Exotic car; Built in England
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $NA – $NA*


2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan Front


2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan Rear


2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan Interior


2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan Profile


2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan Front-2


2009 Rolls -Royce Phantom Sedan Interior


2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan Front-3

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Build quality
  • Interior materials
  • Quietness
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Price–new or used

Rolls-Royce has long represented the epitome of luxury motoring, and the Phantom delivers on all that name promises. Those with deep pockets and a discerning nature will find value in the car’s unique blend of exquisite appointments, coddling accommodations, surprising performance, and rich legacy, making the $380,000 starting price for a new model a sum of little consequence. Prices for late-model secondhand Phantoms won’t be much lower, either.

Overview

Soon after Rolls-Royce officially split with its long-time corporate partner, Bentley, at the start of 2003, the legendary luxury-motorcar maker had a new model ready for the market. Now under the control of BMW, Rolls-Royce introduced the Phantom sedan. The Phantom name had been used before, on five different Rolls-Royce sedans, but the new 2004 version was a massive and stunning creation, highlighted by unique rear-hinged back doors and a 453-horsepower V12 engine. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, that engine was an offshoot of BMW’s 4.5-liter V8. Bodies and engines came from BMW in Germany, while wood/leather trim was applied in Britain. Despite its mammoth dimensions–riding a 140.6-inch wheelbase, and standing more than 64 inches tall– the Phantom had the lightest structure ever used by Rolls-Royce. Lounge-style seats were positioned some distance from the rear doors, which could be closed from inside by pushing a button. Styling features included a long formal hood, traditional-design grille, wide C-pillars, and small rear window. The “Spirit of Ecstasy” hood ornament retracted when the car was parked. Available safety equipment included antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, front-side airbags, and curtain-side airbags. Front and rear park-distance sensors were standard. An extensive list of standard and optional features was offered, and buyers could custom-order colors and interior materials through Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke program.

Rolls-Royce long claimed to be “The Best Car in the World.” Whether it lives up to that slogan is debatable, but Rolls-Royce vehicles are large, impressive, and tremendously expensive. A Phantom cost $320,000, plus a $3,000 gas-guzzler tax. Rolls had been building British luxury cars since 1904. Phantom rivals included the Maybach 62 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and (later) the Bentley Continental Flying Spur.

Yearly Updates

2005 Phantom Sedan
The 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan was essentially a carryover with little change. During 2005, Rolls-Royce built 25 specially-designed sedans, echoing the color schemes of early 1920s models, to mark the 80th year of the Phantom name.
2006 Phantom Sedan
Rear doors opened slightly wider on the 2006 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan. Satellite radio became standard, along with Bluetooth phone connectivity. New options included a front camera, drinks cabinet, Artel Glass set, and rear coolbox.
2007 Phantom Sedan
For the 2007 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan, an extended-wheelbase version joined the original Phantom, adding 10 inches to overall length (to the rear of the B-pillar) and $52,000 to the price. Longer extrusions were used in the body, and Rolls-Royce claimed no loss in torsional rigidity. Extended models had been sold since 2005 in the Middle East and Asia. Rolls-Royce’s rear theater system switched from 6.5- to 12-inch screens. New options included a Conway Stewart writing seat and a cigar humidor. Rolls-Royce claimed 0-60 mph acceleration in 5.7 seconds for the regular Phantom, and 5.8 for the extended sedan.
2008 Phantom Sedan
Minor changes for the 2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan included availability of 21-inch forged alloy wheels, a Starlight headliner option (with 640 fiber-optic stars sewn in), new welcome light, and new types of optional wood interior trim. A Phantom Drophead Coupe (listed separately) went on sale this year.
2009 Phantom Sedan
A solid-roof Phantom coupe went on sale in 2009. At the same time, the Rolls-Royce Phantom sedans got subtle enhancements, bringing their front-end appearance closer to that of the new coupe. Revisions included a slightly revised grille with a shallower appearance, above a new streamlined front bumper. Cast aluminum 21-inch wheels were now standard. Regular- and Extended-Wheelbase versions again were offered; the latter adding nearly 10 inches of wheelbase and overall length. Both ordinarily seated five, but a four-passenger configuration with a rear center console was optional.
2010 Phantom Sedan
Few changes were evident on the 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedans, apart from a veneered instrument panel offered as a no-cost option. Rolls-Royce introduced a smaller Ghost sedan this year, aimed at the owner-driver market, whereas Phantom sedans were more likely to be chauffeur-driven.
2011 Phantom Sedan
Once again, the 2011 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan was largely unchanged, apart from new anti-whiplash headrests. A Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary Collection Phantom was introduced. Only 100 were to be built, each with a number of exclusive “bespoke” options. Standard features included a heated windshield and front side windows, power-closing rear doors, and a cooled glovebox. Options included rear picnic tables, a rear curtain, and interior headliner lighting that imitated the look of a star-filled night sky.
2012 Phantom Sedan
No significant changes were evident on the 2012 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedans, again offered in two sizes.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

Beneath each Phantom sedan bonnet, a V12 engine developed 453 horsepower, teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission.

dohc V12
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 6.8/412
Engine HP 453
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 531
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

11/18

Road Test

The Extended-Wheelbase sedan is only about 125 pounds heavier than the regular sedan, so they differ little in performance. Power is sufficient to accelerate nearly three tons strongly from any speed, though the transmission sometimes hesitates before downshifting for more passing power. Rolls-Royce’s claim of 0-60 in 5.7 seconds is believable.

Consumer Guide has had no opportunity to measure fuel economy, but the EPA estimated an average of 14 mpg (11 mpg in city driving and 18 mpg on the highway). Premium-grade gasoline is required.

Ride comfort, as expected, is a definitive plus. Both models iron out most road imperfections with little float or wallow.

Despite their enormous dimensions, these sedans handle quite well. Naturally, they are hardly nimble, but the regular-length model, in particular, feels smaller than its actual size. Steering effort is too light for many tastes, yet it offers some road feel.

Noise is practically forgotten, as Phantom passengers enjoy splendid isolation. The engine emits a refined murmur during acceleration, but is nearly silent at idle and while cruising.

Primary audio and climate functions are governed by conventional controls that are fairly easy to reach, though climate controls are mounted low on the dashboard. Secondary functions, such as those for the navigation system, are governed by an iDrive-type console-mounted control knob and dashboard display screen that both flip out of sight when not in use. That concept was borrowed from BMW, Rolls-Royce’s parent company. A “Percent-of-Power” meter replaces a tachometer, and the gearshift lever is a light-touch column-mounted electronic “flipper.” Virtually every surface is swathed in real leather, wood, brushed metal, or chrome. Fit and finish are exemplary. Particularly impressive is the sound system, which turns the interior into a mobile concert hall.

Up front is ample legroom and headroom for adults, and the large, overstuffed seats afford a commanding view of the road. Visibility is restricted only to the rear corners, due to thick roof pillars.

Rear legroom and headroom are more than adequate even in the regular-length version. In the Extended-Wheelbase model, legroom is limousine-like. The sofa-like seat is well-shaped and supportive. Rear-hinged doors and a high roofline combine for easy entry and exit, though the seat is placed farther rearward than the door opening, forcing passengers to step forward before stepping out. Doors can be power-closed from the inside at the press of a button–a handy feature. Twelve-inch screens for the rear entertainment system fold down from the front seatbacks.

The trunk is nicely trimmed, but not as large as one might expect given the car’s vast exterior dimensions. Interior storage includes upper and lower gloveboxes, a slide-out dash tray, and the usual console box and map pockets.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedan

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 8
80%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 10
100%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 10
100%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 9
90%
Room/Comfort Front - 10
100%
Room/Comfort Rear - 9
90%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 76

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
140.6 229.7 78.3 64.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.2 26.4 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.5 38.5 40.5 43.7
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
150.4 239.8 78.3 64.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.2 26.4 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.5 38.5 40.5 53.5
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Recall History

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.