Buyer's Guide

2021 Rolls-Royce Cullinan
Select a Different Model (1 Available): Base
Fuel Economy $ 12 / 20 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 68 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 5/5
Horsepower 563@5,000
See All Specs
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2021 Rolls-Royce Cullinan MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Powerful, smooth V-12
  • Impressive all-terrain capability
  • Apple CarPlay is now standard

Cons

  • Guzzles fuel like fine champagne
  • Many houses cost less
  • Not sporty, but that's the point

After decades of creating some of the world's finest cars, Rolls-Royce applies its skill to an SUV. The Cullinan offers all the grandeur and opulence double-R cars are known for, but with sport-utility capabilities and even more presence. It was introduced for the 2019 model year and might be the most luxurious SUV on sale.

What We Think

In some ways the Cullinan is a major departure from Rolls-Royce tradition. Its SUV form factor is like nothing the company has built before. Yet in other ways it's as much a Rolls as any other. The luxury it offers is absolutely true to the brand.

The Cullinan's spacious, opulent cabin suits it to chauffeur duty. Yet with imperious V-12 power it's also a lovely driver's car, even if it's tuned for comfort more than sportiness. What's more, the Cullinan has some legitimate off-road capabilities—try taking a Phantom across a river or down a rocky road.

Other luxury SUVs may have more-reliable, better-developed technology and driver-assist features. But the Cullinan's few quirks hardly detract from the experience. It's an extravagant SUV with panache like no other, worthy of the Spirit of Ecstasy flying on its hood.

How Much Is a Rolls-Royce Cullinan?

Much like the diamond it's named after, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is expensive—very expensive. Prices start at $335,000. Make sure to account for the mandatory $2,600 gas guzzler tax and $2,750 delivery fee before adding options. Of those there are many to choose from. Just check out the Cullinan Black Badge we tested, which stickered at more than half a million dollars. Even the Cullinan that fits on a coffee table costs more than a decent used car.

With Rolls-Royce the sky's the limit in terms of customization. The Wraith-based Sweptail of 2017 is rumored to have sold for some $13 million, and we suspect it's only a matter of time before some well-heeled off-road enthusiast pours a similar sum into a Cullinan-based one-off. Nonetheless, there are a few things Rolls-Royce won't do for all the money in the world.

What Does Cullinan Mean?

Thomas Cullinan was the chairman of a South African mine where in 1905 a massive diamond was discovered. This rock weighed over 3,100 carats, which at the time made it the largest diamond ever found. The Cullinan diamond, as it came to be known, was later cut into several gems, some of which adorned regalia worn by British royalty. Rolls-Royce found Cullinan a suitable name for its first SUV, nearly as rare and rich as the Cullinan diamond itself.

How Quick Is a Rolls-Royce Cullinan?

Like all other Rolls-Royce models the Cullinan features a V-12 engine. In this case it's a twin-turbocharged 6.7-liter unit, producing 563 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque as standard. However Black Badge models are uprated to 600 hp and 664 lb-ft. Power is sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission to Rolls-Royce's first AWD system. In MotorTrend testing, a Cullinan Black Badge glided to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Fuel economy may be a trifling matter for Cullinan drivers, but it's EPA-rated at 12/20 mpg city/highway.

What Is a Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge?

Rolls-Royce doesn't make sports cars, but its Black Badge vehicles have a sharper edge. In the Cullinan Black Badge's case power and torque increase, while a louder exhaust system lets the V-12 make its presence known. Additionally the suspension is tuned for acute handling, the transmission shifts more quickly, and the brakes bite harder.

Although Rolls-Royce clientele can specify their Cullinans however they wish, Black Badge models aim for a sportier aesthetic. Chrome exterior brightwork is blacked out, while carbon-fiber interior trim replaces traditional wood. Black Badge-specific wheels cover red brake calipers. The Cullinan Black Badge feels more luxurious than sporty, but enthusiast drivers may appreciate its extra power and responsiveness.

How Big Is a Rolls-Royce Cullinan?

Looking at pictures of the Cullinan is one thing. Witnessing it in person is a whole different experience. It's a huge SUV, measuring some 210 inches long, 79 inches wide, and 72 inches tall. For reference, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 is 205 inches long, but slightly wider and taller at 80 and 72.5 inches, respectively. Nonetheless the Cullinan's slab-sided design gives it serious presence. It eschews a third-row seat for increased spaciousness in the second row, either in three-across bench or two-seat captain's chair configuration. Cargo capacity behind the second row measures 21.2 cubic feet, and 68.2 cubic feet with them folded, making the Cullinan actually somewhat practical. It's a dense chunk of metal and wood, tipping the MotorTrend scales at a hefty 6,242 pounds.

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2021 ROLLS-ROYCE CULLINAN SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
Engine Name
Engine: V12 Turbo 6.7 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, 8 Speed Automatic
Trim
Base
Class
Luxury Utility
Horsepower
563@5,000
Standard MPG
12/20
Body Style
SUV/Crossover
Drivetrain
AWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Premium
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
Unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
48
Powertrain Warranty Miles
Unlimited
Full Warranty Miles
Unlimited
Powertrain Warranty Months
48
Full Warranty Months
48
Roadside Assistance Miles
unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
48
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated