That the Cullinan doesn’t seem like such a high-rise vehicle when you first get in may well be because the car automatically lowers its body by 40mm as you unlock it and open the door. Its ‘coach’ doors are heavy to pull but have intelligent hinge stays that will hold each firmly in place once you’ve arrested its progress. They then motor-close automatically either as the passenger holds down an adjacent button inside or after the chauffeur presses the exterior keyless unlocking button.
The interior doesn’t quite match a Phantom for spaciousness in both rows, and some testers reported just the merest sense of restricted access to the rear of the cabin as they boarded through those ‘suicide’ rear doors – but neither is a problem about which it would even occur to you to complain. The cabin can be laid out like that of a large, fairly conventional five-seat SUV, with split-folding back seats and an expanding boot (the Lounge seating option) or in more Rolls-Royce-typical four-seat fashion, with individual motorised rear chairs, a fixed centre console and a fixed rear bulkhead partition.
The latter keeps luggage separate from the cabin, boosting on-board refinement and preventing any unnecessary disturbance to the cabin as the driver opens the boot (which is considered a selling point in colder markets). Our test car had the five-seat Lounge layout, with motorised folding seatbacks that stowed completely flat and a motorised boot floor that could be raised to produce a handily flat loading surface.
The driving position has an SUV-typical vantage point and is wrapped in Rolls-Royce-grade opulence and sense of occasion very cleverly. The Phantom itself is, after all, a large and fairly high-riding limousine with quite a raised roof and hip point, and so by transposing all of that upwards by nine inches or so, the Cullinan delivers a more commanding view of the world outside but doesn’t need to redefine a familiar and beautifully enveloping interior theme.