2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan: Review — Cars.com


This this is your fault internet land.
The reason that this thing exists is entirely because of your crazy SUV love
affair that’s happening right now. You see Rolls-Royce discovered that you
were parking an SUV next to your Phantom or your Dawn or your Ghost and they
found out that this SUV was either maybe a Mercedes-Benz maybe a Land Rover. God
forbid it was an Escalade. And they thought to themselves you know what
that’s just not acceptable. That should be another Rolls-Royce next to your
Rolls-Royce and so they’ve built this. This is the 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
It’s the first SUV ever from the Rolls-Royce brand and it is pretty much
as extraordinary as you might think it is. So let’s get something off our chest
right off the bat here. This thing costs more than the average family home in the
United States. In fact this thing costs twice the median average family home
price between New York and California. Now it starts at about $325,000 but if
you get one just like this which is fully optioned, loaded to the gills, it
actually comes in at four hundred and twenty thousand dollars which is
actually twice what you would pay for a really nice family home. Now if that
number really doesn’t bother you then great you could probably afford one of
these things but if you’re like me and there’s no way in hell you’re ever going
to be able to afford to buy one of these things well stay tuned and we’re going
to have a couple of really interesting features to show you and maybe a couple
of not so interesting ones. The Cullinan is really long, it’s really
wide, its supremely comfortable especially in back you’ve got these rear
opening coach doors which are kind of special. The Phantom has them too but
when they’re open like this it’s kind of a hard reach to get to them, plus they’re
really heavy and that would require physical exertion to
close it. And then Rolls-Royce isn’t about physical exertion, that’s not money,
that’s not money at all. What we need is a button, something that
we could push to automatically close the door and the Cullinan has four. One in
each spot to close the doors and in the back seat it’s here on the D pillar. Just
push and hold and it automatically envelops you in
silent luxury. In true British utility fashion you can order your Cullinan up
in what they call the individual configuration in which case you have
four passenger seating, two in the back separated by a console but it also
separates the cargo area from the cabin with this glass partition. Now that’s
really nice in keeping the cabin very quiet and separated from the cargo area
and it prevents the muddy hunting dogs from getting their paws all over the
beautiful arctic white leather and the black lamb’s wool carpets. Now if you
absolutely have to have a five passenger SUV you can order the back in what they
call the lounge configuration and it gets rid of this console but if you do
that you’re gonna miss out on a couple of things such as your lovely whiskey
decanter and tumblers and also your champagne fridge complete with
Rolls-Royce flutes. So if Dr. Evil has taught us anything it’s that being rich
and powerful means you can have laser beams attached to just about anything
whether they be sharks or ill-tempered sea bass or super luxury SUVs and the
Cullinan actually has laser beams up here in the headlights.
The Cullinan and the Phantom both have laser beam headlight technology carried
over from Rolls-Royce’s BMW owners, the low beams are LEDs and operate below
certain speeds but when the traffic clears and the road gets dark the
adaptive laser high beams kick in they enable you to see up to 650 yards down
the road, nearly 2,000 feet or just over one third of a mile and they’re not like
traditional low beam, high beam headlights that kind of flow and adapt
to the constantly changing conditions. One of the best things about the
Cullinan is the way it rides. It is so smooth, it is so quiet. Potholes, I
remember potholes. And you know railroad crossings? Didn’t feel a thing. It’s like
it wasn’t even there. The ride of the Cullinan is absolutely superior to
just about anything I’ve ever driven. It kind of feels like a 60s or 70s car in
that regard and then it just floats along but it’s got better body control
than anything frankly I’ve ever driven. With a ride like this it truly is
exceptional. How can so many cylinders make such little noise? It’s a 6.7 five liter V12 twin turbocharged engine
and it makes ungodly power but it’s so absolutely smooth. It’s like driving an
electric car. They’ve done an amazing job making this just a serene calm
experience. The only thing nerve-wracking thing about it
is you’re worried that something’s going to hit it or ding it or scratch it and
after you’ve paid that much money for it that’s the last thing you want.
So you’ve arrived at the equestrian event or maybe the Catalina Wine Mixer
and there’s just no more room in the luxury skybox but you know what, the
Cullinan has you covered. This is called the viewing suite. Push a
button on your open tailgate and this slides out: a two-seat leather covered
tailgate bench with a cocktail table. It’s perfect for watching your brood
performing their show jumping competition or maybe observing the
latest helicopters for sale. I mean come on it’s not like we’re going to be
grilling brats and tossing a pigskin at the Lions pregame parking-lot tailgate
party are we? Peasants. But as amazing as this really expensive SUV is it’s not
perfect. There are still a few things that annoy me about the Rolls-Royce
Cullinan. One of the things is this key fob. This really feels kind of cheap. Yes
it’s done in the same turchese leather that the interior accent is done,
in which is just Italian for turquoise, but it feels so ordinary. It feels so
plain. There’s only a couple of buttons on the thing. It doesn’t have any heft to
it. I mean if you’re spending this kind of money on a vehicle like this I want
this to be just as much jewelry as some of these interior pieces are and this
thing really doesn’t feel any more special then you get in a Subaru
Crosstrek. One thing I find actually really kind of ordinary about the
Cullinan is the multimedia system. If you’re familiar with BMW systems at all
you’re gonna find this one very familiar as well. It is basically the BMW system
now. BMW owns Rolls-Royce so it does make sense that you’d see some kinds of parts
shared and this is one of the areas where you don’t really want to reinvent
the wheel, even though there is a click wheel or a touchscreen. However, you know,
it works pretty well, it looks fairly plain but it’s easy to use so you know
what I’m gonna let them go with this one. Why on earth would they replace the
beautiful bejeweled gauges in the Rolls-Royce vehicles with these boring digital
screens. The car is supposed to be about artistry and motion but these are grey
and boring and they’re plain. There’s so many
knots to tradition in the Cullinan like the wonky climate controlled temperature
sliders instead of an actual automatic climate temperature number or the
push-pull sliders for the vent controls. Making the thing you look at most in
the vehicle into something so mundane it’s really kind of a shame. But these
are minor quibbles in what is an extraordinary achievement from
Rolls-Royce. This thing is quite unlike anything I’ve ever driven. It is smooth,
it is fast and anything you might read about it sharing some history or some
parts with BMW quite frankly isn’t important. They’ve made such a distinctly
honest-to-God amazing luxury vehicle that you know the old adage applies, if
you have to ask how much it costs you can’t afford it and if you have to ask
why, you really don’t deserve it. This thing is deserving of the praise and the
price and if you’d like to learn more about the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan you
can look everything up on Cars.com. you