Rolls-Royce Phantom review
The new Rolls-Royce Phantom offers wealthy owners the ultimate in luxury, comfort and opulence
For some luxury car buyers, the Rolls-Royce Phantom is too ostentatious, for others it’s just too big – but most simply can’t afford one. Clear all those hurdles though, and you’re in for a treat, as there is no other car on the planet that can match the opulence, superlative ride comfort and hushed refinement of this remarkable Rolls-Royce flagship. It’s an absolute pleasure behind the wheel too, with effortless performance from a big V12 engine and a chassis that welcomes spirited driving.
The tech-laden Phantom uses all the ingenuity and expertise of the BMW Group and its suppliers, and the spec-sheet wants for nothing when it comes to latest active safety features and infotainment systems. The rest is up to you, with a limitless array of colour, trim and option choices. It all comes at a price, of course.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom has a price tag that means it costs more than the average house for sale in the UK. It's expensive by anybody's estimation, but buyers that can afford it get to experience an interior that's one of the most luxurious places of all to spend time anywhere, let alone in the world of cars.
This version is the Phantom 8, which was introduced in 2017 as the second Phantom to be produced by the company since its ownership by BMW. As a result, there is BMW technology under the skin, but the essence that makes a Rolls-Royce is still in place, courtesy of its hand-built nature at the company's factory in Goodwood, West Sussex.
There aren't really any rivals to the Rolls-Royce Phantom. With prices starting in excess of £300,000, it really is a car in a field of one. The Bentley Mulsanne is 'cheap' at around £230,000, while cars like the Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series (which uses similar running gear to the Phantom) are positively bargain basement in comparison. You could argue that the Phantom's closest opposition comes from within, as the Rolls-Royce Cullinan uses the same tech as the Phantom, but wraps everything in an SUV body.
From the outside, the Phantom has a look that's evolutionary from the previous generation. It's still huge and imposing, but it's slightly less brutish than before. It's also lighter than its predecessor in a nod to improved efficiency.
You still get rear-hinged doors to boost access to the back seats, and once there, the interior is as plush as can be, with plenty of soft leather, beautifully finished wood and metal trim and plenty of bespoke options if you've specced your Phantom from scratch.
Away from the interior, the Phantom sees BMW's latest technology under the skin. There's an aluminium chassis, and a 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 designed to deliver effortless power in near silence. Then there are the electronics, including active air suspension, four-wheel steering and surround view cameras, among other highlights.
As before, there are standard and extended wheelbase options, and while the initial price is steep, it can escalate even further once you choose exactly how you want your luxury car to look inside and out.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe new Rolls-Royce Phantom offers wealthy owners the ultimate in luxury, comfort and opulence
- 2Engines, performance and driveSuperb ride quality, a hushed, luxurious cabin and a near silent V12 powerhouse make the Phantom driving experience unique
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Phantom is one of the most expensive cars in the world to buy, so its running costs shouldn’t be of too much concern
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Phantom’s mix of craftsmanship, technology and classically-inspired contemporary design is truly unique
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceTravelling doesn’t get more luxurious than from the back seat of the new Rolls-Royce flagship model
- 6Reliability and SafetyAdvanced engineering, attention to detail and peerless build quality should ensure your Phantom journeys are uninterrupted