Meet and greet the new SUV Rolls-Royce Cullinan. The product of a car-buying customer demand for a high-riding, rough stuff-capable machine that somehow encapsulates the finest airs and graces of Edwardian-era Great Britain and teams them not only with the outstanding technical prowess developed through the 2010s, but also its most infectious and omnipresent design trends.
The Cullinan is a response to that; a conscious effort to keep Rolls’ products current in a world where everyone from the minimum wage worker to the wealthiest oil baron wants an SUV. Persevering with saloons, however lovely, was the wrong choice.
There’s something undeniably exciting about this car; something most mud-shy lifted hatchbacks masquerading as SUVs lack. It carries with it a sense of freedom that the stuffier Rolls saloons have always lacked. A Rolls-Royce that you can drive – or be driven in – to anywhere in the paved world is a fine thing, but a Rolls-Royce that can blend obscene comfort with the ability to traverse just about any environment on earth is simply untouchable.
Other off-roaders may still have the measure of it in extreme situations. A Phantom may still have the edge in terms of outright Monaco hotel arrival class. But nothing that’s on sale today can get anywhere near the scope of the Cullinan’s pantheon of talents. Whatever your feelings on SUVs in general, this is probably the best car ever made.