Any suggestion that the smallest Rolls-Royce is some kind of poor relation to the Phantom is scotched the moment you climb aboard. The cabin of the Ghost is very different from that of a Phantom – lower, cosier and less sedate – but you don’t need your feet to disappear far into the lambswool footmats (optional) to feel the quality. The piano black wood trim, dyed leather and chrome fittings are as good as they get.
The driving position is slightly raised – Rolls rather awkwardly calls it an ‘authority’ position – but the view out is not Range Rover-esque, as it is in the Phantom. The elegant black-on-white dials look too small to be read easily at a glance but they actually present no such problem, while the major switchgear is sited sensibly and as instinctively easy to use as the transformed BMW iDrive system upon which it is based.
It remains to be seen whether BMW-driving owners will be irked by being familiar with the action and operation of many of the Ghost’s various switches, knobs and buttons before they have so much as sat in it. Nothing apart from the sat-nav screen actually looks the same because Rolls-Royce has been sensible enough to reface all of the control surfaces.
Still, travel by Rolls-Royce has always been as much about riding as driving, and your passengers will find the Ghost a wondrous place from which to watch the world sweep by. Interestingly, although the exterior dimensions of the Ghost are considerably abbreviated compared with a Phantom’s, inside it offers very similar space.
Unlike the Phantom, the Ghost will be largely owner-driven, but some will have chauffeurs and all will have passengers, so it’s disappointing to find that adjustable rear seats aren’t standard but another expensive option. The ability to recline the rear seat further will surely be appreciated by all.
As for standard equipment, it is split across three models - Ghost, Ghost Extended Wheelbase and Black Badge. The Ghost and the EWB come with 19in alloy wheels, carpet and floor mats, adaptive LED headlights, DVD player, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and walnut burr for the inside. The range-topping Black Badge comes with a little more included for its hefty price tag, including natural grain leather upholstery, ventilated and massaging seats, a 360-degree camera system, a starlight headlining and numerous safety technology. Inside there is a TV tuner, six DVD changer, a bespoke Rolls-Royce audio system, and a rear theatre set-up, coolbox and phone.