Used 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II Sedan Review

Those looking for an automobile with the presence and luxury of a Rolls-Royce Phantom but with a more manageable size and acquisition cost should be pleased with the 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost.




what's new

The 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost, now called the Ghost Series II, gets numerous tweaks and improvements, including a refreshed exterior and new seats. Also new is a "satellite-aided" transmission that selects the appropriate gear based on upcoming turns and elevation changes.

vehicle overview

Although flagship luxury sedans offer awe-inspiring performance and fine interior detailing, they also still hail from mainstream automakers that pump out hundreds of thousands of cars a year. If you want something truly exceptional and rare, you'll need to take a step up. And there are few better ways to step up than the 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost.

While the Ghost is the least expensive vehicle in the Rolls-Royce lineup, it gives up little to its Phantom big brother. In fact, it even surpasses the Phantom in a few key areas. As the smaller (and actually more powerful) vehicle, the 2015 Ghost is the quicker of the two and boasts greater handling abilities. It is also easier to drive on a day-to-day basis, which is important to consider if you don't have a full-time chauffeur on the payroll.

If you prefer lounging in the back, you'll find plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the Ghost's finer details, such as the picnic tables located on the rear seatbacks, or the massaging outboard seats. If you need the kind of space usually required by an NBA center, you can opt for the extended-wheelbase body style, which comes quite close to matching the Phantom for rear legroom.

This year's Ghost also boasts a few updates. The front fascia, hood and grille surround are all a little different, but nothing that the casual observer would note. More apparent are the chrome trim pieces beneath the grille and LED headlights. The seats have been redesigned, gaining additional adjustment and new contouring to help improve comfort for both front and rear occupants.

The 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost is such an exquisite (and expensive) vehicle that it has few true rivals that can match its flawless interior detailing and serene ride. The 2015 Bentley Mulsanne is Bentley's top sedan and similar in price and road-going presence. If you desire greater athleticism, Bentley's Flying Spur would work out well. Less expensive (but mainstream) options might include the 2015 Audi A8 and 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But only the Ghost can deliver the Rolls-Royce experience, and it's fair to say it's the brand's best car.

trim levels & features

The 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost (Series II) is available in two trim levels: base and the longer EWB (extended wheelbase). Apart from having a 6.7-inch stretch in wheelbase to provide even more room for rear seat passengers, the EWB is similar to the base Ghost.

Standard feature highlights include 19-inch wheels, an active air suspension, adaptive LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, keyless ignition and entry, a power trunk lid, a 360-degree parking camera, auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, cruise control with upcoming curve detection, power-closing rear "coach" doors, leather upholstery and trim, a power tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, a pair of umbrellas stored within the front doors, heated front and rear seats, 10-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar) and four-zone automatic climate control.

Also included are WiFi hotspot capability, Bluetooth connectivity, a 10.3-inch display screen, a navigation system and a 16-speaker sound system with a CD/DVD player, satellite and HD radio, digital music storage, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.

Options, many of which are also bundled into packages, are seemingly limited only by the buyer's imagination and checkbook. The Feature Selection One package includes 21-inch wheels, chrome exhaust outlets, "foot sweep" trunk opening and closing, added leather trim, rear picnic tables, door sill plates and the Driver Assistance Systems One package (detailed below in the Safety section). The Feature Selection Two package further adds power rear outboard seats, lambswool floor mats, "RR" headrest monograms, dual rear screens and the Driver Assistance Systems Three package (detailed below in the Safety section).

The Dynamic package (available on standard-wheelbase Ghosts) includes a sport-tuned suspension, a thicker steering wheel, retuned steering and visible exhaust tips. The Entertainment package includes an 18-speaker sound system and dual rear screens.

Most of the above options can be ordered individually. Other available features include front and rear massaging seats, front and rear seat ventilation, power-operated rear and side curtains, a rear cooler and a leather headliner. Although there are plenty of standard exterior/interior colors and wood trims to choose from, those seeking more exclusivity will be able to customize their Ghost any way they want via the company's "Bespoke" program. This includes everything from an infinite selection of interior and exterior colors to customized embroidery.

performance & mpg

The 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost is powered by a turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 that produces 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

In Edmunds testing, the Ghost required just 4.9 seconds to sprint to 60 mph. Both body styles earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 15 mpg combined (13 city/21 highway).

safety

The Ghost comes with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. In simulated panic stops, we recorded an astounding (for its size) 113-foot stop from 60 mph.

The Driver Assistance Systems One package includes lane departure warning, automatic high beams and a head-up display. The Driver Assistance Systems Three package further adds a night vision camera (with pedestrian and animal detection warning) and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability. Multiple parking cameras are also available.

driving

The 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost's turbocharged V12 is exceptionally smooth and silent. At lower speeds, the gentle response from the first bit of throttle travel makes for smooth, lurch-free takeoffs, while the adaptive cruise control system allows drivers to abstain from the acceleration and brake pedals altogether. Simply set a speed and the Ghost will automatically come to a full stop and resume travel as traffic conditions dictate. Once you're clear of rush hour madness, boot the throttle and the engine unleashes a smooth, powerful wave of acceleration that continues to swell effortlessly into triple-digit speeds. The GPS-aided eight-speed automatic transmission is spot-on as well, with its timely and barely detectable gearchanges.

The active air suspension goes about its duties with similar transparency, smothering bumps and ruts that would have you grimacing for a harsh impact in lesser cars. Despite a curb weight of about 5,500 pounds, the Ghost feels smaller than it is, and the light and precise steering makes maneuvering the big car a breeze once you've acclimated to its dimensions.

At speed on an open highway, the Ghost quietly and rapidly covers ground, with passengers feeling that perhaps they are ensconced in a private jet or a luxury railway car. On a curving road, the Ghost will roll a bit at lower speeds, but as the pace quickens, the amount of available grip and incongruous agility is impressive. When pushed like this, the suspension firms up and road feel remains acceptable.

interior

Exotic wood veneers and metallic accents are used liberally throughout the Ghost's cabin, where passengers are cosseted in the finest leathers. While the standard carpeting is plush, the optional genuine lambswool mats are the best in the business and will have you taking your shoes off. Overall interior quality is really only incrementally better than what you'll find inside the latest Audi A8 or Mercedes S-Class, but the Ghost raises the ante with a degree of personalization that those cars can only dream of.

Despite the dizzying array of high-tech luxury features, the Ghost presents a relatively clean dash and console. Part of the reason is that the high-definition multi-display screen is hidden behind a wood panel when not in use. The BMW-sourced controller knob is mostly intuitive and includes touchpad functionality. The latter allows one to "write" characters/commands with a finger as well as "pinch" and "expand" on the controller's touchpad face. The controller retains its scrolling/select functions as well. Adding a touch of elegance are the cabin's various buttons and knobs that resemble the keys of a flute or saxophone.

In keeping with tradition, backseat passengers are pampered with well-shaped and supportive seats that also provide a clear view ahead. A large fold-down armrest and a measure of privacy afforded by the power-operated sunshades are two other benefits to sitting in the rear. To further spoil those in the rear compartment, the Ghost can be equipped with adjustable, massaging and ventilated outboard rear seats. Considering the Ghost's size, however, the trunk's 14-cubic-foot capacity is quite modest.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.