I only spent a few minutes in the Rolls-Royce Ghost, but immediately I realised just how special it is.

My only previous encounter with the Ghost was when it came in our studio for a photo shoot. There I was impressed with its luxury credentials, but felt it looked a bit awkward, too much of a Phantom imitation without being its own unique car.

Read Steve Cropley's Rolls-Royce Ghost first drive

But as soon as Steve Cropley pulled into the car park next to me at the Longcross test track, the Ghost had won me over. Bizzarely, I was most impressed by the fact it (almost) fitted in the space. It looked authoritative without being pretentious, still every bit a mini Phantom, but much more distinctive in its own right away from the solitary nature of the studio.

Cropley was always beaming and full of praise when he stepped out of it so I was keen to have my own go. Having just spent an hour or so driving the sublime Jaguar XFR, with such a good car so fresh in my mind, the Ghost had some living up to do.

But instantly, the Ghost matched the XFR in just how impressive a car can be. Pull the lever on the steering column towards you and up to back out, then down to pull away. You’d think you’d need to read the manual to work out just how to move the Ghost, but it’s testament to how well laid and simple to use the interior is that this is not the case.