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The best luxury car made anywhere.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom is another world. It’s not simply a normal car with more performance or more knobs on. In fact it’s got fewer knobs on. But its charm puts you in an entirely better frame of mind about life.
It's blissfully comfortable. The huge doors (and the rear-hinged back ones) make it easy to get in, and once there you find masses of lounging space, a magical ride and near-silence. All the expected amenities are present too, but they aren't in your face: this isn't a gadgety car.
The 6.75-litre V12 is more than adequate. Not brutal like a twin-turbo Maybach or Bentley Arnage, but graceful and buttery-smooth. And well able to overtake when it's fitting to do so. Auto kickdowns can be a bit jerky though, and there's no tiptronic over-ride.
Anyone who resents a Rolls-Royce resents success full stop, because the owner will have spent their wealth wisely. This is a cool car as well as a great one.
When you really poke about the cabin, there is the odd plasticky switch. But the craftsmanship of wood and leather and metal and paint is beautiful, and the underlying solidity unimpeachable. The Phantom is a banker.
You don't drive a Phantom like a racing car, because it takes up so much road space. But the steering is accurate and the reactions faithful. It's fun to be brisk in; just don't bother being fast.
Well it's huge and spacious and has an enormous boot. Maybe it ain't that easy to park in a city, but that's picking nits. There are no estates or off-roaders that provide this sort of luxury, so among hyper-luxury cars the Phantom is very practical: look at touches like the flat floor, or the umbrellas in the door.
Well, depreciation expressed as a percentage isn't bad: it'll lose half its value in three years. Unfortunately that means a grand a week. But look on the bright side: alongside that, insurance and servicing and fuel will feel like bargains.