People refer to top-tier luxury items as the “Rolls-Royce of…” for a reason. The Cullinan is a big-body SUV powered by a silky-smooth twin-turbo V-12 with up to 592 horsepower. Built for absolute comfort and priced for the egregiously wealthy, the Cullinan coddles you with two rows of plush seating as lovely as leather couches. No other SUV has lambs-wool floor mats inside and a formidable hood ornament donning the outside. While its exterior is a little too London taxi for us, its cabin can be tailored to suit the wildest of tastes and the deepest of pockets. The Daddy Warbucks of SUV excellence has few competitors, but if a billionaire were forced to cross-shop, a Bentley Bentayga or Mercedes-AMG G63 might be a good place to start. Even then, they’re no coach-door-swinging Cullinan.
What’s New for 2023?
Rolls-Royce doesn’t make any changes to the Cullinan for the 2023 model year.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
In the make-believe scenario that we could afford a Cullinan, we’d choose the Crystal paint scheme, the 22-inch seven-spoke wheels, the gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, and the electronic tow hitch. We’d spec the Immersive Seating with Center Console option, which gives the rear seats massage functionality and replaces the center seat with a console that doubles as a cooling bin with two champagne flutes and a whiskey decanter. And we wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to have the fabric above our heads display a fiber-optic starry night sky via the Shooting Star Headliner. Finally, we’d add the rear privacy glass and side curtains to make the back row into a tranquil hideout.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Cullinan’s twin-turbo 6.7-liter V-12 provides 563 horsepower (592 in the Black Badge model) and is whisper quiet, lest it disturb the VIPs in the cabin. The one we tested recorded a 60-mph time of just 4.5 seconds—impressive for a vehicle that weighs about three tons. All-wheel drive is standard, although we suspect buyers will never venture off the tarmac and risk damaging the paint. The Cullinan rides on an air suspension that receives information from a road-scanning camera and automatically adjusts the vehicle’s height to compensate for imperfections in the pavement. Ride comfort is beyond the standards of regular luxury vehicles, as the Cullinan wafts down the road and transmits nothing unpleasant to the people inside.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Cullinan’s V-12 powertrain is rated at 12 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. Believe it or not, those figures aren’t the worst in the class. The V-12-powered Bentley Bentayga boasts ratings of 12 mpg city and 17 highway. We ran the Cullinan on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, and it outperformed expectations, achieving 21 mpg. For more information about the Cullinan’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The spacious cabin is lined in box-grain leather, lambs-wool carpeting, beautiful wood trim, and milled-aluminum accents. If you want an even higher level of luxury, Rolls-Royce will customize almost every part of the Cullinan’s already lavish interior with whatever delights you can imagine. The only warts in this otherwise decadent space are the fully digital gauge cluster that lacks the elegance of an analog setup and the standard rear seating that’s as inflexible as a park bench. At least buyers can rectify the latter issue by optioning the two-seat second row with adjustability and massage functions. The exterior is classic Rolls-Royce, but the vehicle’s liftgate configuration allowed the brand to fit the cargo area with an optional Viewing Suite consisting of a pair of leather-wrapped seats and a small table that pop out of the floor. This is by far the most luxurious way to take in a polo match at the country estate. Even though this SUV is a clear break from tradition for the storied British brand, it’s still an uncompromised Rolls-Royce in every way.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every Cullinan has a large touchscreen infotainment system with a redundant controller on the center console. Apple CarPlay is also included on every model. The available rear-seat entertainment option adds a 12.0-inch screen to the back of each front seat. Along with a Wi-Fi hotspot, the Cullinan has a bespoke audio system that features 18 speakers.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Rolls-Royce of SUVs has a host of driver-assistance technology, including night vision. For more information about the Cullinan’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Rolls-Royce provides exemplary warranty and included-maintenance programs that span four years with no mileage limit.
- Limited warranty covers four years and unlimited miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years and unlimited miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for four years and unlimited miles
2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
$410,575 (base price: $327,750)
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 48-valve V-12, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
412 cu in, 6749 cc
563 hp @ 5000 rpm
627 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 15.6-in vented disc/15.7-in vented disc
Tires: Continental ContiSportContact 5, F: 255/45R-22 107Y ★ R: 285/40R-22 110Y ★
Wheelbase: 129.7 in
Length: 210.3 in
Width: 78.7 in
Height: 72.2 in
Cargo volume: 21 cu ft
Curb weight: 6086 lb
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
60 mph: 4.5 sec
100 mph: 10.5 sec
130 mph: 18.5 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 5.2 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.4 sec
¼-mile: 12.9 sec @ 111 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 151 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 159 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.83 g
Observed: 12 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 21 mpg
Highway range: 490 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 14/12/20 mpg
More Features and Specs