Used 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom Review
Incredibly lavish and powerful, the 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom is blessed with solid BMW engineering and hand-crafted design elements that cover every inch of its vast interior and exterior, making it nearly as enjoyable from the driver seat as it is from the backseat.
The 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom is a stately, prestigious, ultra-luxury sedan and it's also one of the most customizable vehicles on the planet. Built and assembled largely by hand, this massive four-door combines relentlessly impressive workmanship and high-end materials even before you start your journey down the options list. And whether you consider lambs-wool floor mats or a cigar humidor in the glove box to be gloriously opulent or gratuitously ostentatious, there's no denying the posh excellence the Phantom can provide.
Riding in a Rolls-Royce is an experience all its own. The V12 engine isn't all that powerful in comparison to some other flagship sedans, but it still moves the nearly-three-ton sedan down the road with ease. The ride-quality and the whisper-quiet interior make for a peaceful journey regardless of the road surface while custom veneers and soft leather line nearly every inch of the interior. You'd be hard-pressed to find a nicer place to sit while you're stuck in rush-hour traffic, and the extended-wheelbase version of the Phantom has legroom to spare, even for the tallest of millionaires.
By nature of the Phantom's status it's difficult to compare it with any other car on the road, but if you feel the need to cross-shop, there are a few potential rivals worth considering. The 2015 Bentley Mulsanne feels somewhat sportier and commands a similar kind of attention, but it doesn't feel quite as chic. The 2015 Mercedes Benz S-Class is also appealing and it may seem like a bargain at around half the Phantom's price, but discerning eyes will see a significant difference in materials quality. Unquestionably, the 2015 Rolls Royce Phantom is one of the most exclusive cars currently available. For those that can afford it, it will feel pretty special.
trim levels & features
The 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom is an ultra-luxury sedan available in base and extended-wheelbase (EWB) body styles. There is seating for five passengers, or four when equipped with the individual rear seat configuration. The Phantom comes in one very complete trim level.
Standard features include 21-inch alloy wheels, an electronically adjustable air suspension, automatic and adaptive LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, multiple parking and maneuvering cameras (rearview, top-view, front-side), power-closing rear coach doors, a power-closing trunk lid, soft-close front doors, automatic wipers, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats, heated front and rear seats, driver memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a wool and cashmere headliner, and two umbrellas, hidden in the front doors.
Standard electronics includes Bluetooth phone connectivity, a navigation system, a multifunction electronics interface with an 8.8-inch display and pop-out controller, voice controls and Rolls-Royce Assist emergency telematics. Audio is provided by a Harman Kardon Lexicon Logic 7 surround-sound audio system with 15 speakers (including two floor-mounted subwoofers), a glovebox-mounted six-DVD changer, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB/iPod interface and satellite radio.
The Phantom EWB adds 10 inches of rear legroom, four-zone climate control and reversible foot rests.
As you'd expect with a vehicle like the Phantom, the options list is vast and includes things more likely to be found in a luxury home than in a car, including power-adjustable rear seats (with a choice of a fixed center seat or center console), a "rear theatre" (an entertainment system with two 12-inch DVD screens built into the standard drop-down picnic tables), a rear bar, power rear-window curtains, a glovebox cigar humidor, veneer 'picnic' tables, trunk-mounted parasols, a partition separating the driver from the rear-seat passengers, mother of pearl inlays and a "Starlight" roof liner with embedded LED lights emulating nighttime stars (precise celestial maps can be applied at an extra cost). Really, though, Rolls-Royce's Bespoke program will allow for any and all customization you can come up with. At the very least, the paint and trim combinations are nearly endless, since, like many top-tier carmakers, Rolls-Royce will mix paint and dye leather to match any color sample a customer brings into the dealership.
Another notable option is the Dynamic package, which adds stiffer antiroll bars (to sharpen up the big sedan's handling); sportier suspension, transmission and brake calibrations; a thicker-rimmed steering wheel and visible exhaust tips.
performance & mpg
The 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom is powered by a 6.7-liter V12 that produces 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque that sends power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rolls-Royce claims that the standard Phantom will go from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, while the larger EWB version is a tenth of a second slower.
Whether you opt for the standard- or extended-wheelbase Phantom, the EPA gives it a fuel economy estimate of 14 mpg combined (11 city/19 highway).
Standard safety features include antilock brakes, traction control and stability control, active front head restraints, side airbags for front occupants and full-length side curtain airbags. In addition, front and rear parking sensors are standard, as is a camera system that shows rear, side and overhead views to assist you in parking and pulling into traffic in this very large sedan.
For a vehicle that weighs as much as a Chevy Suburban, the 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom's handling composure is rather remarkable. We have yet to sample a Phantom with the Dynamic package, but we've been pleasantly surprised by the ultra-luxury sedan's athleticism in previous tests. The steering is light and communicative, and the Roller feels confident around turns thanks to its well-sorted air suspension. There's no getting around its enormous dimensions, however; in close quarters or on tight roads, the Phantom can be a bear to maneuver.
The V12 is strong and nearly silent, making full acceleration a somewhat eerie experience from the driver's lofty perch. It's ultimately not that powerful, but it's incredibly smooth. Ride quality, meanwhile, is truly regal. The Phantom's suspension is supple yet controlled, dispatching bumps, potholes and even speed humps as if they weren't even there.
The interior of the Phantom is decidedly formal and unlike any car you've ever driven. Its bolt-upright dashboard, clocklike instruments, thin-rimmed steering wheel and throne-like seats give you an elevated, almost SUV view of the road ahead. The cabin is full of beautiful details, too, including up to 43 pieces of multilayer wood veneers cut from the same log to ensure uniformity. Every square foot of leather inside the Phantom comes from cows raised in high-altitude Alpine meadows free of thorns and barbed wire, so as to minimize the chance of markings on the hides. Certain color and wood treatments can liven the space up considerably, and the hand craftsmanship lends a palpable sense of warmth.
Located behind a panel containing the Phantom's center-mounted clock is an 8.8-inch information screen that enhances usability of the car's many controls, including a split-screen interface that lets the driver control things like the radio while displaying the navigation map as well. The entire setup is essentially a disguised version of BMW's iDrive interface (right down to the multifunction controller that pops out of the Phantom's center console) and generally speaking, it works quite well. You'll initially want to take some time to familiarize yourself with the menus before you hit the road but the system responds quickly to commands and the crisp display makes it easy to decipher with a quick glance. Other controls, particularly those for the front seats and climate adjustment, are unusual and may take some time to figure out.
The driver's seat though, is probably not where most Phantom owners (especially those with the EWB) will be spending most of their time. In their more-likely position of the back seat, the standard wide bench seats three in comfort, or two in even more comfort with the optional power-adjustable individual seats. With the rear seats set back deep into the car's body, it can get a little dark, especially with the available curtains drawn, but we expect that's exactly how many Phantom owners would like it. Perhaps the best thing about the Phantom's rear quarters is getting in and out through its rear-hinged doors, which have integrated umbrellas in the event that your arrival occurs during a downpour.
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.