“Expensive” and “overpriced” do not mean the same thing, and the proof is the 2022 Rolls-Royce Cullinan, an ultra-expensive SUV with good value for the money. Unveiled in 2018, the Cullinan represents Rolls Royce’s cave-in to the ultra-luxury SUV demand of billionaires who want to enjoy the same opulence on the road as in a 5-star lounge.
As expected of any vehicle with the Spirit of Ecstasy on the hood, the Cullinan is finished with some of the finest materials available today, drives well, and is highly customizable. While there are a few big names in its segment, it’s safe to say the 2022 Rolls-Royce Cullinan is in a class of its own, and here’s why.
Living Up to Its Name
Naming the ultra-posh SUV Cullinan describes many things about the high-sided vehicle. Cullinan, found in South Africa, is the largest rough diamond ever found. The almost 1.5 pounds diamond was broken up, and some were made into adornments for the British Royal Family. If anything, the name tells about the uniqueness and rarity of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. It also suggests that it is a ride for the noble social class or people as wealthy as them. The Cullinan is not just the most expensive SUV on the market today, but it is a gem that tells something about the people aboard, even if you see it from the rearview mirror of another expensive vehicle.
Not Everyone Can Afford the Cullinan
Bullish Looks, Unmistakably Rolls-Royce
Although the Cullinan borrows some tricks from smaller Rolls-Royce vehicles, it still appears imposing and bullish. As expected of any Rolls-Royce, the highlight of the fascia is the giant Pantheon Grille that has moved beyond a trademark to become an identity. The grille can be carbon fiber, silver, or plated gold, depending on the buyer’s choice. Rectangular headlights flank the grille, while the storied Spirit of Ecstasy figurine sits at the front end of the hood, making the Cullinan unmistakably Rolls-Royce.
The SUV has intimidating proportions, measuring about 210 and 79 inches in length and height, respectively. The wheels are 22 inches, complementing the oversized appearance. Generally, the SUV weighs about 6k lbs. There is almost no chance that the Cullinan will run into another SUV like it on the road, and that is the least of its selling points.
The Cullinan Has a Performance-Oriented Powerhouse
A ruthless 6.7-liter V-12 sits under the hood of the 2022 Rolls-Royce Cullinan. It funnels 563 hp and 627 lb. ft of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. While that is powerful enough, buyers who want more juice can opt for the Black Badge model, which delivers 593 horsepower and 664 lb. ft of torque.
The Cullinan may not be as fast as the anticipated Ferrari Purosangue and the class-leading Lamborghini Urus, but that does not take away from its honors. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and if you dare to push the 6000+ pounds SUV to its limits, you will hit a top speed of 151 mph. The only concern here is its not-so-economical 12 and 20 mpg in the city and on the highway, respectively. But if you can afford a Cullinan, you are likely unbothered about fuel economy.
All-Terrain, But You Won’t Find Out
Rolls Royce has no reservations in eulogizing how daring and unstoppable the Cullinan is on challenging terrains, tagging it the “most capable Rolls-Royce ever created.” But you have no chance of verifying that because no one, we promise, will head for the woods or dirt trail with an SUV worth over a quarter million to prove a point. The owners of the Cullinan would rather watch a polo match from the optional viewing suite (we’ll get there) while sharing a drink than take their expensive baby mountain climbing.
But Rolls-Royce assures all buyers that the Cullinan can ace it off the pavement if required. Hitting the “Off Road” button on the center console unleashes the vehicle’s full off-road capability, actively engaging AWD, raising the suspension 40mm, and adjusting the pedal response. Rolls-Royce has tested the Cullinan on 12,000 miles of different terrains across three continents. Again, that is all the testing you get to see.
Another Off-Road Monster?
An Indulgence for the Crème de la Crème
While the imposing looks and performance figures are impressive, what justifies Cullinan’s bid-budget cost is the ultra-posh, super-comfy cabin. It is a mobile suite made for VIPs and is the classiest way to indulge yourself on the road. From the moment your chauffeur opens the rear-hinged doors, you are welcome into a world of luxury. The passengers’ feet rest on lamb-wool carpeting, overlooked by the optional Shooting Star Headliner. Plush leather combines with aluminum accents and pretty wood trims to make the rest of the cabin beautiful. The digital gauge cluster may be opinion-splitting, but it is pretty. Also, some people may consider the big controller on the center console redundant because infotainment controls are also accessible via the large touchscreen display on the dashboard.
The center console houses a Champagne cooler and champagne flutes. And at the push of some buttons from the rear seats, the Cullinan can extend a digital screen or picnic tables. Rolls-Royce believes the users of Cullinan don’t want noise; therefore, the SUV is equipped with sound-deadening materials like foam-filled tires and a glass partition between the passenger area and the trunk. Perhaps, the most exciting feature for the passengers onboard is the optional viewing suite. Due to its unique liftgate configuration, the Cullinan can deploy two leather seats and a cocktail table from the cargo area. It is a fantastic way of taking in incredible views from the rear of your SUV.
Pricing And Preferred Trim
With a starting price of about $350,000, the Cullinan is the most expensive SUV today, but it is also the most luxurious. There are lots of options, giving intending buyers a chance to customize almost every part of the SUV. Since buyers have different preferences, it is uncommon to find two Rolls-Royce Cullinan that are the same.
If we were to purchase one today, we’d go for the Silver exterior color and the gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy. On the inside, we’re not passing the chance to bring the stars into our cabin; therefore, we’ll go for the Shooting Star Headliner. We want one center console at the rear, not just to have more drinks but because that makes the rear seats adjustable. Careful, though, because you are only a few fun features away from crossing the half-a-million line. But we’re sure most Cullinan buyers can afford that.