If the Mercedes-Benz S-class is the automotive equivalent to a first-class flight, the 2021 Rolls-Royce Phantom is a luxury private jet with an on-board masseuse and a Michelin-starred chef. Its imposing design blends classic Rolls-Royce cues with more modern elements to create stately curb appeal that’s second to none. The cabin—especially that of the extended wheelbase model—is exceptionally spacious and extraordinarily comfortable. The finest leathers, woods, metals, and fabrics are carefully chosen to deliver a palatial ambiance. Of course, interior trimmings, options, and exterior colors are customizable, but those personalization options will add significant cost to the Phantom’s nearly half-million starting price. Then again, if you want something special in your Rolls and cost is no obstacle, the company will be more than happy to accommodate your wishes.
What’s New for 2021?
Rolls-Royce has made no changes to its flagship Phantom sedan for the 2021 model year.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
One does not simply choose a Phantom—or any Rolls-Royce for that matter—off the dealer lot. No. These cars are built to the exacting requirements of the millionaires and billionaires who can afford them; these carriages of the rich are often customized down to the last detail. We won’t even begin to suggest which special-order options are worth adding because, well, what would we know? We would, however, suggest springing for the Extended Wheelbase model to take advantage of its limousine-like rear-seat legroom. As they say, go big or go home.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Prodigious power is provided by a silken 563-hp twin-turbo V-12 paired with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. Acceleration is brisk, but Rolls-Royce’s claimed 5.1-second zero-to-60-mph time isn’t anything you’d appreciate your chauffer trying to replicate; the Phantom is better suited for wafting along with delicate inputs to throttle and steering. To say that the ride is smooth would be an understatement; imagine being carried along on a fluffy cloud. The Phantom practically levitates over the road; it features a pothole-spotting camera that helps the suspension adapt to road imperfections in real time. It’s a library-quiet, sensory deprivation cocoon that makes you feel like part of the Royal Family.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
A Phantom owner’s conspicuous consumption is matched by their car’s penchant for consuming fuel. The EPA’s fuel-economy estimates run as low as 12 mpg city; although the Phantom’s 20 mpg highway rating actually bests the smaller Rolls-Royce Ghost’s by 2 mpg. If we ever are lucky enough to have the chance to put the Phantom through our 200-mile highway fuel economy test, we’ll update this story with test results.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
An interior tailored for kings can be adorned with a custom-artwork dash. Acres of wood, real metal accents, and vast expanses of supple leather cover nearly every square inch of the cabin. Rolls-Royce offers both a standard- and long-wheelbase version of the Phantom, the latter stretched by 8.6 inches, much of which is results as additional rear-seat legroom. Rear-hinged coach doors open to allow graceful and dramatic arrivals and departures. Rear seat passengers can be treated to a myriad of luxuries such as deep-pile carpeted floor mats, power-adjustable seats with massage, a refrigerated console compartment, and remote controls for the car’s infotainment system.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Speaking of infotainment, the Phantom comes standard with a large infotainment display artfully hidden behind a glass panel that stretches the full width of the car’s dashboard. It’s controlled via a rotary knob on the center console. Lest you think that rear-seat passengers are left out of the technology game, the Phantom also features touchscreens that motor down from each of the front seatbacks to provide access to the car’s audio and navigation systems, and also a live-TV tuner so passengers won’t fall behind on their favorite shows while on the go.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) almost certainly will never perform crash testing on the Phantom due to its low sales numbers and sky-high price tag. Its dizzying array of optional tech includes night vision and a distinct laser-light system, but Rolls-Royce also offers more conventional driver-assistance features such as forward collision and lane-departure warning as standard. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward collision warning
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control with night vision
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Like the Cullinan SUV and the Dawn convertible, the Phantom comes with Rolls-Royce’s four-year/unlimited mile warranty and maintenance package as standard.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or unlimited miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or unlimited miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for 4 years or unlimited miles
More Features and Specs