According to Edmunds, when it comes to features on the 2009 Phantom, “the ultra-luxury competition may offer more high-tech gizmos and a greater sense of the contemporary, [but] the Rolls-Royce Phantom features an undeniable old-world charm and much-larger-than-life presence.”
What really sets the Phantom apart from its competition is the sheer number of dazzling options and finishes, along with Rolls-Royce’s willingness to accessorize it in almost any way imaginable, from turning the glove box into a humidor to modifying the body for added luggage space in the trunk to buffing the Ecstasy ornament with 24-carat gold.
Motor Trend lists its top five details: 1) “Winged Spirit of Ecstasy retracts into the grille when you shut off the engine.” 2) “Twin umbrellas deploy from the front door opening.” 3) “Forget something as vulgar as a tachometer. The Phantom has a Power Reserve gauge instead.” 4) “Rear ashtrays, beautifully cast of metal, resemble organ pipes.” 5) “Rear panel of the trunk area folds down for use as tailgate party seating, or a nice place to spread out your buffet.”
Autoblog says some features are hidden, “like the seat controls under the center armrest, which is a minor issue, and the media screen controller, which is a good thing.” Another small complaint from Autoblog is that “the only thing there is to play with are the climate control knobs, which, not being digital, could involve a bit of finessing to get the temperature you want.”
“How's the 15-speaker stereo?” asks Edmunds. “We were convinced that it was our driving partner who was singing along. It wasn't until we screwed up the courage to look over and see that his mouth was shut that we realized it was a recorded voice. Moments later, he said, unprompted, ‘God, I thought that was you singing!’ That's a good stereo.”
The Phantom is the most expensive car road-tested by TheCarConnection.com to date. While the navigation system and satellite radio simply aren’t integrated as well or as easy to use as they could be, the Phantom is nonetheless deserving of its place among the best ultra-luxury cars available.