The world is an isolating place right now. But I can’t think of a better way to social distance than inside the luxurious, hand-crafted 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan. I had the good fortune recently to spend a few days with this incredibly crafted SUV that first made its debut in 2019 as the brand’s first-ever SUV. (Car Pro Show host Jerry Reynolds reviewed the 2019 Cullinan, and you can check out his review here. ) My all-too brief time ( two days or so) with the Cullinan included making a social-distancing curbside pickup food run, finding scenic spots for photos and video and, of course, oohing and ahhing over its cool features along with its marvelous performance on the road.
The Cullinan is aptly named after the largest diamond ever discovered, a diamond that now resides in the British Crown Jewels. This is a large, stately and elegant SUV that certainly gets you noticed by your neighbors. This 2020 Cullinan test vehicle is in Jubilee Silver with a Charles Blue coachline pinstripe along with a huge stainless steel grille and 22-inch wheels with centers matched to the wheels.
The electronically-retracting and illuminated Spirit of Ecstacy grille ornament reigns like a crown on the hood. Laser headlights light your way with LEDs in the back, along with dual chrome plated exhausts. You figure out what’s so cool about the Cullinan pretty quickly. The front and rear “suicide” coach doors with soft-close latches have to be number one on that list. Open them both and it is truly a sight to behold, and the doors also house deployable umbrellas.
The Cullinan’s Bespoke interior is an incredibly quiet oasis from the outside world. It envelopes you in comfort and surrounds you with soft leather and polished hardware and switchgear. The model with the Launch package features a two-tone Signature scheme leather interior with two blues, a Charles Blue and a darker Navy Blue along with open pore wood walnut trim. The Selby Grey contrast stitching on the dash and elsewhere is, of course, impeccable.
The front seats are supremely comfortable and come with massage as well as thigh extenders, two things I always appreciate. A leather-wrapped, heated, Navy ($1,775) steering wheel greets your fingers. A stick gear shift is located on the steering wheel itself, not the center console. The center console bin has a surprise in it. It’s also cooled, perfect to store something cool on a warm, summer day. You’ll get plenty of light from a panoramic sunroof overhead.
Technology is terrific while being understated and elegant. The 10.25-inch horizontal infotainment system is responsive, and the 16-speaker sound system is incredible. Rolls-Royce did a great job with the surround view camera system, head-up display and driver assist features as well. You’ll also get tech features like a wireless charger and multiple USB ports.
The back seat passengers will enjoy lounge seats as well as their own drop-down picnic tables and entertainment system with 12-inch high definition touchscreens mounted in the back of the front seats. A rear-seat drop down center console hides two cup holders, and it also reveals a pass-through area to the trunk. There are lambswool floor mats and even the carpeted trunk is wow-worthy - with the touch a button on the key fob it can extend out to become a full tailgate affair.
The Cullinan is a large, heavy SUV weighing nearly 6,000 pounds, so it needs power. It gets plenty of it thanks to a hand-made 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 engine with 571-horsepower and 627 lb.-ft of torque mated to an all-wheel drive system and 8-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration and its smooth power is perfectly matched for a vehicle of this weight and size. Fuel economy is not what you buy the Cullinan for, you’ll get 14 mph combined. But in a vehicle like this, it’s the last thing on your mind.
Ride and Drive
The Cullinan is also a dream to drive and easy to maneuver despite its size. The ride is as smooth as butter --delivering Rolls-Royce’s “Magic Carpet” ride - thanks to its independent air suspension which makes you feel as if you are floating down the highway.
What You’ll Pay
My test model’s base MSRP is roughly $330,000 but with the Launch package and other options along with a gas guzzler charge, it’s just over $394,275.
2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan
- What I liked most: What is not to love?
- What I would change: Throw in a personal valet, and my world would be perfect!
- MSRP: $330,000 base price; total MSRP with transportation: $394,275.
- Fuel Economy: 12 city/20 highway/14 combined.
- Official Color: Jubilee Silver.
- Weight: 5864 pounds.
- Final Assembly Location: Chichester, Great Britain.
- Spare Tire: Full-sized spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 210” long/85” wide/72” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: Unavailable, filler is on the driver’s side.
- Towing Capacity: 7,275 pounds.
- 2020 Cullinan in a few words: An SUV that will spoil you rotten - even amid a pandemic.
- Warranty: 4-year, unlimited mileage with roadside assistance.