The Rolls-Royce Phantom is the world’s most recognizable symbol of automotive extravagance and status. It’s huge waterfall grille and classic upright proportions convey a simple and singular message: wealth goes here. Or maybe royalty. The 2023 Phantom also stands out in the ultimate-luxury car class for its price, which is hundreds of thousands higher than those of rivals such as the Bentley Flying Spur or the Mercedes-Maybach S-class. We can attest to the fact that slipping behind the Phantom’s wheel—better still, into its back seat through its rear-hinged coach doors—will make you feel like a member of the one-tenth-of-one percent. To the Phantom’s credit, there’s probably not a more comfortable luxury car on the planet. It wafts down the road, floating serenely over pavement imperfections while pampering its passengers with an array of sumptuous interior materials. Meanwhile, its big V-12 engine hums away nearly silently under the Phantom’s long hood, providing effortless power. There’s seemingly no end to the customization opportunities offered by the factory, either. The only thing missing from the options list is a chauffeur, but that feature is sold separately.
Prodigious power is provided by a silken 563-hp twin-turbo V-12 paired with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. Acceleration is brisk, but Rolls-Royce’s claimed 5.1-second zero-to-60-mph time isn’t anything you’d appreciate your chauffeur trying to replicate. The Phantom is better suited to easing along lazily; delicate inputs to throttle and steering are what it likes best. To say that the ride is smooth would be an understatement—imagine being carried aloft on a fluffy cloud. The Phantom practically levitates over the road; it features a pothole-spotting camera that helps the suspension adapt to road imperfections in real-time. It’s a library-quiet, sensory-deprivation cocoon.