In-depth Reviews

Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV - Engines, drive & performance

Clever suspension scans the road ahead so the Rolls-Royce Cullinan can shrug off bumps

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

Considering the Cullinan's elevated height and driving position compared to the Rolls-Royce Phantom, drivers may be surprised that its steering and handling feel sharper than the limousine. Despite huge 22-inch wheels, four-wheel steering means the turning circle is impressively tight and the Cullinan is surprisingly nimble even on the twisting country roads where you'd expect it to unravel.

Of course, it's still massively refined, with soundproofing lining the reverse of almost every surface and body panel to suppress unwanted road, tyre and wind racket. There's still a distinctive rumble from the engine under acceleration, adding to the sense of engagement.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan petrol engine

The 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 with 563bhp is the sole engine offered in the Cullinan, mustering a surge of thrust that gets it from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds. It's by no means the fastest SUV, then, but provides a deep reserve of power.

Unlike in other Rolls-Royce models, it has also been tuned to give the Cullinan prodigious off-road performance, and a driving mode simply called 'Everywhere' adapts the chassis to tackle grass, gravel, snow or mud. The car's maximum wading depth of 540mm isn't far off a Land Rover Discovery, meaning a river or small lake between the Cullinan and its destination won't be a problem.

Back on tarmac, the Cullinan has another trick up its sleeve. The transmission and chassis receive a steady stream of data about the road ahead from the navigation system and GPS, helping choose the right gear and ensuring a smooth the ride for the road conditions. A 'Flagbearer' camera system even looks ahead for potholes and adjusts the air suspension to help absorb them for a 'Magic Carpet Ride'.

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