Driven: 2022 Rolls-Royce Phantom Delivers Luxury Beyond Luxury

Test Drive / 7 Comments

It's all about little details you wouldn't even dream of.

CarBuzz has been granted many opportunities to drive six-figure luxury cars, including several from Rolls-Royce. There is one model, however, that has eluded us... until now. At long last, we had the opportunity to drive (and be driven in) the 2022 Rolls-Royce Phantom, the ultimate flagship from the world's premier luxury coach builder. From an outsider's point of view, there isn't that large of a gap between the Phantom and other Rollers like the Ghost or Cullinan. But for those who know, the Phantom exists in a different league.

Every detail on the Phantom feels one step above a lesser Rolls-Royce - if "lesser" can even be used in the same breath as the iconic automaker. With the Phantom, it's as if there's a hidden room just beyond the VIP chamber, and only those who know the secret password may enter. Few individuals will ever get a chance to peek behind the curtain into this luxurious exotic realm, so we will do our best to translate the experience for those who want to live vicariously.

CarBuzz
CarBuzz
CarBuzz

Design: Larger Than Life

It's almost impossible to describe how large a Phantom is without seeing it in the metal. The standard wheelbase Phantom stretches to 227 inches in length; to put that into perspective, that's almost an inch and a half longer than a Chevrolet Suburban (a gargantuan eight-seater family SUV). But if the titanic proportions still don't convey the opulence, the details do. This Phantom Series II model may not be heavily updated from the previous model, but don't think Rolls-Royce's designers sat around the office and scrolled social media all day.

The Phantom gains the illuminated Pantheon Grille (originally from the Ghost) and 820 laser-cut stars in each headlight. Our tester rode on a new set of 22-inch forged black disc wheels that hark back to the 1920s with a unique steampunk vibe. They might not be to everyone's tastes, especially at $13,000 a set, but we absolutely love how they complement the Phantom's old-school charm. Rolls-Royce lets buyers choose pretty much any color imaginable when they commission their Phantom, but this car's Dark Emerald is a tough one to top.

CarBuzz
CarBuzz
CarBuzz
CarBuzz

Engine: Heart Of An Angel

As with other applications of the 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 engine, the Phantom defines what it means to deliver silent luxury. You can press your ear to the hood with the engine running and still be unsure if the car is on or off. Output figures aren't strictly important to Rolls-Royce customers, so the company typically describes them as "adequate." But if you're curious, the V12 supplies 563 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, all of which is available with no fuss. A gentle nudge on the throttle delivers all the momentum anyone could ever require without disturbing the passengers in the back while they are sipping champagne. It's a surreal feeling to have this much power available; the word 'juggernaut' seems particularly apt.

CarBuzz
CarBuzz
CarBuzz

Interior: All About The Passenger

Rolls-Royce cabins are all quite similar to each other in their levels of opulence, but it's that clear that the Phantom is a class above. As with the exterior, the interior is tailored to each individual customer. This car was adorned with light Cashmere Grey leather with an Arctic White accent color, contrasting the dark green exterior hue. Royal Walnut graces the doors and dash, as does the Gallery, a Phantom-specific element that contains the clock and can be customized with various patterns and designs.

Though we enjoyed driving the Phantom, this car is all about the rear seat. Our test car was optioned with all the luxuries you'd expect at this price point: massaging seats, a center console with a decanter, a refrigerated box with built-in champagne flutes, and folding tables with built-in screens. There were also some over-the-top details, including curtains on the windows, the spectacular Shooting Star Headliner, and elevating footrests in the floor. That last one is a feature we didn't even know we needed, but it removes the tension from your legs and feels sublime on a long trip.

Rolls-Royce
CarBuzz
CarBuzz
CarBuzz
CarBuzz

Driving: One Rolls To Rule Them

Imagine being treated to the most delicious dinner of your life only to be taken to an even nicer restaurant later on, which makes the first meal seem forgettable. That's the best way to describe the Phantom. We've been lucky enough to sample every other Rolls-Royce model in the lineup, but there's a reason why this car sits as the flagship. The cabin is eerily tranquil, meaning you can chat in a whisper even when doing highway speeds. All Rollers have Magic Carpet Ride suspension, but this incarnation is so much more isolating than lesser models, with no bump or flawed road surface capable of spoiling the ride.

The standard model has a 139.8-inch wheelbase, and while there is an extended wheelbase version, even the regular Phantom's size makes navigating tight parking lots seem like a tough task. But thanks to the rear wheel steering system, maneuvering the car through the valet requires little effort. All of the controls are also featherlight, meaning it's easy to turn the wheel with your pinky. After driving the Phantom, we can easily see why it's priced higher than other Rolls-Royces.

Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce

Pricing: House Size, House Price

So, about that price. The Phantom starts at $475,000, meaning it's around $130,000 more than a Ghost or Cullinan. But that's just the starting price, and we can't imagine anyone walking into a dealership to order a "base" car - that's not how commissioning a Roller works. The green example we tested was loaded with pricey extras, including $13,000 wheels, a $6,300 bespoke clock, and over $45,000 worth of rear seat luxury equipment. Everything added up (plus the $2,750 destination and $2,600 gas guzzler fees) amounted to $651,450 - easily the most expensive Rolls-Royce we've ever tested.

Is it worth it? That's certainly a fun question. Putting ourselves into the designer shoes of someone with that much wealth, we see little reason not to stretch into the Phantom over a smaller Roller. It's a ton of money, but it's also not that much more than a Ghost or a Cullinan, relatively speaking. In terms of comfort, it trumps those two, though it feels more gargantuan to drive. Perhaps if garage space is at a premium and you don't plan to be chauffeured, we imagine the Ghost or Cullinan could be a better lifestyle fit. But if the goal is to be pampered in luxury, few cars compare to the Phantom.

CarBuzz
Rolls-Royce
CarBuzz
CarBuzz
CarBuzz

Join The Discussion

Gallery

29
Photos

Related Cars

Back
To Top