2016 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Review

Unspeakably lavish and stratospherically expensive, the 2016 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe are perhaps the world's most elegant two-door automobiles.




what's new

The Phantom Coupe receives a novel "twinkle" function for its optional Starlight headliner, but it's otherwise unchanged apart from minor trim updates, as is the convertible Drophead Coupe.

vehicle overview

If you care about getting the best value for your money, we've got a hunch that the 2016 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe isn't for you. But if you care about the finer things in life, this big two-door Phantom gains relevance. Provided you're OK with its asking price, this ultra-luxury car promises peerless levels of opulence, refinement and sheer presence on the road.

Surprisingly, though, it doesn't deliver peerless performance. There's only one available engine, a 6.7-liter V12, and it's been around for more than a decade, making the same 453 horsepower today that it did back then. That's not a lot of oomph for a car that weighs in the vicinity of 3 tons, and according to Rolls-Royce, the Coupe requires about 5.5 seconds to hit 60 mph, a distinctly underwhelming result for a car that costs more than twice as much as the average American house.

Still, one doesn't buy a Phantom for pure speed or athleticism; rather, one buys it for its unrivaled gravitas and prestige. With that in mind, you might consider better-performing and far cheaper alternatives like the Bentley Continental GT and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, or even Rolls-Royce's own Wraith, but perhaps you'd be missing the point. There can only be one two-door luxury car at the top of the automotive food chain, and the 2016 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe is it.

trim levels & features

The 2016 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe is a four-passenger ultra-luxury coupe. Standard equipment includes a power-retractable hood ornament, 21-inch wheels, an adjustable air suspension, automatic adaptive LED headlights, LED taillights, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view camera system, power-closing rear-hinged doors, a power-closing trunk lid, multizone climate control, 10-way power front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, memory settings, heated front and rear seats, oak inlays, a cashmere-blend headliner and two umbrellas hidden in the front fenders.

Also included are Bluetooth, voice controls and a BMW-derived infotainment interface with an 8.8-inch display, a pop-out controller and a navigation system. The audio system is a Lexicon Logic7 surround-sound setup with 15 speakers (including two subwoofers), a glovebox-mounted six-DVD changer, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port and satellite radio.

Standard for the Coupe is the Dynamic package, which adds a stiffer suspension, a sport steering wheel and sportier transmission and brake specifications.

The Phantom Coupe can optionally be equipped with most of the Phantom sedan's customizable extras, including various upgraded inlays, monogrammed headrests, leather seat piping, a glovebox humidor and a twinkling "Starlight" headliner with embedded pin lights simulating nighttime stars.

Beyond that, Rolls-Royce's Bespoke program provides customization options that are primarily limited by your imagination. There are literally thousands of paint hues to choose from, for example, and the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament can be decked out in gold plating or pretty much anything you like.

performance & mpg

The 2016 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe is motivated by a 6.7-liter V12 that produces 453 hp and 531 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 14 mpg combined (11 city/19 highway).

safety

The 2016 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, side airbags for front occupants and full-length side curtain airbags. In addition, Rolls-Royce Assist emergency telematics and front and rear parking sensors are standard, as is a surround-view camera system that assists you with both parking and pulling into traffic.

driving

The 2016 Phantom Coupe is an enormous car by every measure. As such, navigating tight streets can be harrowing, with the wide body leaving little room on the sides, and the front end far off in the distance like the bow of a ship. Thankfully, the surround-view camera system provides a left-right view of crossroads ahead, but there's no getting around the SUV-like dimensions.

Given its size, the two-door Phantom is definitely happiest out on the open road, dominating high-speed thoroughfares like a road-going ocean liner. The ride is smooth but not floaty, absorbing broken pavement with nothing but muted thumps.

The V12's 453-hp output is underwhelming considering the latest turbocharged mills in other top-flight luxury cars. But it remains spectacularly civilized, going about its business so unobtrusively that it might as well be an electric motor in most situations. There's a drama-free surge of acceleration every time you lay into the gas pedal, and the engine never seems to be working hard.

interior

The two-door Phantom models may seat only four, but they still feel as large as your living room, at least for front seat occupants. Those first-row thrones face a broad, vertical dashboard, but the seating position is plenty high; it's almost like being in an SUV. The rear-hinged "coach" doors make accessing the rear compartment a cinch once the front seats have motored forward. As in the sedan, the rear seats are set back deep into the roof's cove, where it can get a little claustrophobic, particularly since no sunroof is offered.

Clean, traditional instrument dials and an elegant center-mounted analog clock contribute to the interior's formal atmosphere. The many exquisite details include multilayer wood veneers, deep-pile lambswool carpets and yards of flawless leather trim that's sourced from possibly the world's most spoiled cows. Meticulous craftsmanship is evident in the splendid stitch work and pleated leather that no machine could finesse.

Hidden behind the clock is an 8.8-inch infotainment screen with split-screen functionality, allowing multitasking like changing radio or media sources while following the navigation map. Memory keys below the screen serve as bookmarks for radio presets as well as one-touch recall for favorite navigation destinations. The entire setup is essentially a disguised version of the iDrive interface in BMW models, right down to the multifunction controller that pops out from the center console. Generally speaking, it works well, though the initial learning curve can be steep. Other controls, particularly those for the front seats and climate system, are quirkily arranged and may also take some time to figure out.

The Coupe's trunk can swallow 13.9 cubic feet of cargo, a paltry measurement for a car of such unusual size.

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.