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New Rolls-Royce Cullinan Review

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  • Loads of space
  • Class-leading quality
  • Massive performance
  • Divisive looks
  • Old-school V12 engine
  • Range Rover better off-road
MPG
-
CO2 emissions
-
First year road tax
£0
Safety rating
-

If you want the most exclusive SUV on the planet right now, you’re looking at it. It’s no looker, though, there’s no hybrid version and a Range Rover will get you further off-road

As the saying goes: if you build it, they will come. An SUV Rolls-Royce might seem like sacrilege, but Rolls would be stupid not to capitalise on the SUV craze

Why not test drive the Rolls-Royce Cullinan yourself at a dealer near you?

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is the first SUV Rolls-Royce has ever produced, named after the world’s largest uncut diamond. It’s an absolutely vast 4×4 and one of the most luxurious cars of any kind. It’s certainly a huge departure for the luxury British carmaker, which has a long history of producing sumptuous saloons.

The Cullinan SUV looks a little like a Rolls-Royce Phantom that’s trapped inside a particularly unflattering hall of mirrors. Sure, it’s definitely one of the most imposing objects you’re likely to spot on the road, but its enormous grille, flat sides and boxy roofline won’t appeal to everyone.

A few contrasting silver trims on the doors, around the windows and on the wings help to disguise its colossal silhouette, but it doesn’t quite hide its size as elegantly as a Bentley Bentayga. The Mercedes G-Class pulls off the deliberately boxy look much more convincingly, too.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan buyers will probably never venture off-road in their new cars, but should they ever get (very) lost on the way to Knightsbridge, there are some contrasting silver protectors that’ll keep the bottom edges of its expensive paintwork mostly scratch-free.

You can choose to fit the Cullinan with either what Rolls-Royce calls Lounge or Individual seats. The former is the most practical option and comes with three rear seats that can be folded down should you ever need to carry more than the Cullinan’s 560-litre boot (600 litres with the parcel shelf removed) can manage. The car’s huge size should mean there’ll be ample head, leg and shoulder room for three large adults to sit very comfortably indeed.

The Individual rear seat option replaces the central rear seat with a drinks cabinet – complete with Rolls Royce whisky glasses, Champagne flutes and a fridge.

The Cullinan is the first Rolls-Royce to come fitted with a touchscreen infotainment system – although you can still control it using the rotary dial on the centre console like BMW’s iDrive. Through this, you can tweak the sat-nav, adjust the set-up of the standard air suspension and access a live feed from the panoramic surround-view camera system.

If you’re worried that the Cullinan’s imposing size and huge doors will make it difficult to climb into, there’s no need. It’ll lower its huge body to help you climb in as gracefully as possible – just like a London bus – as soon as you touch one of the door handles.

As the saying goes: if you build it, they will come. An SUV Rolls-Royce might seem like sacrilege, but Rolls would be stupid not to capitalise on the SUV craze

Mat Watson
carwow expert

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan comes with just one engine – a 6.75-litre V12 that produces 571hp and drives all four wheels through an automatic gearbox. That ensures the Cullinan sprints to 60mph from a standstill in just 5.0sec and will go on to an electronically limited 155mph.

Rolls-Royce has said the car comes with four-wheel steering to make it as manoeuvrable as possible around town and air suspension to isolate your and your passengers’ backsides from the unpleasant thud of large potholes.

Also standard are selectable off-road driving modes that alter the engine, suspension and gearbox settings to help the Rolls-Royce Cullinan deal more effectively with sandy, snow-covered and gravel-strewn surfaces. It’ll also wade through more than half a metre of water without risking any damage to your handmade Italian leather shoes.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan comes with four-wheel steering to make it as manoeuvrable as possible around town and air suspension to isolate your and your passengers’ backsides from the unpleasant thud of large potholes.

Also standard are selectable off-road driving modes that alter the engine, suspension and gearbox settings to help the Cullinan deal more effectively with sandy, snow-covered and gravel-strewn surfaces. It’ll also wade through more than half a metre of water without risking any damage to your handmade Italian leather shoes.

Talking about what standard equipment a Rolls-Royce has is almost futile. Rest assured almost everything will be included, from the finest leather seats to climate control, sat-nav, a powered tailgate, heated and cooled seats and LED headlights. Beyond that the options list is long and expensive, while Rolls-Royce will cater for pretty much any desire you have – if you have enough cash.

Rolls-Royce hasn’t announced how much the Cullinan will cost when it goes on sale, but you can expect it to sport a similarly hefty price tag to the Phantom. Entry-level models will set you back from £250,000, while fully kitted-out cars could nudge past the £400,000 mark.