£321,295 - £374,863 Price range
Rolls-Royce is one of the most coveted luxury car makers in the world, so it’s no surprise that its flagship model, the Phantom, is seen by most of the critics as one of the best cars in its class.
Among other things, the testers love the Phantom’s imposing opulence, the impressive build quality and superb levels of comfort and refinement. However, peerless luxury does come at an extravagant price…
Most of the reviews say that the cabin of the Phantom is one of the nicest you’ll ever find in a car – if you look really hard, you will find the odd bit of cheap plastic here and there, but there’s no denying the superb attention to detail and the quality of the materials used throughout.
As you’d expect from such a large car, the interior is also hugely accommodating – there’s plenty of space up front, head and legroom in the rear is in abundance and the boot is also a usefully large size. However, the rear chairs aren’t adjustable and one critic thought, because of the relatively low roofline, getting out of the back was a bit tricky.
The majority of owners will most likely have a personal driver to chauffeur them about, but those who do decide to take their luxury limo for a spin will be pleased with the way the Phantom drives. It’s no supercar, but the Rolls handles extremely well for a car that weighs nearly three tonnes.
The brakes and steering are very impressive, though there is quite a bit of body roll. The eight-speed automatic ZF gearbox shifts seamlessly, and makes great use of the huge reserves of power produced by the monstrous V12 that lives under the bonnet.
However, the Phantom is far more impressive when you’re wafting along – refinement is sensational, and the air suspension means the ride is very comfortable. That being said, there is a tiny amount of wind whistle from the large wing mirrors, and the car’s sheer size means it’s quite tricky to steer down narrow roads or into parking spaces.
Not only are there other body styles for the Phantom – there’s a Coupe and a Drophead convertible available as well – but you can also tailor the car’s exterior and interior aesthetic to your liking. Though, only if you’ve very deep pockets.
Until Rolls-Royce puts its electrically powered Phantom concept car into production, the only engine you can choose from is a gargantuan 6.75 V12. The V12 puts out 459hp, and 531lb ft of torque – which is nearly enough turning power to alter the Earth’s rotation!
Most of the testers reckon that it’s a superb all-round engine – the V12 is smooth and refined, and is almost completely silent, which makes it well suited for long cruises.
Although, should you want to stretch its legs, you’ll be surprised at just how quick the Phantom is – 0-60mph is dealt with in under six seconds, and is electronically limited to 150mph! Not bad for a car that weighs 2.6 tonnes…
Entry into Rolls-Royce ownership has always been expensive, and the Phantom is no exception. It’s a pricey car to buy and run – if you’re gentle, you can just about coax 15 mpg out of it – and the depreciation rate is quite steep. This being said, it does hold its value better than some of its rivals – such as a Bentley Muslanne or a Range Rover.
However, the attention to detail and the overall feeling of quality and luxury, along with the bragging rights of having your very own Rolls-Royce, do help to justify the vast financial outlay. It’s also highly likely that a majority of customers aren’t that fussed over how much it costs to insure the Phantom or fill it up with petrol.
Overall, the Rolls-Royce Phantom is a truly magnificent car that the company’s founders would be immensely proud of. The car has been screwed together extremely well, the levels of comfort and refinement are superb and it’s quite good to drive for such a large and heavy car.
The Rolls’ styling isn’t to everyone’s taste, and it is debatable whether or not it can truly be dubbed ‘the best car in the world’. However, the Phantom does comes mighty close, and we can easily recommend it if you’re in the market for a spacious and incredibly luxurious limo.