Rolls-Royce Phantom

The Essentials

  • Price from £285,200
  • What Car? says: 5 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 18.0mpg
  • What is it? The Rolls-Royce Phantom drives better than it looks, and blends traditional Rolls prestige with the highest build standards

Great

  • Refined, comfortable and very fast
  • It's more agile than it looks
  • Fine choice of materials, all put together beautifully

Gripes

  • The rear-hinged back doors are difficult to exit gracefully
  • Wind noise at motorway speed
  • You need a huge garage, not to mention lots of money
  • Drive

    Despite being the size (and weight) of a humpback whale, it's incredibly swift and agile

  • Inside

    As opulent as Buckingham Palace, with plenty of space for A-list guests

  • Safety

    Plenty of active and passive safety features, but it does without the very latest technology, such as a blind spot warning systems

  • Reliability

    It doesn't get much better

  • Space

    It's spacious, but you have to practice getting out of the rear-hinged doors

  • Standard and extras

    Whatever you want, it's yours - but brace yourself for the bill

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Rolls-Royce Phantom is propelled by an enormous 6.8-litre V12 engine, which produces a mighty 453bhp. That's enough to make light work of moving what's a seriously large car and what's more, it moves with the grace of a prima ballerina. You hear the wind brushing at the windows but that's only because the rest of the car is so serene.

  • What's it like inside?

    You'll feel like royalty inside the Rolls-Royce Phantom, it's so palatial. The driver sits perched up high, but won't see much out of the back window: Rolls-Royce has made it deliberately small to preserve rear passengers' privacy. Happily the iDrive system includes all-round cameras and sensors to avoid parking embarrassments. The simple twist of a knob controls all the major heating, entertainment and information functions. Those in the back have to contend with rear-hinged 'coach doors', which can take some getting used to. In terms of luxuries, there's nothing Rolls-Royce won't give you if you ask nicely/pay enough.

  • How reliable is it?

    Safety features include an upmarket locking system that prevents you opening the coach doors into the path of pursuing cars. However as it's an older design some of the latest safety features - such as a lane departure warning system - are missing. German engineering from BMW should stop you lying awake at night worrying it might break down.

  • Should I buy one?

    If you're thinking about buying a Rolls-Royce Phantom, it's unlikely you're on a restricted budget. You'll need plenty of cash to keep it running and an enormous garage, too. However if you want to make every journey a fabulous event, owning a Phantom is a good place to start.