2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Review

Cullinan

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2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Overview

Rolls-Royce, the premier purveyor of luxury sedans, coupes, and convertibles, can no longer afford to ignore the SUV segment. So for 2019 it debuted the all-new Cullinan, named after the largest gem-quality rough diamond.

The Cullinan uses the same Architecture of Luxury platform as the distinctive Rolls-Royce Phantom. It also shares the same blocky front end, squared-off haunches, reverse-hinged rear doors, and tall windows and the brand’s Spirit of Ecstasy ornament sits proudly atop the hood. But the Cullinan does get some special rugged treatment in the black plastic lower cladding and satin-silver skid plates.

The Cullinan wouldn’t be a Rolls-Royce without a powerful engine, which comes in the form of a 6.7-liter twin-turbocharged V12 making 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. The Cullinan sends power to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission with off-road and low modes to help owners navigate challenging terrains. The standard air suspension can vary ride height by as much as 1.5 inches. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph and fuel-economy figures sit at 12 city, 20 highway, and 14 combined.

Stepping inside the Cullinan, you’re greeted by a massive vertical dashboard with wood trim, while everything else gets wrapped in supple bull-hide leather. The wheelbase measures 130 inches, creating ample room for passengers. You’re able to select between a 3-person bench that power-folds or two luxurious bench seats. All of that comes at the cost of cargo space, which measures 21 cubic feet. That said, there’s a clamshell tailgate, which makes for handy built-in seating. You can even specify built-in foldable seats and a pop-up table on the lower portion of the tailgate.

The Cullinan’s list of standard and optional features is nearly as long as the vehicle and almost all of them are aimed at passenger comfort, including a navigation that synchronizes with the transmission to predict bumps and smooth out the driving experience, dual rear LCD screens, picnic tables, champagne flutes, refrigeration, and even a decanter.

Rolls-Royce bundles the Cullinan with an ample number of safety features, including a reversing camera with multiple angles, night vision, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, driver-awareness alert, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist. As of this writing, there’s no public crash data on the Cullinan, but that isn’t abnormal for vehicles in this price range, which are often too expensive to thoroughly evaluate.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan marks the first time in history that Rolls-Royce has abandoned its traditional shapes for something that bills itself as an SUV. The Cullinan’s effortless blend off-road prowess with the ultimate in comfort and technology make it worthy of the storied badge.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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