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‘Now Rolls-Royce has one, it’s time the SUV got a bit more respect’

Now Rolls-Royce has taken the SUV plunge, it's time we stopped looking down on these types of vehicle, says Steve Walker

You will have your own thoughts on the Rolls-Royce Cullinan; how it looks, what it represents and what it means for the heritage and traditions of this famous, and still dearly loved, British luxury car brand. Those thoughts may not be entirely complementary to the Cullinan either.

The fact is, however, that a Rolls-Royce SUV has been inevitable for years. The only thing that should surprise us is that the good people at Goodwood have held out as long as they have.

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Rolls-Royce Cullinan officially revealed

Top luxury and sports car brands are queuing up to have their ‘SUV moment’ and now that blue blooded Rolls-Royce has taken the plunge, it really is time that we stopped looking down our noses at this often controversial category of vehicle.

SUVs might be slightly unnecessary, somewhat uncouth and relatively new to the automotive scene but they’re unquestionably what the public want. Especially buyers in emerging markets, the only place where luxury car manufacturers can easily achieve the sales volume growth they need to prosper.

Be it Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Bentley or Rolls-Royce, the people who take the decisions at any of the world’s most prestigious car companies would be borderline negligent if they hadn’t made the move into the rapidly expanding SUV space. The market demands these cars and if these companies don’t supply them, someone else will.

Best SUVs and 4x4s on sale

And if the purists still can’t stomach the idea of SUVs carrying the hallowed insignia of the brands they love, it might help to view these cars merely as an extension of the progress that has underpinned the car industry for more than 100 years. Standing still is not an option in the automotive world. It never has been.

Today’s big, weighty and sometimes cumbersome high-end luxury 4x4s are, in many cases, also brilliantly engineered, supremely capable on all kinds of terrain and a pleasure to live with. They’re not perfect, but what car is? More importantly though, they aren’t the end of the road but the step that brands like Rolls-Royce need to take so that they’ll still be in the rudest of health to take all the steps after that.

Would you buy a Rolls-Royce SUV over its luxury rivals? Let us know in the comments below...

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Head of digital content

Steve looks after the Auto Express website; planning new content, growing online traffic and managing the web team. He’s been a motoring journalist, road tester and editor for over 20 years, contributing to titles including MSN Cars, Auto Trader, The Scotsman and The Wall Street Journal.

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