2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
August 21, 2013

Buying tip

There really aren't limitations–aside from the money you're willing to spend–with what you can customize on the Phantom. At the same time, that freedom may make things difficult as you attempt to sort through endless specification options on this hyperluxury sedan.

features & specs

4-Door Sedan EWB
2-Door Coupe
2-Door Drophead
11 city / 19 hwy
11 city / 19 hwy
11 city / 19 hwy

The 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom, in Coupe, Drophead Coupe, and Sedan forms brings unmistakable presence and prestige to the owner–and for the price, it should.

They say that life at the top isn't easy, but the Rolls-Royce Phantom seems to live gracefully on that mountaintop without issue. Available as a Sedan, Coupe or Drophead (convertible) Coupe, it's the flagship model for the Rolls-Royce brand, and sees competition only from the Bentley Mulsanne.

No matter how you slice it, the Phantom is an expansive, substantial vehicle in all its forms. A classically-styled and absolutely unmistakable exterior with its tall, upright grille, slab-sided proportions and Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament herald back to the company's origins, while blending that heritage with a more modern personality.

The Phantom's cabin is, simply, the definition of automotive opulence. Full-grain woods, supple hand-stitched leathers, real metal trim, and in all of them, immaculate craftsmanship and attention to detail. Everything you can see, touch, or smell speaks of quality and substance. 

Review continues below

As you'd expect, it's a very comfortable place to be, front seats or rear. It is, after all, Rolls-Royce's flagship. 

The standard features list on the Phantom is extensive; nearly anything not included can be added on request, for a fee, of course. Custom paint, embroidery, wheels, headliners, upholstery styles and colors, steering wheels, drink cabinets, and nearly any technological add-on you can imagine are all possible. This is the archetypal the-customer-is-always-right situation. The limits are your imagination and wealth. 

Even heads of state, bank executives, and stars have to consider safety, and while the Phantom hasn't been crash tested by the official agencies, it is a substantial piece of machinery, made largely of steel, and outfitted with nearly all of the modern accoutrements you'd expect, including traction and stability control, a suite of airbags, parking sensors, and optional front and rear cameras. Some of the latest in computerized safety features aren't available, however, including lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot detection.

Moving the one-car show that is the Phantom down the road is a 6.75-liter V-12 engine rated at 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. While less forceful than the engine in the smaller Ghost, it's still enough to get the Phantom to 60 mph in under six seconds--and it does it in a serene, unflappable manner. An eight-speed automatic transmission handles the gear shifts, sending power to the rear wheels.

The Phantom isn't a driver's car. It's meant to be ridden in, driven by a chauffeur. Accordingly, handling and agility aren't among its strengths; at least not without considering its size. At nearly 6,000 pounds and almost 20 feet in length, the Phantom is very large. Independent suspension, self-leveling air springs, electronic damping, and feather-light steering give the Phantom more maneuvering aplomb than you'd expect, but only in perspective. Fuel economy is also in line with its size, at 11 mpg city and 19 mpg highway for all models.

Little has changed since the Phantom was new in the 2009 model year - you can read our first drive of the Rolls-Royce Phantom at our sister site, Motor Authority.

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Styling 5
Performance 8
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Safety 9
Features 10
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