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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The ultimate status symbol, the Phantom provides superlative handling and unrivalled luxury

Against Some may think this a vulgar behemoth and, therefore, hate you

Verdict The Rolls-Royce badge says it all - this car maker is still king of the luxury market

Go for… Class

Avoid… Tack

Rolls-Royce Phantom Saloon
  • 1. The Phantom has rearward-opening coach doors, which allow occupants to get in and out with dignity
  • 2. It’s not hand-built, like its rival the Maybach, but fit and finish are on a supremely high level
  • 3. After three years, the car will be worth 65% of its original price, but that’s still a lot of cash to lose
  • 4. Expect no more than 14mpg on an average run. With a heavy right foot, that will drop to 7.6mpg
  • 5. The air-sprung suspension allows for unflustered and precise cornering as well as a comfy ride
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Rolls-Royce Phantom Saloon full review with expert trade views

At almost six metres long, the Phantom cuts an imposing figure on the road. It weighs 2.5 tonnes, but the air-sprung suspension allows for unflustered and precise cornering - better than any previous Rolls. Under the bonnet is a 453bhp, BMW-sourced 6.75-litre engine, which will propel you from 0-60mph in 6sec.

This Rolls still sets the benchmark for comfort inside the cabin. You sit at around the same height as in a 4x4, and under a flap is a simplified version of BMW’s iDrive multi-control system.

There’s plenty of space and almost zero road noise, but you do hear some wind noise at speed. Mind you, that’s only because you can't hear the mechanical components at all inside the cabin and the ride is fantastically smooth.

Even the rear doors are exceptional - rearward-opening coach doors, which allow occupants to get in and out with dignity. There’s also an array of passive and active safety systems, and, er, a drinks cabinet in the back.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

The ultimate luxury car. You will love or loath it

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

There’s only one model available, and that rather negates any real conundrums over trim levels and engine sizes when you are considering buying a Phantom. However, you don’t just buy a Phantom, you buy into a Phantom.

These Rolls-Royces are built bespoke to the original customer’s every quirk and demand. Colour choices, both inside and out, and equipment levels have been carefully tailored to suit the first owner’s needs, so if you're in the market for a used Phantom, yet expect it to fulfil your own list of specifications, you may have to compromise a little.

There's little likelihood that any two cars left the factory in exactly the same specification, never mind one that will suit you.

If preserving residual value is right up on your list of priorities, then any aftermarket ‘bling’ is best avoided. It’s vulgar and unnecessary, you see.

Trade view

John Owen

If Carlsberg made cars…

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

People who commit themselves to a Rolls-Royce Phantom are unlikely to worry about cash flow. Residuals are pretty good, but only in percentage terms. After three years, the car will still be worth 65% of its original price, but that’s still a lot of cash to lose. We found a three-year-old Phantom with 30,000 miles on the clock that was on sale for £100,000 less than the list price of a new car.

Running costs are astronomical, too. The Phantom is in group 20 for insurance, and you can expect no more than 14mpg on an average run.

A heavy right foot will yield 7.6mpg. So here’s the deal. It’s a 100-litre tank. Fill it up. Drive 400 miles. Visit petrol station.

It’ll be tough on the planet, too. It’ll emit 385 grammes of carbon dioxide per kilometre, so it’s no surprise that it’s in the top tax band for vehicle excise duty.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

The ultimate luxury car. You will love or loath it

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

A colour that you like. Aside from that, straightforward common sense applies – just use the normal rules that you'd employ for any car-buying decision.

Anything that has done more than 12,000 miles per year deserves a discount, and it’s fair to say that you should expect to be furnished with a full service history of the car before you decide to part with your hard-earned.

The Phantom is a beautiful machine, styled in England and engineered in Germany by Rolls-Royce's parent company, BMW. With that in mind, you get the classic English car, with German reliability. It’s not hand-built, like its rival the Maybach, but fit and finish are on a supremely high level.

These cars are lovingly assembled, so there’s no reason to expect a host of problems. Rolls-Royce dealerships work ‘alongside’ their customers, so any problems should be ironed out with the minimum of fuss.

Trade view

John Owen

If Carlsberg made cars…

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford
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