Used 2016 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II 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 2016 Rolls-Royce Ghost.
Here's a dilemma that many can relate to: When my luxury sedan's lease is up, should I upgrade to the Bentley or the Rolls? Though the crew from Crewe undoubtedly makes exceptional automobiles, the Rolls-Royce name is known the world over for unparalleled luxury. You could go for one of the range-topping Phantom variants, but if you want a slightly sportier driving experience or simply want to save some cash, consider the smaller and more agile 2016 Rolls-Royce Ghost.
Although you could describe it as a "baby Phantom," the Ghost gives up little in the way of luxury accoutrements. You still get four-zone climate control, custom-colored umbrellas in the front door pockets, a button that closes the rear doors and floating wheel caps that always ensure the RR logo is facing the right way. There's a little less rear legroom, but the extended-wheelbase Ghost remedies that while supplying additional road-going presence. Thanks to 7 Series sedan bones from parent company BMW, the Ghost feels more lithe than the Phantom when the road bends, and it is quicker in a straight line as well.
Following last year's significant refresh, the Rolls-Royce Ghost (the Series II, Rolls-Royce calls it) gets a few minor upgrades for 2016. Front massaging seats are now standard, and there is additional leather on passenger touch points. New options include headrest cushions (pillows) for the rear seats, brushed aluminum interior trim and a metal engraved VIN plate. On standard-wheelbase Ghosts, the Starlight headliner is available, in which fiber-optic lights shine through hundreds of holes in the headliner to imitate a starry night sky.
Few luxury vehicles can compete with the Ghost's opulent interior dressing, unique features and seemingly endless customization options. The Bentley in the opening question could be either the sporty Flying Spur or more stately Mulsanne; both are high-powered and extremely luxurious. The 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 oozes sensibility more than outright prestige, but it's undoubtedly modern and high-tech. Still wondering what to get next? Maybe the solution is to just get the Roller and a Bentley.
trim levels & features
The 2016 Rolls-Royce Ghost (Series II) is a four-door, five-seat sedan 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 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-adjustable front seats (with four-way power lumbar adjustment) with massage, four-zone automatic climate control and a power trunklid.
Standard tech includes Wi-Fi 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 finances. The Feature Selection One package includes 21-inch wheels, chrome exhaust outlets, "foot sweep" trunk opening and closing, added leather trim, rear picnic tables, doorsill plates and the Driver's 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's 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 rear massaging seats, front and rear seat ventilation, power-operated rear and side curtains, a rear cooler and leather headliner. Although there are plenty of standard exterior and 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 2016 Rolls-Royce Ghost is powered by a 6.6-liter turbocharged V12 that produces 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed, satellite-aided automatic transmission.
In Edmunds testing, the Ghost required just 4.9 seconds to sprint to 60 mph. Both short- and extended-wheelbase body styles earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 15 mpg combined (13 city/21 highway).
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's Assistance Systems One package includes lane departure warning, automatic high beams and a head-up display. The Driver's 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.
The 2016 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, and 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 swells effortlessly into triple-digit speeds. The GPS-aided eight-speed automatic transmission is spot-on as well, with its timely and barely detectable gear changes.
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 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.
Exotic wood veneers and metallic accents are used liberally throughout the Ghost's cabin, where passengers are cosseted in the finest leathers. Although 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't offer.
Despite the dizzying array of high-tech luxury features, the Ghost has a relatively clean-looking 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 and commands with a finger as well as pinch and expand on the controller's touchpad face. The controller retains its scrolling and 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.