This is the first SUV ever for Rolls Royce, and after driving it for several days, I now can relate to why they named it after the Cullinan diamond.
The Cullinan Diamond was the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, weighing 3,106.75 carats, discovered at the Premier No. 2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa, on 26 January 1905. It was named after Thomas Cullinan, the mine’s chairman.
The Larget SUV in the World
When I first laid my eyes on this rare not so rough cut diamond, at Rolls Royce in Goodwood in March 2019, words and thoughts instantly came to mind. The size was impactful and this SUV was intimidating. To put it into perspective, I literally just handed back the keys of the Rolls Royce Phantom.
I was excited that finally, this was a Rolls Royce that was made for solely everyday living and driving. At that time I had just came back from the Lakes District before a Goodwood factory tour and I wondered about the practicality of driving the Cullinan in rural parts of the UK.
The size can only be compared to, well I don’t really know because there is nothing out there to compare it too. That is why driving the Cullinan was a rare treat this week.
It was a diamond creating new stories by me, this is why priceless experiences can never be measured in money terms. This is what Rolls Royce for me has historically stood for.
If I am comparing it to any Range Rover which I did, it was this moment I understood the word impressive, exclusive and gigantic regarding any SUV I had driven before. Here are some stats:
- Length, 5,341 mm (210.3 in).
- Width, 2,164 mm (85.2 in).
- Height, 1,835 mm (72.2 in).
- Kerb weight, 2,660 kg (5,864.3 lb).
Nothing would ever prepare me for the week I have had driving the biggest SUV in the world. I started my trip driving from Oxford down to Devon. As rare as the Cullinan diamond itself, Rolls Royce is the first SUV review in where I have never drawn so much public attention and input every time I parked it. Whether I wanted to hear public feedback or not, I had people coming up and sharing their thoughts.
The public literally was curious and wanted to communicate. Is this a real Rolls Royce? How much does this car cost? How big is it? What is it like to drive?
The Cullinan is simply such a rare and large SUV that it cannot and will not be ignored.
Amongst both female and male, there was repetitive psychological feedback that was communicated. The public was challenged by it being a Rolls Royce SUV and bemused on its sole purpose, why did they create it in the first place? Currently, the factory makes about 16 a week and there is a five-month delivery time.
The Young And The Restless
For me and it is only my opinion I concluded by other peoples commentary feedback this week. This car is aimed for a younger market who want to be seen, social media their rich lifestyle and who are not restless with parting their cash. The Cullinan is an SUV, aimed at other countries where there are big wide roads and is not as reserved as previous Rolls Royces. The Cullinan is a car with a presence, however, having the Spirit of Ecstasy on the front of the car gives it grace which makes the Cullinan like a rare diamond.
The bonnet is much shorter than the Phantom and when I drove the Phantom I loved those moments where all I could see was the Spirit of Ecstasy whilst driving ovr steep hills. This never happened in the Cullinan. If you want to be chauffeured get the Rolls Royce Phantom that has more leg space in the back.
There is so much young cash out there, that Rolls Royce is just capturing that supply and demand. This is a car that wants to be driven. But when you drive the Cullinan, the big game changer is much more tech is involved, to help you keep this car scratch free and not smash your review mirrors. Again targeting the digital market.
The bigger the SUV, the bigger the SUV stories. My record traffic jam this week was 17 cars to be exact, half a mile of bliss reversing and a whole bus of waving tourist to encourage me. I loved every minute of it. It made me feel like a rare diamiond, this is why Rolls Royce is my favourite prestigious car brand. It gives me stories like no other car in the world has to date.
Rolls Royce brand is still very intimidating for others and when I get out, I do have an audience staring at me. I like to think it’s because I am a woman behind the wheel too.
Reverse Mode On Steroids
I have never been in reverse mode so much as I have this week driving the Cullinan. I chose to go to rural Devon to the most spectacular castles, moors and seaside towns. I did not do my research with regards to how wide the roads are. I did not think I had to until I encountered overgrown hedges on most roads which dated back to more than 100 years. Yes, car anxiety was at its highest for me to date. I was driving an SUV worth over £350,000, I was reversing a whopping Kerb weight 2,660 kg (5,864.3 lb). I was not used to this, the last SUV I drove was a Maserati, 2,109 kg (4,650 lb).
The difference and comparison in driving the biggest SUV in the world are like taking on Anthony Joshua British professional heavyweight boxer, outside the boxing ring. It is a wonderful, powerful experience.
I had to drive it in rural areas to understand its practicalities, mobilities and the technologies it has to offer. I wanted to experience the most expensive and what money has to offer in not smashing it up to let alone losing my gigantic revision mirrors. I want to experience those lorry drivers, bus drivers reactions when they saw me coming down those Devon narrow roads. Again the bigger the SUV the bigger the stories.
But most of them are gracious when they see that Spirit of Ecstasy and know they are dealing with a Rolls Royce. This is the power of the Rolls Royce brand, on most occasions where possible they reversed but on some especially the big Dutch tourist bus. I had to reverse for a while to find a part of the road to slot into, this is where I was often reminded that parking a 5,341 mm (210.3 in) car under pressure is no easy task.
I was on high adrenalin mode, loving the challenges I had to learn fast to take on this luxury wild stallion or tamed SUV depending on how I drove it.
The Cullinan Impact From The Public
When I drove the Rolls Royce Phantom I was treated with the utmost respect both on and off the road. I felt rare, exclusive and in control on the roads. People waved to me, reversed for me and even paid for my parking ticket.
Heads would turn, people would stop and stare. The public simply could identify with its amazing history. This is why when those buying a Rolls Royce forget very fast what they paid for it. The experiences can never be bought they are like no other cars in the world.
This week was very different, the Cullinan challenged people. I was not always loved in fact on many occasions people called my Cullinan ugly. Regarding the older generations, those who love Rolls Royce historically communicated it was a disrespect to the brand itself. One British owner of many Rolls Royces came up to me whilst I was parking. He was was so upset, he looked at me in disgust, what on earth is that thing, he stormed off. He did return and I loved this feedback. he communicated to me his fears.
He communicated that historically Rolls Royce’s were made by hand, this is not hand made! I trully emphasise his concerns and fears. Restassured the Cullinan is handmade and has the finest of qualities like any other modern Rolls Royce, the brand has not changed or been compromised in anyway.
I thrive on these moments of organic feedback, it grounds me. On many occasions when people saw it, there was a confusion on their face, of what on earth I was driving. I was often greeted with a bemused expression.
This is why I label the Cullinan a psychological challenger. Again rare diamond standing out upsetting people along the way. I can relate to this as the Cullinan somewhat, reflects my personality and likeableness.
Just like when you first encounter me, you either love the Cullinan and me, or you don’t. We don’t care, we are cut from a very different cloth.
There was nothing more thrilling to drive the Cullinan on the motorway with an effortless of no stress at all. Once on wide open roads, the Cullinan is a luxury cruiser with all the bells and whistles. The adaptive cruise control was spot on in every way. It allowed me to feel and appreciate the thick carpet whilst driving. It also gave me time to observe the finest of Charles blue leather and walnut features, I loved the interior
The head-up display was one of the best informative features on any car I have seen. It was large, clear and very useful. The GPS instructions were as clear as that stunning Lady of Ecstasy.
The distance whilst driving on a motorway in the UK is the two-second rule. Which gives me ample of time to break in uncertain conditions.
I want to recommend that when driving the Cullinan, adopt the four-second rule. This SUV Kerb weight, is 2,660 kg (5,864.3 lb), excluding passengers, luggage and extra treats along the way.
I wanted to test its braking power at 70mph for my own curiosity. This car is heavy so appreciate that and give yourself plenty of space between you and the other cars to be able to stop in an emergency. I had a car cut me off and I had to brake, it was awesome to feel the weight whilst emergency braking, you have to push hard on the pedal. It was more impressive than I adopted the four-second rule. The safety features in any Rolls Royce are the best in the world.
I was driving with my kids and no matter what car I drive they are a distraction. On this occasion, they had individual screens to entertain themselves. The 5th USB port was very hard to find, especially when the online manual only talks about there being 4 USB ports. You need the 5th port to be able to watch videos that you have on a USB stick. Watch the video on our top tip to avoid any sad children. With regards to USB, the Cullinan has 4 USB C ports.
The children had a mini fridge to keep their drinks and chocolates cold. One day it was 27 degrees when we driving and we had a brilliant summer week with temperatures above 23 degrees every day. We had a sunroof so we all could enjoy this unusual British summer week. The children had buttons to close their own doors electrically which empowered them. When the sun was blaring in their face whilst trying to sleep or watch TV, they just simple closed their black curtains.
They slept well with their massage chair options. Don’t worry everyone had massage options and heated seats but this week the latter was not needed.
I sat in the back enjoyed champagne and loved closing the curtains and just appreciate what I was being chauffeured in.
Charles Blue Interior
When I opened the Cullinan I was in ore, the Charles Blue was music to my ears. Matching my wardrobe this week. It was a fresh colour for me, the feel-good factor was second to none. The contrast of walnut dashboard etc just was the icing on the cake. It was easy to clean and we all as a family looked very posh in it.
My husband was trending a mix of blues, pinks and everything 2019 is all about floral for men. Men you can never dress down in the Cullinan.
Diamonds are always my best friend and the Cullinan is a celebration for me in being able to draw in a new generation of drivers for Rolls Royce. It will be lovely to see other women continue to get into the driver’s seat of a Rolls Royce. I am still trying to work out why I think I like it so much, despite screaming the opposite at times. I do miss my Phantom the truth be told.
Cullinan messes with your head. For some it’s ugly and for others it’s beautiful. It is a psychological challenger on all levels, that’s the thrill of driving and owning one. It, however, has another force it attracts. The Rolls Royce historians that no other cars can do for me. Those that own a Rolls Royce were keen to share their love of the Rolls Royce we rarely see on our roads today.
As I said all along. The bigger the SUV, the bigger the story.
As I was parking the Cullinan this British, well-educated gentlemen with hair as silver as the lady of Etcasy herself. Came up to me, his working career is as impressive as Rolls Royce itself. How many men can say and prove historically they have has worked with the most powerful and famous UK Royal female in the world.
He looked at my Cullinan and grabbed my hand, he drove me away from my castle in his bright orange MG convertible.
Nothing could ever have prepared me for an even bigger story than this Cullinan. Just think an 85-year old Rolls Royce, in its original state, and more thrilling, its first owner was a woman. Gentlemen, I appreciate the finest of cars too, and the lifestyle it brings, it is historically a proven fact. No other car brand can do this than Rolls Royce itself.