Overview & Reviews
For decades prior to the current-generation Phantom, Rolls-Royces were often perceived as being nothing more than beautiful old-school luxury barges with all the technological innovation and dynamic excitement of the Queen Mary. So to say there was some skepticism surrounding the introduction of the Rolls-Royce Phantom would be like saying reality TV occasionally resorts to fabrication when ratings are at stake.
When parent company BMW first announced in the late 1990s that it would be delivering a completely new Rolls-Royce to paying customers on January 1, 2003, most analysts wrote it off as the kind of posturing that typically accompanies a corporate takeover. After all, BMW didn't even own the Rolls-Royce brand yet. It would be four-and-a-half years before the German automaker acquired the rights to sell the storied brand, but the target was indeed met, and the first all-new Rolls-Royce in nearly 40 years left the all-new Rolls-Royce plant at Goodwood in West Sussex, England.
Unlike so many of its predecessors, this beautifully crafted and elegant ultraluxury sedan lives up to the lofty expectations of a vehicle adorned with the hood-mounted Spirit of Ecstasy. While a case could be made for one of its few rivals, no other automobile boasts the unique style, grandiose dimensions and sterling reputation of the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Current Rolls-Royce Phantom
Despite the ties to BMW, the Phantom is indeed a true Rolls-Royce. At more than 19 feet long, a regular-wheelbase Phantom surpasses a 7 Series by more than 2 feet in total length, and it can completely swallow a Mini between its front and rear axles. Producing a vehicle of such size that doesn't also flex and bend over every road imperfection calls for a unique structure. In the Phantom's case, that structure is an aluminum space frame that is both lighter and stiffer than conventional steel.
While the ultraluxury competition may offer more high-tech gizmos and a greater sense of the contemporary, the Rolls-Royce Phantom features an undeniable old-world charm and much-larger-than-life presence. From its majestic hood ornament to its nearly 20-foot expanse, the Phantom commands attention like few other automobiles. And if that isn't sufficient, an extended-wheelbase (EWB) model is available with about 10 additional inches of overall length and rear-seat legroom.
The Phantom is powered by a 6.7-liter V12 with 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. In spite of a curb weight approaching 3 tons, going from zero to 60 mph takes just 5.7 seconds. Behind the 20-inch wheels are superbly powerful brakes, an air suspension and automatically adjustable dampers.
The inside of the Rolls-Royce Phantom is even nicer than might be imagined, with more leather hides and matching pieces of wood than you'll find on a herd of cattle lost in Sequoia National Forest. Numerous customization options provide ample opportunity to tailor this luxurious environment to one's exact, bespoke specifications.
For those who actually drive their Phantoms, the instrument panel is arranged cleanly, with classic gauges and simple audio and climate controls. More complex functions are managed by an iDrive-like interface with a mouse-style controller hiding inside the center console. The rear seat provides lots of stretching-out room, of course, and the prominent C-pillars conceal the Phantom's VIPs while the rear-hinged coach doors provide them with proper ingress and egress.
Once underway, the large but spindly three-spoke steering wheel feels light in your hands, yet offers good feedback, allowing the big sedan to change direction with ease so long as you're traveling at a relaxed pace. Power from the V12 is prodigious, and the engine makes very little noise even under full throttle. The ride is superb, soaking up huge potholes and minor road imperfections with equal aplomb. There is some wind noise around the A-pillars at speed, but it's minimal and likely evident only because there's practically no other noise to be heard.
Past Rolls-Royce Phantom Models
The Phantom was an all-new model for Rolls-Royce in 2004. While some found it a bit garish, lacking high-tech features and easy-to-use secondary controls, we praised it for its decadent passenger accommodations, unmistakable styling and exemplary drivability for its size. A standard power sunroof and power "boot" lid were added in 2005, and the following year, the Phantom added Bluetooth connectivity and exterior video cameras that displayed their images through the main LCD screen to aid in parking. The long-wheelbase EWB model debuted for the 2007 model year.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 17.00
magnificent - 2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom
By ron davi - December 23 - 1:16 pm
The workmanship and actual ride itself is impeccable. If you appreciate atttention to detail, you will admire all aspects of the automobile. It is also very quitely responsive and powerful. Everything you would hope for in a rolls.
The Ultimate in Luxurious Automobiles - 2007 Rolls-Royce Phantom
By The Man - March 15 - 4:03 pm
While I have only owned this car less then one calendar year, I have truly gotten to know her. Her name in my mind is the "Queen of Luxury" (all my cars have names). I have a driver, which is important to note because driving a phantom, and being driven in a phantom are two completely different things! The car is very heavy, but for its immense mass, she handles quite well. Fuel economy is miserable, but when you can spend nearly 400,000 on a car, you can most likely afford the gas. The back seat, which is where I spend the majority of my time when I am in the car, is as comfortable as my house, if not a little more. I chose the cinema configuration, which I believe was the best choice.
Underated - 2006 Rolls-Royce Phantom
By AP - January 26 - 5:26 am
When I entered the Rolls Royce dealership in San Francisco I just had to have it. I took it for a spin, came back, and paid cash. I love the looks that I get when I ride through the Bay Area.
Just Awesome! - 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom
By Carlos Marrero - November 2 - 10:20 pm
When I finally reached the point in my life last year that I could afford one of these monsters, I jumped at the chance. This is by far and away the finest sedan I have ever owned and I have had several(S600,750il,S55 to name a few)The Phantom is an order of magnitude better. The main thing that I still can't get over is the level of comfort that Rolls has achieved with this car. On a recent road trip to Miami, I practically fell asleep driving down 95s in the middle of the day. The leather is just remarkable,as is the woodwork. While not as fast as the V-12 Germans, the car weighs 1000lbs more than the S600 and 760li. This car really hustles regardless of the extra pounds. I love it!
Phantom 2005 - 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom
By Donald Kress - October 30 - 10:43 pm
The 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantomis a joy to drive. It handles like a much smaller car. The turning radius is very good for a car of this size. the fit and finish are pure Rolls Royce.
Deep Regret - 2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom
By Richard Smith - September 26 - 1:33 am
I deeply regret buying this junker. Complete waste of 300K. Even though it is superb in comfort and performance, it does not make up for the monstrous handling, the guzzling of fuel( Have to stop at nearly every single gas station, extremely annoying ) and most of all THE UGLY EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR!!! I still cant believe that I bought this hunk of Junk.
The Great Car - 2006 Rolls-Royce Phantom
By Aqiureror - August 9 - 9:40 pm
Upon test driving the Rolls Royce Phantom, I must say it has remarkably better handling than the Maybach 57. The car is nimble and responsive, although power is subdued for enhanced comfort. The greatest phenomenon upon my short drive is the remarkable handling of the car; the chassis mitigates its weight and bulk, providing the driver and the passengers with remarkable comfort and little body roll even in fast sharp corners. Upon intense acceleration and at high speeds, there is absolutely no noise in the cockpit and absolutely no vibration. The lack of vibration is thanks to a remarkable dual floor system, so the floor is not connected to the chassis. This is a great car.
Fabulous - 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom
By NPW - October 3 - 9:46 am
Simply the very best automobile I have ever driven or owned. The comfort and ease of driving is fabulous.
The Phantom Review - 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom
By Cam janowski - March 26 - 11:23 pm
My 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom is better than the Maybach 62 which I also have and enjoy. The Phantom is a great car. I cannot wait for the 100ex to arrive.
Luxury Can't Get Any Better - 2006 Rolls-Royce Phantom
By Bimmer Boy - October 15 - 11:56 am
I love this car. I'm usually not into big cars, in fact I've never owned a car much bigger than a BMW 3-Series until this thing. Driving it makes you feel so prestigious and good. For a big car, it turns pretty quickly and can turn pretty sharp. It won't take the corners like a Porsche, but I've never driven anything this big that handles this well. Sit in the backseat an no one will know you're there. There's a big piece of metal to hide your face. Floor it all the way and you will realize that you can still have a conversation at normal volume. There is hardly any noise in the cockpit and no vibrations at all. This car has no body roll ethier. The backseat is big enough to store a small car in.