely tested.
        Anyway some people may be reticent to outlay $600k on a car that looks similar to a  garden variety $60k car .The RR does not have that problem

        • RoadRunner

          it’s true, Chrysler did copy Bentley

          • Wile E Coyote

            As if anyone would trust what you say is true

      • mike

        Yes. But soon, people will be complaining that Aston Martins look like Fords.

  • MisterZed

    CA – wrong info, Mulsanne is nowhere near 2.2m wide. It’s 1926mm wide. You must be counting the mirrors, which is wrong. Mirrors should never be counted in a car’s width. Also, the car’s length is 5575mm – I wouldn’t call that “nearly 6m”.

  • F1orce

    The Lexus LS460 which is just a class under this does 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds and that has only 500Nm of torque from a 4.6L naturally aspirated V8 and doesn’t weight much less than this.. The new LS460 probably even faster.

    With that much torque shouldn’t 0-100 be in sub 4 second range for this thing?..

    • Phil

      Oh dear.

      The LS460 weighs 700kgs less than the Mulsanne. That’s quite a lot less.

      Also torque isn’t much use for brute acceleration.

  • JiM

    what a horrible review, all you said was how big and pricey it was ? is that seriously all there is?? what the?

    • Noddy of Toyland

      I looked for the author, and it simply said “By CarAdvice”. This review is a joke, Caradvice has reached new lows.

      • haxxor

        TH3Y B33N HACK3D!!! LOLOLOL

    • JiM’s not too clever

      You obviously can’t read. There are other details around the interior and fuel consumption included in the article. Stick to flicking through Coles catalogues.

      • JiM.

        My comment was entirely valid. this review is simply incomplete in comparison to most of this sites car reviews, especially considering how rare and bespoke this vehicle is. some reviews go on and on detailing all aspects of the car. this review does not and should have had more detail. How dare you insult my intelligence. I was merely passing a comment on the review not attacking someone from the safety of my keyboard like you.

        • AutoExpressIsBetter

          If you have not realised already, CarAdvice is a copy paste of AutoExpress in the UK… AutoExpress has the news one day, CarAdvice has the exact same the next… Just rehashed with Aussie slang here and there… It’s not journalism, it’s copyright.

  • john

    The Bentley mulsanne seems to have grown in size and is far more opulent than the one reviewed on Top Gear against the merc S65AMG and Rolls Royce Ghost!

  • Peter

    If you have it up against the 740 and the s class, would you also throw in the Jag XJ LWB 5 litre supercharged?  I’m biased of course, coz I love the jags, but I’d have thought it would warrant inclusion if the bimmer and the benz are there.

    • MisterZed

      When I hear 740 I think Volvo.

  • Maz

    No doubt it’s first class and ridiculously oppulent, but that dash… Ughh.. Just still looks like a 60′s Rolls.. Don’t like the dash or gauges at all..

  • nugsdad

    big car for blokes with little p@n*s

    • Peter

      we cant all drive hyundais, bigfella

    • Sam

       Nobody cares how big your wang is when you can afford a car like this.  Besides, its best use is behind it surely as the purchaser is likely to be in his 60′s.  (Unless you’re David Petreaus)

    • mike

      It seems that to some this particular joke never gets old.

  • Birty_B

    I couldn’t do it, you’d either save the money and buy a 7 or a Jag, or go the whole hog and buy a Phantom, it just seems like the middle ground.  

  • Sam

    Wow, even if I had won the $100 million, I am still not sure I could part with that much money for one car.  You must have to be very old and very very very wealthy for a car like this to appeal as a prospective choice on a shortlist.

    • MisterZed

      Geoff Edelsten only has $100M (reportedly), and he spends $20M on boats and private jets… this car is under $1M.

      • Wile E Coyote

        Um GE net assets more like $10m and tied up in property (as of Jan this year).
        Cars, boats and planes more likely lease deals than outright purchases.

        • MisterZed

          And? A 5-year lease on a $20M private jet is still $4M a year. That’s a heck of a lot for someone who has only $10M.  Also, running costs of private jets are around $1000/hour or $25K per day. Not cheap. Boats are less but still storage and maintenance cost heaps.

          • Wile E Coyote

            And so you are wrong.
            Search GE e.g. Wayne report and you will find .I think you have fallen victim to his own PR.By the way your private jet numbers are way out .You have ignored residuals and he most likely charters rather than leases.I do not think you have clue with such things.

          • WestfieldShareholder

            Frank Lowy has a $12m annual jet allowance as part of his package. The fuel, airport charges, staff etc would cost just as much as the plane lease…

          • Wile E Coyote

            Misinformed WestfieldShareholder you speak with forked tongue.
            The Frank Lowy annual jet allowance was $890k when last used in 2010.It is in the annual accounts.
            Some people  just make up stuff as they go along don’t they MisterZed. 
            Even Frank would cop a carpeting from real shareholders if it was $12m.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6ZQHML4W2NGIYK4AFA47WMEPKI timmyt

    That interior looks like it is straight out of 1992.

  • No Fears

    I like it,would cherish it, don’t like the RR. But I could not see myself driving it through the outback with my camping & camera gear in the boot.   

  • Golfmother

    Iam disappointed with the interior , not enough wood .

Bentley Mulsanne Specs

6.8L TURBO MPFI - 8 SP AUTOMATIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 4D SEDAN
Car Details
Make
BENTLEY
Model
MULSANNE
Series
3Y
Year
2012
Body Type
4D SEDAN
Seats
5
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
TURBO MPFI
Engine Size
6.8L
Cylinders
TURBO V8
Max. Torque
1020Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
377kW @  4200rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
145.3W/kg
Bore & Stroke
104x99.1mm
Compression Ratio
7.8
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
8 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
REAR WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
96
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
16.9L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
2595
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1526mm
Length
5576mm
Width
1926mm
Ground Clearance
164mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:0  Unbrake:0
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
0
Front Rim Size
9x20
Rear Rim Size
9x20
Front Tyres
265/45 R20
Rear Tyres
265/45 R20
Wheel Base
3266
Front Track
1602
Rear Track
1633
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  16,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
8-M-6
Country of Origin
UNITED KINGDOM