Used 2001 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph Review

This 5,200-pound guardian angel will protect you like few other sedans on the planet while you bask in its luxurious hand-crafted cabin. Of course, a few coins on the Sunday collection plate won't be enough to put one in your garage.

what's new

The Silver Seraph is the first all-new Rolls in 20 years, and debuted in 1998 as a 1999 model. The 2001 model year holds no changes for the saloon.

vehicle overview

Ghost. Phantom. Wraith. Seraph. Casting call for "Buffy"? No, just some of the specters in the Rolls-Royce fleet, the common theme being that they're all "silent as ghosts."

Rolls-Royce hails the Silver Seraph as "the most technically advanced and refined machine ever made by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars." A 5.4-liter V12 powerplant conveying 322 horsepower and 361 foot-pounds of torque at 3,900 rpm is charged with hauling around this 5180-pound sedan, and does a fine job at it -- zero-to-60 acceleration runs are procured in 7 seconds, and it only requires 2.6 seconds to go from 30-50 mph. You'll be a favorite of the local gas station, as the Titan-sized automobile (whose exterior dimensions rival that of the Chevy Suburban -- it's only 7 inches shorter but almost 4 inches wider) quaffs a gallon for every 13 miles traveled.

The negatives of driving such a heavy car are the incumbent body roll and wallow. Rolls addresses these in the Silver Seraph by increasing torsional rigidity, maintaining a 50/50 weight distribution, stiffening the springs, and giving the Seraph a wider track than previous Rollers.

The positive is that you'll claim proprietorship over cool oddities such as the mascot in the form of the lady bending over (a.k.a. The Spirit of Ecstasy -- and by the way, it's stainless steel, not silver). For safety considerations, it's mounted on a spring-loaded mechanism designed to retract instantly into the radiator shell upon any kind of impact.

The Seraph comes in one lavishly appointed configuration. Standard with your Rolls are four-channel electronic ABS and traction and stability control, which reduces engine torque and applies the brakes to the misbehaving rear wheel. You'll also kindly note the trip computer, navigation system, park distance control system, six-disc CD changer with remote control for rear passenger operation, and picnic tables in the front seatbacks.

To ensure the authenticity and originality of each and every individual Rolls-Royce, you can choose from any one of numerous configurations for your coach. The Silver Seraph offers 22 exterior colors, either as monotone or two-tone finish, 23 shades of Connolly leather for the upholstery, and 16 different tints for the lamb's wool carpeting. Of course, they are also happy to oblige any requests for special colors.

You'll be satisfied to know that it took about 18 days to complete a full set of wood veneer trim for the hand-trimmed interior, and that every wooden surface is from the same tree so as to achieve consistency. For further individualization, you can fit a bureau, a refrigerator or vanity mirrors.

Being inside of a Silver Seraph is what Holly Golightly said of Tiffany's -- "It's like nothing bad can ever happen here." Bad things would never dare be so presumptuous.

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.