2022 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Review | Three things I learned driving a $429,400 SUV

TROY, Mich. — Rolls-Royce is the epitome of the vehicle as a luxury superior. It has characteristics that are highly-priced and magnificent alternatively than useful, and they build an picture that separates a Rolls-Royce from nearly all the things else, save probably Bentley. I just lately expended a few times in the 2022 Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the brand’s very first and only SUV. It is a legit people-hauler. Great luck finding your retriever and her food stuff in the Ferrari Purosangue, but the Cullinan borders on a #vanlife operation. Here’s three matters I learned right after driving in the opulent $429,400 Cullinan. 

Concern not, it’s quick to drive

The intimidation variable is not what I expected. The Cullinan is about as long as a Chevy Tahoe and four inches wider. It does not travel that way. The steering is mild but direct and communicative. Element in four-wheel steering, and it’s like driving a a great deal smaller motor vehicle. The driver’s seating situation is outstanding and furnished a apparent watch of my surroundings. With the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament top the way, it felt majestic. That’s what Rolls is going for, but the environment also gave me self-confidence with both corners obviously seen. It does not make a difference how a great deal a car expenditures if you really feel like you know what you are executing.

Rolls’ renowned Magic Carpet Journey will make for maybe the smoothest experience I have experienced in any auto or SUV. The suspension is often adjusting, and just about no bumps or potholes could trouble me or my travellers. It truly is up coming-degree comfort. Given that the chassis is working with 22-inch wheels, it’s all the a lot more extraordinary. The V12 engine places out 563 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. Get on the throttle and it will go, but with decorum.

Of course, there is an aura

I have pushed loads of luxury autos that really do not reside up to the hype. The Cullinan is not a person of them. My Rolls had the Taking pictures Star headliner, a $7,975 selection that turns your car or truck into a rolling planetarium. It’s one of those people options that seems contrived until you working experience it. The celestial sky is mesmerizing, and when your travellers see the taking pictures-star function, get all set for the oohs and ahhs. Rolls very first released the headliner in 2006 as a tailor made option, but now it’s on most of its automobiles. The stars are illuminated by fiber-optic cables and 6 potent mild cannons, according to Rolls-Royce, and there is up to 1,600 hand-reduce holes in the headliner. You can personalize the constellations. Like every thing with Rolls, there’s a backstory, and the normal configuration depicts the skies around Goodwood on Jan. 1, 2003, marking the day the 1st Rolls-Royce was constructed there just after many years in Crewe.

Although the headliner is charming, the Spirit of Ecstasy is the Cullinan’s grandest feature. The approximately four-inch hood ornament rises and descends from the front of the automobile when it is locked or unlocked. It is even extra focus-receiving than shots indicate. Couple of vehicles have hood ornaments these times, so anything stands out. But the hand-completed sculpture of a girl with robes trailing at the rear of her (those are not wings!) is a head-turner. This a person is stainless steel, but carbon-fiber, gold-plated steel and silver are also offered. Supplied that the Spirit of Ecstasy dates again 111 decades, it would make even an SUV instantaneously recognizable as a Rolls.

A Rolls-Royce can be a credible SUV

Rolls-Royce was one of the last luxury or sporting activities-car makers to produce an SUV. Specified that some of its clientele ride rather than travel, it was a prolonged time coming. I’d argue Rolls has much more small business creating an SUV than Porsche, but the search phrase is enterprise. Porsche necessary to make an SUV to maintain creating 911s. Rolls could afford to pay for to take its time. 

Nevertheless, the firm suggests its prospects are switching and seek out the lively lifestyle an SUV can assist. By the time the Cullinan arrived back in 2018 there was pent-up need. With record gross sales very last 12 months fueled in component by the Cullinan, the SUV is justifying its existence and solidifying that of its maker.

Rolls-Royce likes to simply call back again to its origins as the journey of T.E. Lawrence through the To start with Globe War to fortify the brand’s shockingly rugged streak. He famously referred to as it “above rubies” all through his desert campaigns. There’s about as a great deal DNA in the Cullinan as the Escalade summons from John Pershing’s Cadillacs in that exact same war. But it really is a fantastic story. And soon after a several times motoring around in the Cullinan, it’s apparent to me that this SUV is established up to be a legend in its own proper. The mythology isn’t important.

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